7550 Wisconsin Ave. Office Building Set For Ribbon-Cutting
The renovated office building at 7550 Wisconsin Ave. is set for its ribbon-cutting on Feb. 26, which will mark the introduction of the first new Class A office building to Bethesda since 2001. Rockwood Capital and D.C.-based developer Akridge bought the 10-story building through a General Services Administration auction for $12.5 million in 2010. It had been vacant for eight years. Akridge then renovated and reskinned the building to meet LEED standards. Akridge spokeswoman Corinne Schieffer said none of the office's 120,000 square feet is currently leased, but the developer is confident in the interest the building has received in the market so far. In November, county officials celebrated the groundbreaking of a 220,000-square-foot Class A office building at 4500 East-West Highway. Bethesda has seen much residential development in the past few years, but County Executive Isiah Leggett and Economic Development director Steve Silverman said reclaiming demand for office buildings was vital to the county's economic recovery. The 7550 Wisconsin Ave. building is less than a block from the Bethesda Metro station. McClean, Va.-based developer Kettler is planning a 15-story, 120-unit apartment building just west of the office, on the site of the existing United Bank at 7535 Old Georgetown Rd.