NAB Buys New Building for $62.8 Million

The National Association of Broadcasters has completed another step in its process of moving its headquarters closer to Capitol Hill and the thriving Washington neighborhood near Nationals Park baseball stadium and the developing waterfront Wharf area.

But there is still some uncertainty about whether the move will bring it much closer to the Federal Communications Commission's headquarters, which may be moving, too.

On Monday papers were filed at the District of Columbia Recorder of Deeds showing that 1M Properties LLC (a wholly-owned subsidiary of NAB) has acquired the 130,000 square foot building, which is located at One M Street SE, for $62.76 million (about $483 per square foot).

An NAB spokesperson confirmed that the transaction was consummated now because the contractor Monument Realty has completed its work on the building. The interior architecture firm will now handle construction of office spaces, with an eye toward moving into the building in early 2020. The transaction has been in progress for more than four years.

NAB sold its current building near the Dupont Circle area in Washington in March 2018 for $31.6 million, and has leased it since then while awaiting completion of its new headquarters. The new structure has nearly twice the space of NAB's 50-year old iconic curved building at 1771 N Street NW. For many decades, the NAB offices were about four blocks away from the Federal Communications Commission, until the agency moved in 1997 (after a long controversial delay) to The Portals complex in southwest D.C.

NAB's new headquarters will put it closer to Capitol Hill and also closer to agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the current FCC offices, although there has been speculation for several years that the FCC is seeking to move from its Portals venue. The Commission has considered a move into a new building just north of the Capitol in a neighborhood called "Swampoodle," which is the home of several other federal agencies and National Public Radio, among others. The General Services Administration will be involved in any FCC move, and such action appears to be facing the long delays that preceded its 1997 relocation.

Gary Arlen

Contributor Gary Arlen is known for his insights into the convergence of media, telecom, content and technology. Gary was founder/editor/publisher of Interactivity Report, TeleServices Report and other influential newsletters; he was the longtime “curmudgeon” columnist for Multichannel News as well as a regular contributor to AdMap, Washington Technology and Telecommunications Reports. He writes regularly about trends and media/marketing for the Consumer Technology Association's i3 magazine plus several blogs. Gary has taught media-focused courses on the adjunct faculties at George Mason University and American University and has guest-lectured at MIT, Harvard, UCLA, University of Southern California and Northwestern University and at countless media, marketing and technology industry events. As President of Arlen Communications LLC, he has provided analyses about the development of applications and services for entertainment, marketing and e-commerce.