Awards of Excellence 2018
Savillis Studley
Motion Picture Association of America Building

Motion Picture Association of America Building
Award of Excellence
Best Real Estate Transaction Sale or Recapitalization Over $25 Million

Executive Summary

The Motion Picture Association of America (“MPAA”) has been located one block from the White House at the corner of 16th & I Streets in Washington, DC since 1945. In 1968, under the direction of its then Chairman Jack Valenti, the MPAA broke ground on its current headquarters, 888 16th Street, NW. Former Chairman Chris Dodd stated in 2017: “The MPAA Building is one of the most historic addresses in Washington DC. It has hosted presidents, foreign leaders, visionary directors, and well-known artists for decades.” After almost 50 years old, the building was outdated, with setback windows, obsolete mechanical systems and in need of a complete renovation. MPAA desired to stay put in its iconic 16th Street location, while also upgrading to a trophy building state-of-the-art theatre / event space as well as new executive offices.

Once renovated, MPAA desired to occupy the premier spaces in the building: the first floor for a state-of-the-art, 120-seat theatre and adjoining event space, and the top floor (20,500 SF) for its executive offices. The disposition team would lead the marketing efforts to not only assuage concerns about the loss of these marquis spaces, but also to highlight the benefits of being able to use MPAA’s occupancy and use in the leasing campaign to prospective tenants.

To achieve its goals of staying put in a renovated building, without needing to invest significant upfront capital or take on future leasing risk, MPAA decided to (i) convert the building to a commercial condominium regime, (ii) sell the 80% of the building it does not occupy to an investor/developer, and (iii) have the buyer take on 100% of the redevelopment of the 150,000 SF building at no additional cost to MPAA. Further complicating matters, the disposition team worked to secure short-term swing space for the MPAA, with the options not only limited to those that could match the renovation timing and flexibility, but also those that could offer proximity to a theater for MPAA’s screening events.

The extremely complex assignment required multiple legal documents to achieve MPAA’s desired solution, including a Purchase and Sale Agreement, a detailed Development Agreement, and the Condominium Instruments. By providing drafts of these documents early in the process, and asking prospective buyers to review before a winner was selected, the disposition team ensured MPAA began contract negotiations from a strong starting position.

Given MPAA’s long standing history on the site, and more so their future occupancy in the renovated building, the team performed an international marketing campaign along with comprehensive due diligence on interested parties to ensure a buyer was selected that could both complete a trophy redevelopment in a timely manner and be a high quality, high character condominium partner.

The disposition team successfully procured a nationally renowned developer, together with a strong financial partner, to acquire the 80% condo interest and undertake the full building renovation. Exhaustive negotiations at all levels resulted in legal agreements satisfactory to all parties, and the trophy renovation of 888 16th St, NW is now underway.

Motion Picture Association of America Building


Signature Sponsor:
Clark Construction Company

Platinum Sponsors:
Brandywine Realty Trust  |   Glass Jacobson  |   The Tower Companies  |   Trammell Crow Company  |   Whiting-Turner

Gold Sponsors:
Akridge  |   Altus Group  |   The Bernstein Companies  |   Bohler Engineering  |   Brookfield  |   CBRE  |   The Chevy Chase Land Company  |   Chicago Title Insurance Company  |   Coakley Williams Construction  |   Cooper Carry  |   Danak  |   EDG2  |   Grosvenor  |   Grunley  |   JBG Smith  |   LCOR  |   Linowes & Blocher LLP  |   MetLife  |   National Building Museum  |   Penzance  |   Powers Brown Architecture  |   RCM&D  |   The RMR Group  |   Ruppert Properties  |   Transwestern  |   US Bank  |   Washington Gas  |   Washington Property Company