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Meridian Group plans to invest $20 million to renovate part of SAIC’s campus

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The Meridian Group, the buyer of SAIC’s corporate headquarters campus at Tysons Corner, has big plans for the property.

The Bethesda, Md.-based real estate investment and development firm said in a press release that it will invest $20 million to renovate two of four buildings on the 18-acre campus. Altogether they total 900,000 square feet of space.

The purchase is being made through Meridian’s $160 million discretionary real estate fund, Meridian Realty Partners I.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to acquire SAIC’s landmark campus,” Gary Block, managing director of The Meridian Group, said in a statement. “This new property is uniquely positioned with a great location adjacent to Metro and retail amenities, and it fits our investment strategy for value-add transactions very well.”

The property is located on Route 7 at the new Tysons Central 7/Greensboro Metro station, which is expected to open in early 2014. Bounded by Westpark Drive and Greensboro Drive, the property sits in a major submarket of Tysons known as “The Hill” near Tysons Galleria Mall.

“We are excited about this opportunity in Tysons Corner, which is the downtown of Northern Virginia and the 12th largest office market in the country,” said Bruce Lane, executive vice president and managing director of Meridian. “It also has the largest concentration of retail space between D.C. and Miami."

Tysons will draw employers, he added, because of its Beltway access, new HOT lanes, and four new Metro stations.

Meridian’s purchase includes SAIC’s 600,000-square-foot, three-building headquarters complex. SAIC, one of the largest employers and government contractors in the Washington metropolitan area, will lease back one of the buildings for seven years. The other two buildings will be vacated within a year.

Meridian plans the $20 million renovation on those two buildings. Upgrades include new lobbies and common areas, elevator cabs, HVAC systems and pedestrian walkways and plazas near the Metro station. A fourth building with a surface parking lot on Greensboro Drive is currently vacant and will be demolished for redevelopment.

SAIC has filed plans with Fairfax County to redevelop the property with an additional 3 million square feet of mixed uses, including new office, residential, retail and hotel uses. Meridian said it will take over the processing of these plans and development of the property.

Meridian’s fund, Meridian Realty Partners I, is one of the largest equity funds focused on real estate in the Washington metropolitan area.

Meridian has completed three other office acquisitions with the fund as well as a loan purchase, all in Northern Virginia. The office acquisitions include One Ballston Plaza (148,000 square feet) in Arlington, Cameron Run (144,000 square feet) in Alexandria and Tysons Technology Center (280,000 square feet) in Tysons Corner, another former SAIC property.

Since 1993, Meridian has acquired more than 7.5 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, and hotel properties, as well as over 400 acres of land – totaling more than $2.5 billion in value.

Before the formation of Meridian Realty Partners I, Meridian’s transactions were capitalized through joint ventures. Meridian’s partners have included The Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs, The Carlyle Group, and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.


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