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Could the Post Move to Arlington?

by ARLnow.com | April 30, 2013 at 1:45 pm | 1,745 views | No Comments

Washington Post logo(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) The Washington Post is looking for a new headquarters in D.C. or Virginia that’s relatively inexpensive and close to the Capitol. Could Rosslyn or Crystal City fit the bill?

The Washington City Paper reports that Post publisher Katharine Weymouth told a real estate conference this morning that the struggling company would like the new office to be “cheap, and near the Capitol, near the courthouses,” in a building “that’s a little bit lighter, a little more air.”

The ideal option for the paper might be right here in Arlington. Thanks to easy access to I-395, Crystal City and Rosslyn are about 10 minutes from the Capitol via cab or personal vehicle, except during rush hour.

Both locations are also Metro accessible. Crystal City is 5 Metro stops away from Capitol South station via the Yellow and Orange/Blue lines, and Rosslyn is 9 stops away, without a transfer, via the Orange/Blue lines. Both are 6 stops away from Judiciary Square, with a transfer to the Red Line.

View of D.C. from a rooftop in Crystal CityOffice rent in Crystal City and Rosslyn is inexpensive compared to D.C.’s Central Business District (CBD), where the Post is currently located (in an aging, monolithic building at 1150 15th Street NW). The average asking rate for office space in Crystal City is $39.43 per square foot, compared to $50.97 in the Washington CBD. The average asking rate in Rosslyn, which hasn’t been hit as hard by BRAC closures as Crystal City, is $42.32.

Outside of D.C.’s CBD, the NoMa and Capitol Riverfront submarkets might be desirable for the Post, but both are more expensive than Arlington, with average asking rates of $45.27 and $43.15 respectively.

Thanks to a vacancy rate of 21.8 percent in Crystal City and 16.4 percent in Rosslyn, the Post should have plenty of light and airy offices to choose from. Plus, offices that are currently under construction could be customized to the paper’s needs. Such buildings include 1812 N. Moore Street in Rosslyn, soon to be the tallest building in the D.C. area, or the renovated 1400 Crystal Drive in Crystal City.

Construction could begin on Arlington’s largest office building by floor space, 1900 Crystal Drive in Crystal City, should it secure an anchor tenant like the Post.

1812 N. Moore Street skyscraper under construction in RosslynA spokeswoman for the Rossyln Business Improvement District says the organization does not know if the Post is looking at potential offices in Rosslyn, but says the neighborhood would be a good fit for the 135-year-old institution.

“Rosslyn would a perfect location for The Washington Post, given its close location to Washington, D.C,” said Lisa Rabasca, the BID’s Director of Communications and herself a former newspaper reporter. “It is a quick cab or metro ride to Capitol Hill, the White House, and other major D.C. locations.”

“Rosslyn is already a media hub with three other large media companies — POLITICO, Washington Business Journal, and WJLA/ABC 7 and NewsChannel 8,” Rabasca continued. “We would welcome the addition of The Washington Post.”

1400 Crystal DriveCrystal City Business Improvement President Angela Fox said Crystal City, which itself has gone through a period of reinvention and rebranding, would be a fitting place for the Post.

“They’re obviously an institution that’s finding ways to reinvent themselves and look at their business… we would love to be a strategic element in such a reinvention,” she said. “They’re really thoughtful about their costs and the environment their employees work in, and Crystal City would have a lot to offer in that regard.”

Fox said she also has not heard anything about the Post looking at Crystal City. A Washington Post spokeswoman declined to comment on the company’s headquarters search.

If the Post were to move to Arlington, it wouldn’t be the paper’s first office here. For about a decade starting in 2000, the company’s internet staff — responsible for washingtonpost.com and other websites — was based in a 80,000 square foot office at 1515 N. Courthouse Road in Courthouse. The staff was later merged into the Post‘s D.C. office.

Disclosure: The Crystal City and Rosslyn BIDs are ARLnow.com advertisers.

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