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District's first Walmart-anchored mixed-use project being marketed for sale

Monday - 7/8/2013, 10:53am  ET

The JBG Cos. is seeking buyers for 77 H St. NW, the District's first Walmart-anchored mixed-use project at H and First streets NW slated to open later this year.

The Chevy Chase-based developer has retained Cassidy Turley to market the project to interested developers as it aims to recapitalize its large and growing real estate portfolio in the region.

The mixed-use project, which JBG is developing in partnership with The Bennet Group, Clark Builders Group and MV&A Architects, is one of several properties for which JBG has sought to attract buyers or additional investors.

The project at 77 H St. NW could be a particularly alluring offering to investors given Walmart’s status as its anchor tenant. The retailer has signed a lease for 20 years and is slated to open its new, 84,000-square-foot store in November. The project will also include 277 residential units.

Selling 77 H St. could also present another benefit to JBG if it sells before the first residential units are leased. As I wrote about in last Friday’s print edition, selling an empty building would allow JBG to avoid the District’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, a requirement that multifamily building owners give their tenants the right to make an offer on their homes before they sell to a third party.

In a separate offering, JBG has also retained Cassidy Turley to market its Sedona/Slate project at 1510 and 1530 Clarendon Blvd., a two-building, 474-unit apartment building in Rosslyn.

As I reported last month, JBG is also seeking buyers or investors for two other projects in the District's U Street corridor and a planned condo conversion of part of its Marriott Wardman Park. In an email to the WBJ, JBG said the marketing efforts will not necessarily result in sales but are part of JBG’s ongoing strategy of assessing the value and market interest in its holdings.

“We regularly assess our portfolio, gauge market conditions and make transactions accordingly,” the email, forwarded through JBG public relations firm Maier & Warner, read in part. “These properties represent a small percentage of our development pipeline, and may not ultimately be sold. But there should be no concern that JBG is not committed long-term to the communities in which we invest. The Washington region has always been and always will be our principal focus.”

© 2013 American City Business Journals, Inc.

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