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Both the Washington Post and the Washington Business Journal (subscribers only) came out with stories this week chronicling the rise and fall and now re-rise of Monument Realty. They both describe Monument's high-flying ways during the real estate bubble of the early 2000s with "high-risk, high-return deals and an aggressive, cowboylike approach to development that rubbed the old guard the wrong way," followed by their near dissolution thanks to the collapse of their backer, Lehman Brothers. But thanks to some new deals around the region with different financing partners, Monument appears to be rebounding.
There's not been an announcement from Monument that I've seen, but the WBJ article says that Monument has signed the Federal Aviation Administration to a 55,000-square-foot lease at 55 M Street, which I believe would bring the building to about 90 percent leased. (At the time Monument announced their deal to lease 150,000 square feet to DDOT, they said the 275,000-square-foot building's office space was 70 percent leased.)
However, in detailing what it says are $500 million in new Monument projects around the Metro area leveraged from a $10 million deal with Atlas Capital Group, WBJ makes no mention of any intentions for construction to get underway on Monument's remaining Half Street plans just north of Nationals Park. The well-known hole in the ground, dug in 2007 when 55 M was built, is eventually supposed to be 330 residential units and a 200-room hotel, which you can see a rendering of on my project page or on Monument's Half Street web site. Monument also owns all of the land on the east side of South Capitol between M and N except for the self storage building, as well as the 50 M street lot on the northeast corner of Half and M.
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Sarah says: (1/31/11 1:54 PM)
Monument said the residential component will move first and could break ground by the end of the year if the team lands financing. The hotel would follow.


JD says: (1/31/11 2:02 PM)
Yes, I've heard that, but color me still somewhat leery of "if we get financing" verbiage, which has been the stock reply of pretty much all developers for three years now. There's a ton of projects not just in the neighborhood but all over the city that would gladly start by the end of the year if they get financing. Lending is loosening for sure, but that's still not an easy step.

(Not to mention, the ground technically is already broken. :-) )

That said, residential is most likely an easier sell to financial backers in this neighborhood than office, given how full the other new residential in the neighborhood all is.



Sarah says: (1/31/11 2:43 PM)
Yeah, that's why we didn't include it in the story - wasn't newsworthy at this point.

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CXS TRANSPORTATION INC / VICTORIA STEINHOFF; TBD
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