MBA Headquarters for Sale

October 27, 2009 No Comments »

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What happened to “it’s always a good time to buy?”

The MBA has reportedly put its downtown Washington D.C. digs up for sale, according to a letter sent to its members, obtained by Bizjournals.com.

The purchase of the sprawling 170,000-square foot, 10-story building at 1331 L St. NW was completed just last summer, but has already proved to be a headache for the mortgage bankers.

MBA chief executive John Courson told members that the ongoing dour economic situation, coupled with a “challenging leasing environment,” forced the group to conclude that continued ownership of the building would be “imprudent” and hinder its services over the long term.

However, the MBA will continue to lease a “substantial portion” of the building through 2020, according to Courson.

The MBA has signed an agreement with Holliday Fenoglio Fowler to market the sale of the property immediately.

Last spring, the Washington Post reported that the MBA was experiencing the credit crunch first hand through the deal, with a larger-than-expected down payment requirement and an interest rate much higher than originally anticipated.

But at the time, Kieran P. Quinn, chairman of the MBA, said it was always a good time to buy if for a long-term investment.

The MBA has seen its membership dwindle since the mortgage crisis got underway, forcing the group to cut staff roughly 30 percent.

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