In The News
June 16, 2016
Grant Thornton to consolidate regional operations in Rosslyn
International advisory firm Grant Thornton LLP has reached a deal to move its Northern Virginia operations to Rosslyn.
Washington Biz Journal
International advisory firm Grant Thornton LLP has reached a deal to move its Northern Virginia operations to Rosslyn, an economic win for Arlington County at a time when the region's office vacancy rate is as high as it has been in recent history. Grant Thornton plans to shift its roughly 1,000 employees from Alexandria and McLean to about 76,000 square feet at 1000 Wilson Blvd. and to add nearly 350 new jobs. Monday Properties owns the building. International advisory firm Grant Thornton LLP has reached a deal to move its Northern Virginia operations to Rosslyn, where it is planning to create nearly 350 new jobs. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has approved a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth's Opportunity Fund to support the consolidation, and Grant Thornton will also be eligible for additional funding under the state's Major Business Facility Job Credit. The company plans to invest $15.75 million in its new location. Chicago-based Grant Thornton is the fifth-largest accounting firm operating in the region based on employee count. The move comes as the county's office market struggles to rebound from a mix of factors, including a slowdown in federal spending that caused vacancy rates to increase to over 20 percent. The county has also been facing steep competition from surrounding jurisdictions including Alexandria for office tenants, and Arlington County Board Chairwoman Libby Garvey celebrated the news. "The company's expansion in Arlington County will bring significant job growth here, and we are confident that Grant Thornton will find the workforce, resources and support it needs to ensure its success," Garvey said in a statement. Grant Thornton considered a range of options across the region, and Monday Properties President Tim Helmig said he believes its decision on 1000 Wilson Blvd. is in part a recognition of the strength of Rosslyn's office market and the base of tenants there. "We're really excited about this one, particularly because it was competed widely against multiple jurisdictions," Helmig said. "Thankfully, Rosslyn's story has started to really resonate." CBRE brokers Robert Copito and Cathy Delcoco represented Grant Thornton. Monday Properties President Tim Helmig and Regional Director John Wharton represented the landlord along with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank brokers Brendan Owen, Ed Clark and Steve Hoffeditz. The lease fills a large gap in Monday Properties' 1.1 million-square-foot complex, which includes 1100 Wilson Blvd. and has been rebranded as The Towers. The developer has seen a string of new leasing deals there with tenants including the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and incubator Eastern Foundry, which plans to open a second location after maxing out its space in Crystal City. Monday Properties has made several improvements to the buildings, including adding rooftop decks to each, to help generate additional interest. That momentum has a ways to go before Rosslyn's office market gets back to normal, as it has been impacted by a shrinking presence of federal agencies and contractors in the past few years. A slowdown in leasing activity has made it difficult to fill some of those block of empty space, which includes Monday Properties' still vacant 1812 N. Moore St., but Helmig said he is encouraged by an uptick in interest from prospective tenants. And at The Towers, Helmig said, Monday Properties has completed nearly 320,000 square feet of new leases or renewals in the past six months.