It was reported in the Washington Business Journal and the Wall Street Journal that mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae is selling its headquarters building in Upper Northwest and wants to consolidate its operations in leased space closer to downtown DC. Fannie Mae is looking to move to their new headquarters over the next two to three years, so they have the option of leasing in existing space or new construction. Almost a decade ago, Fannie Mae was planning to be the anchor tenant at Waterfront Station, but financial troubles put the kibosh on those plans and they remained at their current headquarters. Subsequently, the District government decided to lease both buildings in phase one of Waterfront Station and the project was able to move forward. Now that Fannie Mae is on the hunt for new space, perhaps it will give Southwest another look? Let’s take a look at their options in Southwest (since the size requirement for Fannie Mae wasn’t disclosed in the articles, the following options may or may not work based on size needs):
(1) Waterfront Station: There are still two vacant parcels along M Street on either side of 4th Street that are slated for office. The SE parcel is right on top of the Waterfront metro station and both buildings have plans for ground floor retail. Waterfront Associates won’t start construction on either of those parcels until it secures an anchor tenant. Since Fannie Mae was already planning to move to Waterfront Station at one point, this location probably has a leg up on the competition.
(2) The Wharf: Alternatively, Fannie Mae could opt for office space at The Wharf, which started construction in March and won’t be complete until 2017. There is an office building planned in Phase One of construction (Parcel 3A) facing Maine Avenue and a second building could be built closer to the Maine Avenue Fish Market (Parcel 1) if Hoffman-Madison Waterfront found a tenant. The Graduate School USA was originally going to occupy the Parcel 3A building, but backed out of the deal a couple years ago. The Wharf was a contender for The Washington Post, but ultimately the media company decided to move only a few blocks east from its current headquarters building downtown.
Rendering courtesy of Hoffman Madison Waterfront
(3) The Portals: Republic Properties has an empty parcel at The Portals that is next to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the 1200 block of Maryland Avenue. In addition to the hotel, there are three office buildings that have already been completed at the complex. A Portals address would give Fannie Mae execs sweeping views of the Tidal Basin and high visibility from the traffic that comes into the city daily on the 14th Street Bridge.
Rendering courtesy of The JBG Companies
(5) 400 6th Street: Trammell Crow is currently building a 12-story, 342,000 SF office building at 400 6th Street, located across the street from Constitution Center and one of the entrances to the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station. If Fannie Mae moved here, it would be near other financial-related tenants including the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; however, the site is not as prominent as some of the other options in Southwest.
Rendering courtesy of Trammell Crow