Trammell Crow takes the lead in D.C.'s NoMa submarket

There are two sides to the telecom hotel development coin in the NoMa submarket of Washington, D.C.

One side of the argument says that city restrictions on carrier hotel development in the North of Massachusetts Avenue (NoMa) area will lead developers to a “Why bother?” attitude and push them to other parts of the metro area, especially with the speed-to-market factor. In NoMa, an area that the city is trying to revitalize, Washington, D.C., is concerned that telecom facilities will create “dead zones” — high-tech centers with few employees.

The city even closed 2000 with a 120-day moratorium on new telecom development. After the moratorium ended, the city enacted restrictions calling for telecom developments to include ground-level retail, vibrant streetscapes through architectural and landscape design and that the buildings' security not inhibit pedestrian traffic.

Conversely, the other side of the data center argument views NoMa as a gold mine, and the local office of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. intends to lead the rush with one of Washington, D.C.'s, first ground-up telecom developments. Trammell Crow will develop and lease 101 K St. N.E. and 52 L St. N.E. in NoMa. The properties total 159,892 sq. ft. and recently received a special exception for data center development from the D.C. Zoning Commission.

Ground-up development rather than rehabbing an existing building allows Trammell Crow to design generator locations and fuel areas, upgrade floor loads, increase ceiling heights and make sure that the structure meets tenants' power demands.

“When you do a rehab, you're always giving something up,” said Howard Horowitz, principal with Trammell Crow's D.C. office. “There is still fairly robust demand in the D.C. market, so we're optimistic about [the project's] success. In comparison to other major metropolitan areas, there is not a lot of product, which has to do with the temporary moratorium and now the new restrictions that you have on development in D.C.”

Horowitz said the company prefers a credit tenant, but will be as creative as it needs to be in leasing the property. The company broke ground on Kay First Telecom Center last month, and delivery for the 47,892 sq. ft. building is expected by this summer. At six stories and 112,000 sq. ft., 52 L Telecom Center is scheduled for delivery the first quarter of 2002.

Also in the D.C. area, Trammell Crow will develop two buildings for Denver-based Qwest at Dulles International Park in Sterling, Va. With a 10-year term, Qwest leased 153,600 sq. ft. of data center space for $25 million.

Construction on the new data centers will begin this summer, with delivery anticipated for the first quarter of next year. As with Trammell Crow's Washington, D.C., projects, the developer was able to obtain a special exception to Loudon County, Va.'s, zoning restrictions for the new Qwest data centers.

In 1999, Trammell Crow developed two buildings totaling 108,701 sq. ft. for Qwest as part of the company's roll-out of its Web-hosting products. With the additional properties, Qwest's presence at Dulles International Park will total 262,301 sq. ft.

Alter gets in on the telecom action at Ground Zero

The Alter Group and Sterling Capital Ltd., both of Chicago, have formed Ground Zero, a joint venture to develop telecom hotels and data centers throughout the United States. The venture already has developed the 315,000 sq. ft. Sky Harbor Technology Exchange and the 320,000 sq. ft. Downtown Phoenix Technology Exchange in the Phoenix area. Tenants in Phoenix include AT&T, Qwest and 360 Networks.

Additionally, Ground Zero plans to develop new carrier hotels in Chicago, Indianapolis and Durham, N.C., during the next two years. The first phase of Ground Zero's rollout will develop 1 million sq. ft. of high-tech space. The joint venture will work with architects Ruys and Co., Atlanta, on the design of Ground Zero structures, which will offer unlimited, redundant power; carrier-class floor loads; investment-grade security; and unbreachable firewalls.

IntelliSpace brings home the venture capital bacon

New York-based broadband provider IntelliSpace has completed the first closing of its second round of financing. The company secured $60 million in a round of funding led by New York-based JPMorgan Partners, San Francisco-based Weston Presidio and Rochester, N.H.-based Cabletron Systems. The new investment brings IntelliSpace's total financing to more than $100 million, which the company anticipates will fully fund it to profitability.

IntelliSpace has wired more than 100 million sq. ft. of office space in the United States and abroad, including properties such as Rockefeller Center and Lincoln Center in New York and The Chicago Board of Options Exchange in Chicago.

Talk about synergies: Smart Move, Brandywine

e-Tenants, Brandywine Realty Trust's online at-work portal, has launched Smart Move to assist tenants with office relocations, expansions and upgrades. Smart Move was launched as an alliance with Wayne, Pa.-based Remington Group Inc., a project-management company.

Services available through Smart Move include move planning and coordination; budgeting and scheduling; procurement of products and services; inventory and liquidation of furniture, fixtures and equipment; data telecommunications planning and implementation; internal and external public relations related to the move; and post-move follow up.

Newton, Pa.-based Brandywine launched e-Tenants last year. The portal is available to the company's portfolio of 305 properties totaling 21 million sq. ft. in the Mid-Atlantic region.

CB Richard Ellis puts PropertyFirst first

CB Richard Ellis and Property-First.com, both of Los Angeles, have signed an agreement that makes all CB Richard Ellis brokers in the United States members of PropertyFirst. With the agreement, CB Richard Ellis brokers will use PropertyFirst's for-sale and for-lease systems to market their properties.

As part of the PropertyFirst membership, brokers are able to use the company's lead generation tools, which connect brokers, landlords and potential tenants. The system also allows brokers to customize online marketing packages with unlimited attachments. PropertyFirst's for-sale marketplace offers controlled-access marketing, allowing a broker to make a listing public, private or confidential with password-protected access.

CB Richard Ellis brokers had previously paid on a per-listing basis for the use of Property-First.com's for-sale marketplace. PropertyFirst anticipates that all of CB Richard Ellis' for-sale and for-lease listings will be available on PropertyFirst.com.

Earlier this year, PropertyFirst also landed the listings of Chicago-based CenterPoint Properties Trust, one of Chicagoland's largest industrial owners. Under the agreement, CenterPoint will use the PropertyFirst's Private Label System (PLS) in conjunction with its own Web site to market CenterPoint's 31 million sq. ft. portfolio.

Broadband Access, JLL form Asian alliance

Broadband Access Alliance Ltd. (BBA), Singapore, and Chicago- and London-based Jones Lang LaSalle Property Consultants have formed an alliance to explore broadband opportunities for Jones Lang LaSalle's portfolio of commercial properties across Asia Pacific. Broadband Access's delivery system, Network EXchange (NEX), is based on a fiber-optic network that the company designs, constructs, owns and operates in commercial buildings.