Lanham, MD – October 19, 2017 – Cohen Equities announced today that it has completed the sale of 7900 Harkins Road – a 324,000 SF, transit-oriented office asset located in Lanham, Maryland – to Kawa Capital for $82 million. The building serves as the global headquarters of 2U, Inc. (TWOU), a leading education technology company.
Cohen Equities purchased the asset in July 2015, at the time completely vacant. Originally purpose-built for the Computer Sciences Corporation, the asset stood vacant for several years and many considered it to be unique and well located, but a very difficult leasing mission. However, Cohen Equities took a bold bet on their ability to lease it to a large block user. That bet paid off in spades, as within 6 months of their acquisition Cohen Equities was able to structure a creative deal with 2U that would see the company occupy the entire building and completely redevelop it into a state-of-the-art, Silicon Valley-caliber, amenity-rich facility. The lease transaction was honored as one of the top real estate deals of 2016 by the Washington Business Journal (2U was represented by Serten Advisors, led by Paul Schweitzer and Adam Schindler).
Following the completion of the top-to-bottom renovation of the asset earlier this year, Cohen Equities engaged Cushman & Wakefield to find a buyer who would understand 2U’s growth story and recognize the robust multi-use development pipeline throughout the immediate area. Cushman, led by Eric Berkman and supported by Adam Spies’ team did just that, arranging a deal with Kawa Capital, an independent asset management firm based in Florida.
Matt Legge, who led the deal for Cohen Equities including the lease negotiation, said of the transaction, “We are very happy to come to the end of not just our investment period, but more notably the transformation of the building. Everyone won something out of the process, but we think and hope that 2U’s employees are ultimately the real winners, because the intended and actual outcome was that 7900 Harkins would become a workplace environment that nobody would have ever expected was possible in Prince George’s County even just a year ago. We are very pleased to be passing the asset onto a thoughtful, progressive buyer who also values what that means for both the submarket and the modern workplace in general.”
Meir Cohen, CEO of Cohen Equities, said that the project was one of the high points in what has been a long career repositioning large office buildings. He said, “I am especially proud of this one because to bring a building back to life like this is a very special feeling beyond the economics of the deal. Working with 2U on this has been a great experience and we look forward to doing something similar with other tenants both in New York and throughout the country.”
Cohen Equities is currently expanding its office investment program throughout major U.S. metro areas with a recent emphasis on New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. The firm intends to partner with other major companies to grow their corporate real estate platforms throughout the country.
About Cohen Equities
Cohen Equities is a national real estate investment firm that pursues commercial assets that present an opportunity to add value in both secondary and gateway markets. The company has successfully invested in and improved more than 9 million square feet of real estate across the United States. Led by Meir Cohen, a real estate veteran with more than 30 years of experience, Cohen Equities creates significant value through active management, leasing and repositioning activities. For more about Cohen Equities, please visit cohenequities.com.
About Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm that helps clients transform the way people work, shop, and live. Our 45,000 employees in more than 70 countries help occupiers and investors optimize the value of their real estate by combining our global perspective and deep local knowledge with an impressive platform of real estate solutions. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest commercial real estate services firms with revenue of $6 billion across core services of agency leasing, asset services, capital markets, facility services (C&W Services), global occupier services, investment & asset management (DTZ Investors), project & development services, tenant representation, and valuation & advisory. 2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Cushman & Wakefield brand. 100 years of taking our clients’ ideas and putting them into action. To learn more, visit www.cushwakecentennial.com, www.cushmanwakefield.com or follow @CushWake on Twitter.
Chief Executive Officer