Monday Properties Breaks Ground on 1812 N. Moore St.

Washington Business Journal

Written by: Sarah Krouse
Thursday, October 14, 2010



Monday Properties broke ground on its 1812 N. Moore St. skyscraper project Thursday morning, marking the start of its speculative construction project on the same site where President and CEO Anthony Westreich's father built his first Rosslyn building in 1961 — and in the same weather.

With rain pattering down on the white tent Monday Properties erected on the dirt site for the ceremony, Westreich said he hoped to see the same success his father had, despite a rainy groundbreaking.

The family that developed much of the Arlington submarket in the 1960s will spend $30 million of its own money to kick off the construction of the 581,000-square-foot, 35-story trophy office building. They’re currently looking for construction financing.

The ceremony drew about 100 people, including a number of Arlington big names such as Jay Fisette (chairman of the Arlington County Board) and U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va.

"Fortunately in this area, we are not afraid of density if it's done properly," Fisette said, hailing Rosslyn's growth around the Blue and Orange lines Metro stop.

Monday's bold decision to build rather than defer to the difficult real estate and capital markets did not go unnoticed. Skyscrapers get their name from the highest sail on a ship that keeps the boat moving when the other sails can't catch wind, and "that's what this building will do for the D.C. market," Moran said.

Westreich acknowledged the risk in breaking ground without leases in hand, but said that all of his family's Rosslyn buildings had broken ground on a speculative basis.

"That's the way this market responds," he said. "With all development, of course there is risk, but with [low] vacancy in our portfolio and construction costs at an all time low, it's a measured risk."