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Government-Owned Building Headed to Online Auction Block

Old-school marketing savvy and new-school technology will work in tandem to maximize the sale price of a government-owned asset. An empty, 10-story office building owned by the General Services Administration (GSA) in downtown Bethesda, Md., will be sold through an online auction. The bidding for 7550 Wisconsin Avenue will begin 9 a.m. Friday, April 30.

The suggested opening bid is $14 million, and all bidders will be pre-qualified. Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle is marketing the building on the behalf of the GSA. The National Institutes of Health once occupied the building.

“An online auction offers a transparent and efficient online marketplace for sellers and buyers to meet and transact,” says George Crawford, a realty specialist with the GSA. The auction process is the ideal vehicle to dispose of and monetize vacant and/or underutilized properties such as 7550 Wisconsin Avenue, Crawford adds.

“This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to acquire a unique asset in the heart of one of Washington’s most preferred communities that is home to a highly skilled workforce and close to highway and public transit infrastructure,” adds Marc Waddill, the Jones Lang LaSalle broker marketing the asset.

The property is located one block from the Metrorail, and offers convenient vehicle access to downtown Washington, D. C., I-95 and I-495. Built on 13,860 sq. ft of land (0.318 acres), the asset comprises 127,110 sq ft. of gross building area and 119,239 sq. ft. of rentable space.

In addition, there are two levels of underground parking that can accommodate 55 vehicles and ample additional area parking. The property’s density exceeds current zoning. Permitted uses in this flexible zoning district include commercial, residential, retail and hospitality uses, as well as transit-oriented development.

Jones Lang LaSalle is talking up the neighborhood surrounding 7550 Wisconsin Avenue. Bethesda is a dynamic, business-friendly community that is home to the bio-medical, defense, and technology industries, according to the brokerage in a press release. “It is a thriving, pedestrian-friendly city with outstanding public amenities such as small-scale retail, arts, and diverse restaurants and nightlife.”

The brokerage emphasizes that the online format allows sellers to obtain maximum pricing through a transparent bidding process that sets a realistic benchmark for pricing through broader market exposure.

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