Hines backs out of $800m DC office deal

The Houston-based firm has decided to opt out of buying the Constitution Center in Washington DC, which has resulted in CommonWealth Partners entering discussions to purchase the trophy office building for $750 million.

After agreeing to acquire the largest privately-owned office building in Washington DC for $800 million, Hines has decided to opt out of the deal, PERE has learned. As a result, Los Angeles-based CommonWealth Partners is in talks to purchase the Constitution Center from David Nassif Associates for $750 million, according to data provider Real Capital Analytics. 

In October, Hines announced that it had agreed to acquire the 1.4 million-square-foot Class A office building at 400 7th Street SW for $800 million. However, the Houston-based real estate firm recently decided not to proceed with the purchase. A spokesperson for Hines declined to comment, and calls made to CommonWealth were not returned by press time.

Tim Jaroch, managing partner of David Nassif Associates, told PERE that the firm has “been in discussions with different groups with regard to the offer of Constitution Center and are not prepared to comment further until we have a signed purchase agreement.”

Current tenants in the fully leased, nine-storey building, which encompasses an entire city block, include the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

David Nassif Associates had put the building up for sale at the end of April, giving the marketing assignment to Eastdil Secured. The Washington DC-based development firm built the property in 1970 after acquiring a 5.2-acre site from the Redevelopment Land Agency. In 2006, the firm announced a $220 million renovation of the asset, then known as the David Nassif Building, and renamed it Constitution Center.