Discovery’s Silver Spring headquarters sells

WASHINGTON — Discovery Communications, which is moving its headquarters to Manhattan next spring, has sold its big Silver Spring headquarters to a joint venture of Potomac, Maryland-based Foulger-Pratt and New York investment firm Cerberus Capital Management.

Neither Discovery nor Foulger-Pratt disclosed the price. The Washington Business Journal reports it was a $70 million sale, citing a source familiar with the deal, well below the property’s assessed value.

Discovery’s headquarters is a signature building in downtown Silver Spring, and it is big. The nearly 550,000-square-foot, 10-story building at Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue was built in 2003 and anchored the revitalization of downtown Silver Spring.

Foulger-Pratt owns several other buildings in Silver Spring, including Silver Spring Metro Center.

JLL represented Discovery in the sale, and will be in charge of leasing for its new owners and arranged acquisition financing with Acore Capital.

“When the opportunity to purchase such an iconic, centrally-located building in downtown Silver Spring became available earlier this year, we knew this was an investment we could not pass up,” said Cameron Pratt, chief executive of Foulger-Pratt.

“We’re looking forward to re-envisioning the property and welcoming future tenants to Silver Spring,” he said.

Renovation plans will include updates to the exterior facade, new streetscaping and new amenities.

The Silver Spring office market has one of the lower vacancy rates as a whole in the Washington region, outside of D.C.’s central business district, West End and Capitol Riverfront and Bethesda.

Discovery has about 1,300 employees in Maryland. It will maintain a small presence in Maryland and Northern Virginia after it moves its headquarters.

Discovery is relocating its headquarters as part of its acquisition of Food Network and HGTV owner Scripps Networks Interactive for $12 billion.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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