Local firm to build in D.C.; Greenebaum & Rose gets pact for student financial aid center; Commercial real estate


Greenebaum & Rose Associates Inc., a real estate development firm with operations in Baltimore and Washington, said yesterday that it has been selected to develop an 11-story office building for the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Student Financial Assistance Programs in Washington.

The 220,000-square-foot, $28 million project -- which is expected to be completed in July 2001 -- will be the centerpiece of Greenebaum & Rose's Union Center Plaza, a tract of land the firm owns near Union Station in Northeast Washington, said Sam Rose, a partner in the real estate firm.

The site contains three other office buildings, one of which serves as the Washington base for the Cable News Network, and one that houses the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Washington office of Greenebaum & Rose is run by Rose and specializes in office buildings. The firm's Baltimore offices, which are run by Stewart J. Greenebaum, focuses on developing residential communities, such as Shipley's Choice in Anne Arundel County.

The firm has completed projects valued at more than $1 billion.

Greg Woods, chief operating officer of the Office of Student Financial Assistance, said space similar to the Union Center Plaza would lease for $44 per square foot, but SFA will get it for about $32 per square foot.

"There was a lot of competition for our business," Woods said, adding that about a dozen builders and developers expressed interest in the project.

"We had a chance to see Greenebaum & Rose's other buildings and they were very well done with quality space," he said.

SFA was also impressed that the real estate firm said it could deliver the building in 15 months, he said. SFA headquarters is in a building in Southwest Washington that predates World War II and was recently ranked by a survey as one of the five worst buildings in Washington, Woods said.

Air-conditioning ducts are covered to prevent soot from circulating, and the bathrooms often flood, he said. The building cannot accommodate SFA's 850 employees, a portion of whom work in a nearby building, he said.

Greenebaum & Rose will own the new building and lease it to the SFA for 10 years, initially.

"We 're hoping this building will contribute to the cityscape of Washington, and we'll make a little profit and make our client happy," Rose said.

After the SFA building is complete, Union Center Plaza will have enough land left to accommodate an additional small building, Rose said.

"This is one more piece of the puzzle," he said. "It's a nice addition."

Greenebaum & Rose bought the Union Center Plaza tract in 1980 and started developing it in 1984, Rose said.

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