Politico is planning to part ways with its broadcast co-tenants WJLA and NewsChannel 8 now that Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. has completed its deal to buy the broadcast stations from Allbritton Communications Co. for $985 million.
Rest assured, the print publication, launched by Robert Allbritton, isn’t going far. Politico’s parent company, Capitol News Co. LLC, has signed a long-term lease with Monday Properties for about 72,000 square feet at 1000 Wilson Blvd., one of Rosslyn’s two Twin Towers buildings, after an extensive search for other potential options. The publication will be moving out of space it has shared with Allbritton’s broadcast stations at 1100 Wilson, Monday Properties President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Helmig told me earlier today.
The deal is a victory for Monday Properties, which faced steep competition from landlords across the region for the media outlet’s tenancy. Politico will be taking all of the eighth and ninth floors at 1000 Wilson, which combine for about 61,000 square feet, and will be retaining part of the 27th floor under a renewed lease. It is planning to make the move in spring 2015 from space it has shared on the sixth and seventh floors of 1100 Wilson with its former Allbritton affiliates since it was founded nearly a decade ago. As part of the lease, Politico will have its own parking, an outdoor terrace, a backup generator location and options to expand in the building in the future.
The deal positions Politico for additional growth now that Allbritton has shed its broadcast stations, as was part of Allbritton’s plans when it announced more than a year ago that it was seeking buyers for its television stations. Capitol News retained Studley Inc. to help it seek alternative space after Sinclair announced its plans to acquire the Allbritton broadcast stations in July 2013. Savills Studley brokers Tom Fulcher, Art Greenberg and Adam Brecher represented Capitol News in the lease. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank brokers Brendan Owen, Ed Clark and Steve Hoffeditz represented Monday Properties along with John Wharton.
Still unresolved is what Sinclair plans to do with the space its newly acquired broadcast stations now occupy in the Twin Towers. In total, Allbritton leases about 115,000 square feet and has several more years left, Helmig said. The company has retained JLL’s Joe Judge to study its space option, but Helmig noted “They certainly don’t need to do anything” in the near term.