The Air Rights office building at 7315 Wisconsin Ave. is undergoing a facelift and has a new name, part of a $30 million renovation project from the developer that bought the complex last year.
Ryan Wade, a principal with D.C.-based MRP Realty, spoke last week at a Biznow Media event in Bethesda about the company’s hopes for one of downtown Bethesda’s most prominent sites — now known as Bethesda Crossing.
MRP and the Rockpoint Group bought the three-building office complex for about $200 million early last year.
Wade said MRP, founded in 2005, was looking to buy its first Bethesda property for a long time.
“Bethesda to us has always been hard to enter,” Wade said. “We’ve tried hard but it’s been difficult to find sites. The biggest problem in Bethesda is we don’t have enough supply.”
Many have tried to revamp the 1960′s era buildings, 700,000 square feet of space a block away from the Bethesda Metro station and across Wisconsin Avenue from the planned site of the Bethesda Purple Line station. The complex also includes the 4550 Montgomery Ave. building and connects to the Hilton Garden Inn.
Wade said the renovations include facade enhancements, interior common areas, HVAC systems, new lobbies, elevators and corridors. Work has begun on some lighting on the exterior of the Wisconsin Avenue building.
There will be a large fitness facility for tenants, something common in D.C. office buildings but new to the Bethesda office market.
Wade said MRP has had solid leasing activity in the last 12-18 months. Tenants include financial services companies such as Calvert Investments, life insurance company Calvert Investments and business research firm Abt Associates. The 7315 Wisconsin Ave. building also has ground floor retail and restaurant tenants including Ruth Chris Steak House.
The site also includes a site on Pearl Street that is approved for development of an about 150,000-square foot office building, though MRP has no imminent plans to move forward with that piece.