Qatari real estate fund inks US tenancy deal
Doha, October 23, 2012
TFI US Real Estate Fund, a Qatari-led real estate project in the US and Hines and Archstone, the developers of CityCenterDC, have signed a lease agreement with Covington & Burling, a leading international law firm.
As per the deal, Covington will be the anchor office tenant at the landmark, mixed-use development in downtown Washington.
CityCenterDC is one of the largest downtown developments currently underway in the US. With the execution of the Covington lease, the office buildings are now more than 80 per cent pre-leased, said a statement from the Qatar group.
This is a major achievement for a project which broke ground in April 2011. With the core and shell of this 2 million sq ft project nearing completion ahead of schedule, CityCenterDC is poised to take its place as a dynamic neighbourhood in the city.
The First Investor (TFI) is the investment banking arm of Barwa Bank, one of Qatar’s leading Shariah compliant financial institutions. CityCenterDC is the flagship investment of the fund, which was launched by TFI.
In addition to managing the US Real Estate Fund, TFI is co-investing alongside the fund’s anchor investor Qatari Diar, the real estate investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority.
Mohammed Al Saad, the vice chairman and MD of Barwa Bank and TFI board member, said: “As Qatar’s first major real estate investment in the US, I am very pleased to note that construction is progressing ahead of schedule and that the project has executed lease for the majority of the office space from a prestigious global law firm, further demonstrating the commercial attractiveness of this project.”
Covington, founded nearly a century ago in Washington, DC boasts of more than 800 lawyers in offices in Beijing, Brussels, London, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington.
The law firm will occupy approximately 420,000 sq ft when it moves into its new space in the summer of 2014. The initial lease will run for 20 years with expansion option as growth dictates.
"We are excited to participate in the redevelopment of this historic section in the nation’s capital, which will have enormous positive impact on the city,” said Timothy Hester, chair of the firm’s management committee.
“CityCenterDC’s proximity to all of Washington’s major institutions makes it an ideal location to serve our international and domestic clients.”
“We are extremely excited to welcome a firm with the stature and prominence of Covington & Burling as the anchor tenant for CityCenterDC’s office component,” said William B. Alsup, III, senior managing director of Hines.
“This clearly reflects the investment and development management expertise of the senior team at Barwa Bank, TFI and Tanween, as well as that of our development partners Hines and Archstone. Between us, we are delivering a truly transformational, mixed-use landmark development in one of the world’s great capital cities” Al Saad added.-TradeArabia News Service