Columbia, Md. – Cresa Washington DC, a corporate real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants and specializes in the delivery of fully integrated services,announces today that it has negotiated on behalf of the Universities Space Research Association (“USRA”) in the non-profit organization’s acquisition of a 90,000-square-foot property in Columbia.

In this transaction, Cresa Washington DC Managing Principal Rich Rhodes, Senior Vice President Dan Shapiro and Senior Advisor Megan Hixon represented USRA, which purchased 7178 Columbia Gateway Drive for an undisclosed amount from South Norwalk, Conn.-based Greenfield Partners.

Cresa Washington DC’s Project Management Services, led by company Managing Principal Kathy Thomas and Senior Advisor Christie Minch, LEED AP, is managing the redesign and construction of USRA’s new space in Howard County, which will serve at its national headquarters.

This November, USRA plans to move its corporate office from 10211 Wincopin Circle, also in Columbia, to the building at 7178 Columbia Gateway Drive, where it will nearly double the amount of space that it occupies, giving it plenty of room to accommodate for staff growth.

USRA’s new national headquarters will feature areas accessible to the public, including educational displays in science and technology associated with the U.S. space program.

Rhodes, Shapiro and Hixon showed USRA leaders an abundance of site options throughout Howard County and the greater Baltimore metropolitan region, as well as in Prince George’s County.

While USRA currently leases its Columbia space, it decided to purchase its new corporate office “to take advantage of bond financing and show its longevity in the community,” Hixon says.

“Our client’s acquisition of 7178 Columbia Gateway Drive worked out extremely well,” she says. “For one, this property is near NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. Additionally, USRA wanted to locate in a neighborhood with other like-minded groups, and there’s a host of government contractors and research organizations in the vicinity."

Founded in 1969, USRA is an independent, non-profit research corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology.

Presently, USRA employs 500 people across the country, with 100 workers housed in Columbia. It also has a government and university affairs office in Washington, D.C. and numerous other locations throughout the United States.

Cresa is an international corporate real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants and specializes in the delivery of fully integrated real estate services, including: Transaction Management, Project Management, Strategic Planning, Workforce and Location Planning, Subleases and Dispositions, Portfolio/Lease Administration, Capital Markets, Sustainability, Industrial/Supply Chain and Facilities Management. With more than 55 offices, Cresa is North America’s largest tenant representation firm. Through its partnership with Savills, one of the world’s largest commercial real estate services firms, Cresa covers more than 255 locations in 40 countries. Cresa Washington DC exclusively serves tenants through its offices in Bethesda, the District of Columbia and McLean.