2 Top Points and 1 Surprising Conclusion on Executive Blvd Office Space

2 Top Points and 1 Surprising Conclusion on Executive Blvd Office Space

Here are the top two points and one surprising conclusion from the just-released Montgomery Planning Department briefing on the technical report: “Adaptive Reuse: Executive Boulevard and Rock Spring Office Markets” prepared by Bolan Smart Associates.  (And here’s a bonus fun little factoid with which to dazzle your friends: Executive Boulevard has 15 buildings totaling over 2.1 million square feet which is  three percent of the County’s total office inventory)
  1. Even if market conditions might merit repurposing, many of these office buildings have large and wide floorplates depths with interior spaces far from windows and configurations that make conversion to residential use very challenging. (Generally, buildings with narrow footprints are more conducive to residential conversion.)
  2. Federal office tenants  have vacated Executive Blvd., but these decisions were driven by the need to accommodate changing space requirements and by price, not because of location or neighborhood deficiencies.
And the surprising conclusion: Taking into consideration the nearby enhanced amenity base (Pike and Rose) and expected better connectivity (Western Workaround and improved walkability), combined with the likelihood of some pricing discount compared with the Pike District, re‐leasing for office use on Executive Blvd is probable. Executive Boulevard remains a viable office market. Despite the current challenges, Executive Blvd (and Rock Spring) are just too valuable for prospective office use to either be converted to other uses or demolished outright. Net of the three vacated former National Cancer Institute buildings, the Executive Blvd vacancy rate is close to five percent, well below the county‐wide average of 15 percent.

Amy Ginsburg


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