University of the District of Columbia (Courtesy photo)
University of the District of Columbia (Courtesy photo)

The University of the District of Columbia has executed a long-term lease agreement with a purchase option for a key strategic property adjacent to its Van Ness campus at 4250 Connecticut Avenue in the city’s northwest quadrant.

The 37-year-old office facility – also known as the Fannie Mae building, and which sits atop the Van Ness/UDC Metro station – is owned by BDC Van Ness, LLC, an entity controlled by Bernstein Development Corporation, an affiliate of Bernstein Management Corporation.

“We believe we have a generational opportunity to not only acquire a significant asset, but to also accelerate the renovation and upgrade of our learning infrastructure,” said UDC President Ronald Mason. “Gaining control of this property complements our LEED-certified Student Center and significantly expands our footprint. It transforms Connecticut Avenue into a new gateway for UDC.”

The property features approximately 202,000 square feet of mixed-use space. The building design includes 7.5 stories of office space located on 1.5 acres at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Veazey Street. UDC will initially lease the building but plans to eventually purchase it. The initial plans are to use the building as swing space during a $200 million-plus renovation project at the Van Ness campus.

UDC’s Equity Imperative strategic plan is intended to regenerate the university as a “public higher education model of student success.” One of its objectives is to create a physical infrastructure supportive of its academic and student success goals.

Chief Operating Officer Troy LeMaile-Stovall said that in addition to the academic space, UDC acquires 327 new parking spaces and gains access to 17,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, including a Starbucks.

“When combined with the Law School retail space and our master lease of the former Walgreens’ building at 4225 Connecticut Ave NW, UDC will control over 40,000 square feet of retail along the Van Ness corridor,” LeMaile-Stovall said. “We want to be good neighbors and create a vibrant hub that benefits UDC students and the surrounding community. We are eager to work with our friends at Van Ness Main Street, Inc., to make that happen.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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