AREP in the News

How to turn your Class B office building into Class A space

July 22, 2022

Washington Business Journal

By Carolyn M. Proctor

How to turn your Class B office building into Class A space

July 22, 2022 | Rosslyn City Center | Carolyn M. Proctor, Data Editor

You may always be trying to get from Point A to Point B in the D.C. area. But builders are more often aiming to shift from Class B to Class A. Ever wonder exactly what that meant? We did too. We decided to find out.

Let's get one thing out of the way - there's no official criteria for what makes an office building Class A. There's no standard set of boxes to check or oversight committee inspecting and deciding these things. But there is enough consensus in the real estate industry about when you can market your space with that special classification. And it remains the ambition of many a building owner of a lower-level Class B or Class C structure.

Ultimately, the key is to keep abreast of what's most in demand in the market, which some say ultimately remains Class A space. Companies may be looking for less square footage of late, experts say, but they want it to be nicer.

Class acts

Here are the things real estate experts noted as important factors for any Class A building:

  • Prime location, including Metro access
  • New or "like new" condition
  • Up-to-date HVAC, lighting and energy efficiency
  • Modernized elevators
  • Modernized restrooms
  • High-end finishes in lobby area and entryway
  • Building amenities (e.g., a fitness center, rooftop terrace, lounge, conference center, retail)
  • Food and restaurant venues either nearby or in-building
  • High ceilings, 9 feet or more
  • Parking garage and bike storage
  • On-site staff (management, lobby attendant, engineering/maintenance)

Project Spotlight: A sense of place: Rosslyn City Center, 1700 N. Moore St.

Developer: American Real Estate Partners (AREP)

For AREP Principal and COO Paul Schulman, the best upgrades are about placemaking, blending tenant health and wellness into its design. The company's recent Rosslyn City Center project ushered in food hall Assembly, a 30,000-square-foot gym, flexible meeting spaces and outdoor work niches. The building has a Wired Score Silver for maximized connectivity throughout the building, and local artist No Kings Collective was commissioned to create a 67-foot-by-50-foot mural called "Dream Big."