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Real Estate Bisnow

Monday, January 7, 2013

Downtown Gets Cool

F Street and Dupont are go-to places for cool old buildings, but Rock Creek Property Group's Jared Okun and Gary Schlager will deliver a redeveloped one Downtown this April. We snapped the pair Friday on the rooftop of 1100 16th St, a former charter school they bought in late '11 and are redeveloping as office. Gary tells us it offers prospective buyers or lessees (ideally nonprofits, embassies, universities, or tech firms) “Chinatown cool in the CBD.” Gary, whom you might know as principal of West Lane & Schlager, tells us historical assets aren’t just commodities like newer office buildings. He cites unique work environments with qualities like wide-open floor plans, natural light, exposed brick, and ceilings up to 18 feet.

Jared (who became a first-time dad last month) says 1100 16th was once two properties. The building has worn many hats, too. It started as townhouses and has housed the Benjamin Franklin University accounting school.

Rock Creek still has a presence in the traditionally cool neighborhoods, too, including its historic 1438 U St NW, a 12k SF former nightclub, originally a post office (take note, Mr. Trump). The firm is looking to lease or sell to groups like nonprofits, retailers, or even a hostel.