|5600 Columbia Pike.|
The “e-Loft” concept for the vacant office building at 5600 Columbia Pike, Bailey’s Crossroads, in which tenants can decide if they want to live or work there – or do both – is also being planned for an another office building in Alexandria.
Novus Residences, a subsidiary of Cafritz Interests, plans to purchase 5600 Columbia Pike from Government Properties Income Trust and convert it to an innovative combined residence/work space property. The 166,000 square-foot, 10-story building would have 157 loft-style units plus high-tech meeting rooms for conferences.
|4501 Ford Ave. [Google Maps]|
Novus is working on a similar project at a 200-unit building at 4501 Ford Ave., close to King Street and Interstate 395 in Alexandria. Novus CEO Robert Seldin expects that project to be completed by the end of the year.
The 5600 Columbia Pike property is under contract, and Novus plans to close on it as soon as Fairfax County approves the application to rezone the property as PDC (planned development commercial district). The company would then finalize the design and file for the permits.
The Board of Supervisors had already approved an amendment to the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan when Foulger-Pratt had proposed 433 apartments on the site. That deal fell through last summer.
The building had been vacant since 2011 when the Defense Information Systems Agency moved out as part of the federal Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) process.
Rents at the Alexandria e-Lofts building would be about $2,500 a month for a 1,000-square foot unit, Seldin said, and rents at the Columbia Pike building would probably be about the same. Tenants would sign a 12-month lease.
Seldin believes the creation of a limited number of multi-use units with the opportunity for tenants to decide how to use them “would hopefully generate pricing power.”
People who want to start a business would be able to live and work in the same unit, which means “eliminating the need to write two checks would allow people to take more risks,” he says. “How many things don’t happen because people can’t afford to take risks?”
There would be no preferred mix of rental vs. office space in the building. Seldin expects the mix to change on a monthly basis, “depending on where the demand is.”
Novus doesn’t plan to change the building’s façade. “We like the building. It’s an excellent example of mid-century modernism,” Seldin says. “Can we turn that into an advantage? The answer is yes.”