Rockville, MD — Washington Property Company (WPC) has completed converting an 82,000 s/f office building in Rockville to self-storage, shortly after acquiring the adjacent office building in a joint venture with Baltimore-based Alex Brown Realty, Inc. for $17 million.
The new storage facility is now open for business at 4 Research Place, and is being professionally managed by CubeSmart, one of the nation’s top four owners and operators of self-storage facilities. Visible from I-270 and accessible from the Shady Grove Rd. exit, the four-story structure offers 715 climate-controlled storage units of varying sizes, opening to interior air-conditioned corridors. The top two floors have elevator access while the lower two levels are at grade, allowing customers who rent storage space on the lower floors to wheel items directly from the parking lot into their storage units. WPC acquired the building, originally built in 1968, in 2006. While putting the finishing touches on its first office-to-storage conversion, WPC teamed with Alex. Brown to acquire the office building next door, One Research Court, for $17 million. This 113,620 s/f building, built in 2001, is 89% occupied by 14 tenants. The joint venture plans capital improvements including upgrades to the lobby, bathrooms, elevators, and gym, as well as creation of a conference center in the building. Explaining its disparate approaches to neighboring office buildings in the I-270 corridor, WPC principal Andrew Eshelman said: “The difference between the two buildings is simply one of age and obsolescence. We converted 4 Research Place to self-storage use because it was built in 1968 and had become obsolete, contributing to the growing vacancy rate in Montgomery County’s suburban office markets along with the decline in Federal leasing.”
“One Research Court, on the other hand, was built in 2001 and has a strong existing tenant base as well as amenities such as an onsite fitness center and deli,” Eshelman continued. “We believe that our planned value-add improvements, along with a dearth of new supply, will increase this property’s appeal to small- and medium-sized businesses, including those in the life sciences.” WPC is now leasing and managing the building.