Sunday, March 25, 2012

100K square feet of Crystal Palace now sublet

[Crystal Palace: Gannett tower on the left, USA Today's on the right]

When Octagon, a sports and entertainment marketing firm, moves in this fall, the glass-skinned complex at Tysons Corner will house five other companies occupying about 12% of the 820,000 square feet there, according to a Washington Post story today.

The Post says Corporate has been "aggressively" marketing vacant space in the building, which it occupied with USA Today in 2001, after the company moved 10 miles northwest from Rosslyn, Va.

Full-service annual rents in Northern Virginia averaged about $31 a square foot in the fourth quarter, the Post says, citing figure from brokerage firm Cassidy Turley. That means Corporate's subtenants are bringing in more than $3 million in additional annual revenue.

Across the nation, Gannett has been reducing its real estate holdings as the company shrinks operations with declining revenue and profit. Just last month, The Des Moines Register said it was planning to leave its century-old 200,000 square-foot building downtown. The paper needs only half that space now.


  1. This is great revenue for Gannett. The only issue is that people are being piled on top of each other on the 2nd floor of the USAT tower. Digital is growing and more space is needed!

    1. Here's a thought how about getting rid of people in digital. You know the ones that play darts,ping pong and pool all day or are you foolish optimistic to think gannett gave you that stuff to help you with your "creativity".

  2. Maryam's office would make a nice sublet. So would ahearher Franks and Matthew greenbergs. Never around and they do nothing.

  3. Mitch Gelman doesn't seem to do much, either.

  4. Leaving perfectly nice digs in Arlington is part of Big G's hubris. Just like Newseum's hubris leaving Arlington for Pennsylvania Ave. in D.C. Each bit of far more than they can digest financially.

  5. Not to rain on anybody's Schadenfreude, but the move from Rosslyn to Tyson's made economic sense at the time. The rent paid to Wakefield Realty was steep and the quarters in each of the two towers were cramped. Not to mention the traffic and crowded parking. One of the top editors at the time of the move told me the building and grounds at Tyson's would be paid for in less than 15 years. Gannett fortunes have dipped since the heyday but the corporation isn't at the mercy of a landlord. If renting out extra office space and parking helps keep people at Gannett and USA Today employed, bring on more tenants!

  6. Pre-2008 market and real estate collapse, a lot of that made sense. Not today's reality.

  7. USAT/Corporate never needed anything this insanely extravagant. I understand renting just outside D.C. was expensive, but why on earth did Gannett build something this fancy in this high-cost area? Heck, USAT could be located anywhere in the country. It's a freakin' national papers, and a bureau in D.C. would have sufficed, no?

    Sad to think how many people lost their jobs because of Gannett's self indulgence with the Crystal Palace...not just the location, but the all the over-the-top materials and amenities housed in the palace.

  8. 1:07 The Corporate/USAT complex was planned in the mid- to late-1990s, during the great dot-com/technology boom.

    Back then, newspapers saw the Internet as a huge opportunity to boost readership and advertising revenue. By the time the Crystal Palace was occupied, the dot-com bubble had burst, and the Web instead became a huge competitive threat.

  9. McCorkindale wanted to move out here to be closer to his middleburg horse farm. Forcing many to commute to on of the most congested areas of DC. lets also not forget the pricey dc bureau we had to open, too.

  10. The building in Rosslyn was old. It leaked when it rained, and the HVAC was horrible - non-existent in some areas. Some floors were quite unbearable to work on, especially during the summer.

    Yet, it was a stones-throw from a Metro station.

    Good, and bad.

    I recall lots of companies wanted to move along the "Dulles Corridor," back in the 90's. Didn't then-Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) do away with the Car Tax, saying new businesses moving to the Dulles Corridor would pay for it?

    Ah, the 90's - those were the days!

    The views the Rosslyn building provided, however, were outta sight! Not only of the monuments and river, but all the action in the apartment building next door!

  11. The Rosslyn towers had loads of potential for remodeling and expansion, but the big boys and girls living out west in their McMansions didn't want the "commute." I'd do anything to work in Rosslyn again; the location was superb, and the views were spectacular. It's pretty boring and traffic/construction ugly in Tysons. Why the hell they ever needed a softball field (long gone) and tennis courts is beyond me. Total waste of money; you got what you asked for, Martore.

  12. As much as Martore should take the b lame for many woes, the Tyson's move was not her call. It wasn't little lord fauntroy Dubow's, either. Tip of the hat goes to the Curley boys and Dougie McCorkindale, the chief architects of Gannett's slide.
    Without them, you don't have Dubow and Gracia.

  13. This company sucks so bad. You wouldn't believe all the community paper dweebs @ the CP today. Just added to the immense number of tools already here. A bunch of third raters and sheep.

  14. These 2 Biltmore Estates remind me of folk that paid high housing rent in 1998; then bought a house in 2006 (cause why pay rent when you can "own"); then today, they still don't own the house that's now worth 1/2 of what they paid for it. On top of that, they bought ina place they didn't need to and added marble when regular tile would have worked. So today, they need 5 tenants in THEIR house.

  15. Speaking of tools, a couple years ago, I recommended renting out some of the nearly-unused space at my USCP to the publisher. A conservative estimate is that it would have brought in $3K/month.

    He dismissed the idea.

    I wonder if it's because they really want to sell the building, because there's a whole lot less people there now than then. Newsroom staffing after the buyouts and switch to the design center will be down 60-70% from 6 years ago.


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