University hires outside real estate firm to market 2000 Penn

The University hired a commercial real estate firm to market the properties at 2000 Penn.

Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate services firm, has started to advise the University as GW looks for a real estate investor to enter a longterm lease for the building complex, according to a release Tuesday.

Office and retail tenants will remain under existing leases and operate as a commercial mixed-use building. Currently, there are not any plans to redevelop the building, according to the release.

Alicia Knight, the senior associate vice president for operations, said ground leases — like 2000 Penn and The Avenue — help the University reduce its operating risks while bringing in money.

GW currently profits from owning The Avenue – a retail and apartment complex on I Street – and is planning to merge Rice Hall and 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue into a retail and business development in the coming years.

“The University continues its efforts to reposition investment real estate assets with the goal of maximizing its returns in support of the University’s academic mission,” Knight said in the release.

Several business have left 2000 Penn in recent years, and store managers in the complex have said the turnover has occurred from high rents and low foot traffic in the building.

In the past 11 years, at least nine shops have closed in the building, and at least two sites are currently available for lease, according to the Shop’s website.

University officials will be reviewing proposals from those interested in entering a longterm lease and anticipate that a decision will be made in the spring.

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