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Thursday, November 7, 2019

New owner plans big changes at Skyline Center

Three of the buildings at the Skyline Center.

Somera Road Inc., a New York-based commercial real estate firm, has acquired the aging Skyline office complex in Bailey’s Crossroads for about $215 million, the Washington Business Journal reports.

The deal includes seven office buildings and a retail center anchored by Target. Somera plans to carry out a series of common area improvements and other upgrades in the near term and has retained OTJ Architects to renovate the Skyline 7 office building at 5275 Leesburg Pike. 

Later, it will seek approval from Fairfax County to convert three office buildings in the center of the campus – Skyline 1, 2, and 3, at 5201, 5203 and 5205 Leesburg Pike – into multifamily housing.  

Vornado Realty Trust relinquished ownership of the Skyline Center nearly three years ago after grappling with high vacancy rates and stopped paying debt service.

CWCapital, a special servicer retained by the various noteholders that held the debt on the property, retained Cushman & Wakefield to market the Skyline Center for sale. About 100 potential bidders from across the globe stepped up. Somera emerged as the winning bidder in June and closed on the acquisition Oct. 30.

Ian Ross, managing principal at Somera told the Washington Business Journal the property has significant potential to thrive under the right repositioning – with the addition of residential uses creating more of a mixed-use feel.

“I think everybody recognizes the need to bring vitality back to this center and really bring multifamily back into the marketplace,” Ross said. “When we look at what works in communities like Skyline today across the nation, it’s really important to have a healthy ecosystem of live, work, and play.”

According to the Washington Business Journal, the 1970s-era Skyline Center was the second most valuable commercial property in Fairfax County about a decade ago, when it was assessed at nearly $680.7 million. Its taxable assessment is now below $298.8 million.

9 comments:

  1. It will never be successful without mass transit. Density requires connectivity to other densities. Skyline has been abandoned by tenants because the district lacks the leadership and the infrastructure to return it back to its once thriving glory.

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  2. The residents and businesses in the area have been negligent in holding leadership and representation that prioritizes mass transit. There is a lack of vision and high expectations here, and all around settling for the mediocre. This area is stuck in 1986 and needs to wake up immediately!

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  3. We don’t need more density. Schools are over crowded. Streets are a nightmare. And, no mass transit in the plans. I say Boo!

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    Replies
    1. Well you all can thank the BoS for doing nothing.

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  4. Panera worker in 5275 Leesburg Pike building told my colleague they will permanently close that location on Nov. 30, 2019. Said the rent is too high and there are aging infrastructure issues.

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  5. It was a great place to work. Indoor parking, gym, shopping mall, eateries. Drive to work and never had to go outside in bad weather or scrape ice and snow off your car. And shopping and eateries all close by. A few minutes from the beltway, free shuttles to the Pentagon every 20 minutes during the day for badge holders, on the hour for all tenant with no badge required.And when the weather was nice lots of places right outside to eat lunch or just enjoy the greenery.

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  6. This area could thrive again if there was a mass trans solution that could link skyline to the pentagon and Amazon offices in Crystal City. A streetcar down the center of Columbia pike probably wouldn't have worked, but a bus system might help

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    Replies
    1. DEDICATED BUS LINES AND MIXED USE. Homeless shelters are not the answer.

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