DC area real estate leaders join forces to form a strategic investment and development initiative to transform underperforming office buildings to live/work lofts
Washington, DC — April 7, 2022 — Madison Marquette, a leading private full-service real estate provider, investment manager, developer and operator, and Highland Square Holdings, the leading developer of live/work properties in the Washington, DC area, today announced the formation of Madison Highland Live/Work Lofts, a strategic investment and development platform to grow the next generation of live/work loft communities in key urban markets across the United States.
“Our strategy is to provide best in class loft style apartment homes by creating additional office and live/work functionality that enables the customer to decide how best to use the units,” said Madison Marquette Chairman, Amer Hammour. “The change to hybrid work environments, buoyed by technological advances, has altered retail and then office products. To retain and grow value in office buildings, we believe that physical space must provide consumers with the same flexibility, utility and value as cyberspace.”
“Having flexible space that can serve more people in more ways is smart business. By expanding loft uses, we increase the number of people we can serve. The net result is a resilient resource that maximizes market demand and stabilizes revenue across changing markets, at all times,” said Madison Marquette Chief Executive Officer, Vincent Costantini.
Madison Highland Live/Work Lofts creates an entity with a full range of expertise, resources and proven results.
“It was a natural fit to combine our strategic vision, development and construction expertise with Madison’s broad market reach, financial capacity, operations and placemaking DNA,” said Madison Highland Live/Work Lofts Managing Principal, Robert Seldin, who has been at the forefront of this unique strategy. “Working with the Madison Marquette team, we believe the Live/Work strategy and platform will grow more rapidly, and in exciting ways, to better serve consumers and communities.”
In addition to the DC area, Madison Highland Live/Work Lofts is targeting select U.S. markets that have seen high knowledge and information-based job growth drive increases in housing costs. The platform’s initial focus will be in select markets in California, the Southeastern U.S., as well as in New York, Boston, Seattle, Austin, Dallas, Denver, and Salt Lake City.
Seldin said the Live/Work Loft strategy targets prospective residents, small businesses, and the growing market of remote and hybrid workers who are actively seeking better and more flexible housing and office options. The demand is fueled by several factors. The remote work population in the U.S. has soared from eight million in 2017 to 58 million today. He said that traditional apartment competitors are not well suited to accommodate this change.
“There are an additional 85 million U.S. households composed of singles and couples to offer greater value and sense of community as well as the 75% of U.S. businesses with fewer than ten employees for whom the rigidity and cost associated with traditional office leasing is sub optimal,” Seldin added.
Madison Highland Live/Work Lofts recently purchased and is seeking entitlements for two additional vacant Class A- office buildings, Skyline 4 and 5, to convert to Live/Work lofts. At 572,000-square-feet, Skyline 4 and 5 are part of the Skyline Center, the largest contiguous, mixed-use development in the DC area.
Seldin led the successful Mission Lofts project in Falls Church, VA, which is an example of how a property can be transformed to meet changing market conditions. The 173,000 square foot office building was vacant for seven years and had seen its value plummet from $51 million to below $20 million. Three years later, as a now stabilized community of 156 Live/Work Loft style units, its value has risen to a level higher than its former high-water mark as an office only asset. Additionally, it was recently named the Best DC MSA Adaptive Reuse Apartment Community by Delta Associates.
“Mission Lofts was a vacant commercial office building with tall ceilings, big windows, an open floor plan, and ample parking that had outlived its use as a single purpose office structure. From its location at the intersection of two main roads, three miles from the Pentagon, it was a perfect fit for our live/work strategy,” said Seldin. “We gained approval to allow for live/work use in less time than most traditional ground-up zoning actions. At the same time, we helped to establish a new asset category in Fairfax County, VA, which has the second highest median household income county in the United States.”
About Madison Marquette
Madison Marquette is a leading private full-service real estate provider, investment manager, developer and operator headquartered in Washington, D.C. The company delivers integrated investment, development, leasing and management services to a diverse portfolio of 330 assets in 20 states and manages an investment portfolio valued at over $6.2 billion. The company partners with global, institutional and private investors to provide industry-leading investment and advisory services across asset classes — including mixed-use, retail, office, medical, industrial, senior living and multi-family.
Following its 2019 merger with the Boston-based Roseview Group, Madison Marquette added capital markets, investment banking and corporate advisory services to its integrated capabilities. Founded in 1992, the company built its reputation on the successful development, repositioning and redevelopment of landmark mixed-use assets, and now leverages that performance legacy to provide clients with exceptional asset services and investment advice. Madison Marquette has a strategic bench of professionals providing nationwide service from 14 regional markets and is a member of the Capital Guidance group of companies.