BRAC’d Building in Rosslyn to Be Renovated

by ARLnow.com September 23, 2011 at 11:00 am 4,553 13 Comments

(Updated at 2:00 p.m.) If you manage a 40-year-old office building in Rosslyn, what do you when your sole office tenant — the Department of Defense — packs up and moves most of its offices to Ft. Belvoir (and elsewhere)?

Renovate, renovate, renovate.

That’s the plan announced by real estate firm Penzance earlier this week for its 17-story office tower at 1500 Wilson Boulevard. Most of the building, minus ground-level retailers like Santa Fe Cafe and a couple of lower floors, will be vacated next year thanks to the Base Realignment and Closure Act, and Penzance is planning to spruce things up.

“Future improvements will include the renovation of the building’s main entrance, main lobby, elevator lobbies, restrooms, elevator cabs and mechanical systems, as well as HVAC improvements,” the company said in a press release.

“1500 Wilson is coming to the market at the right moment and with the added benefit of a multi-million dollar renovation,” said Penzance executive Matt Pacinelli. “We are offering one of the only large blocks of space available in Rosslyn, and at a significant discount to the market rents typically seen in the newer towers.”

Penzance is also trying to talk up the 200,000 square feet of office space by describing the benefits of a Rosslyn address.

“Prominently situated at the intersection of Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards, the 249,000 square-foot building serves as a gateway to the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor and features stunning panoramic views from its 17-story vantage point,” the company said.

  • Conan the Grammarian

    I see that “BRAC” is now a verb. Duly noted.

    • CrystalMikey

      Every cycle, it almost always turns into a verb

  • Dezlboy

    Although the building was under an Army lease, most of the tenants were Air Force. They have moved to the Pentagon and Crystal City. Not aware of any moves to Ft Belvoir, but may have been some?

    • Aaron

      I know some of the former tenant organizations are ultimately on their way to Bolling or Andrews. I think it was just easier to assume that everything in Arlington that was brac’ed was sent to Belvoir or the dreaded Mark Center.

    • contracted

      A handful of the medical or policy offices that had become overflow there were shifted to the new center/hospital area within Belvoir.

  • Smoke_Jaguar4

    I used to work in this building and loved it. Two blocks to the metro and lots of great lunch options. This will be a great opportunity for a business to relocate; getting proximity to DC with friendly VA taxes.

    Offloading people to Bolling will only make traffic in SE DC worst – it’s already a nightmare during rush hour. Then add in the DHS HQ in Anacostia…

    • R.Griffon

      +1 for MW reference.

      • Dezlboy

        MW reference ?

      • Alexandrian

        MW reference? What does that mean?

  • Dezlboy

    Santa Fe Cafe has good food and owner Kip is a nice guy. Try to visit the restaurant during renovation as construction may be an impediment for others to eat there.

  • mc

    Unfortunately buildings this old have poor layouts that can’t be remedied with renovation, and recladding won’t make it much more attractive. It’s a focus point heading west from Rosslyn — too bad it won’t be replaced outright.

  • Tyrone to the Maxx

    Another nasty building is the brown building above the Rosslyn metro…that thing didn’t age well at all.

  • OX4

    They may want to start by replacing the cheap banner at the top of the building that reads “Penzance” with, I dunno, maybe a real sign.


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