The Phillips Collection


Engagement Highlights

Historic Building and Historic District

Nonprofit Institutions and Boards

Disposition and Acquisition

Tax Exempt Financing

Public Private Partnership

Local Government Interaction

Construction Management

Located in a historic mansion in Dupont Circle, The Phillips Collection’s $29 million expansion involved major renovations, expansion into an adjacent apartment building and restoration of an historic carriage house as artist studios, all while the museum remained open to the public.  The expansion houses an education center, lecture hall, expanded library, exhibition space, conservation lab, secure storage and a cafe.

Building consensus was critical to keeping this project on track.  JM Zell educated the board on project timing, costs and risk management, gaining approval at each stage. We guided The Phillips through detailed neighborhood review and Historic Review Board approval processes and negotiated a construction management plan to minimize adjacent property disruption.  JM Zell also assisted with acquisition of tax-exempt bond financing through the District of Columbia and Bank of America.

JM Zell provided on-site project management including coordination of zoning and legal matters, management of architect, engineers and general contractor, and communications programs.  Our team ensured the design intent and program were met within the board-approved budget.  Our methodical process allowed for quick and successful resolution to difficult and unexpected site conditions.  

The Phillips Collection achieved its goals for creating a dynamic environment for collaboration, innovation, engagement with the world, scholarship, and new forms of public participation. JM Zell is now working with The Phillips on the original mansion building infrastructure upgrades.

Shakespeare Theatre Company & Harman Center for the Arts

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Engagement Highlights

Co-development Venture Structuring

Financing and Funding Strategy

Planning and Design Oversight

Construction Project Management

Operations Support / Facilities Strategy

Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) needed facilities near its Lansburgh Theatre to embrace new audiences, provide a home for local performing arts groups, and expand its education programming. 

JM Zell was instrumental in putting together two parties with compatible interests and real estate needs in a unique co-development venture.  JM Zell worked closely with the boards of each to facilitate decision-making that kept the projects on time and within budget.

We assembled the design teams, orchestrated design reviews and approvals, conducted competitive bidding, and oversaw construction. JM Zell coordinated quarterly filing of reports for compliance with FirstSource and LSDBE District of Columbia programs.

JM Zell also assisted with the complex underwriting strategy which required sourcing commitments for separate, non-cross-collateralized loans to two entities for a single project.  Bank of America delivered the needed $110 million in financing.  STC’s collateral was a combination of a District grant, a gift from the Harman Family Foundation and pledge donations.

A line of credit bridged the funding gap between pledge payments and construction requisitions.  The strength of STC’s donors and its co-development relationship allowed STC to secure financing.  A second pledge line of credit funded theatre fit-out.  After construction completion, JM Zell headed the sale of transfer of development rights generated by the STC’s arts use and the disposition of the historic OBA building, generating additional income for STC.

Joanne interviews Shakespeare Company Theater Artistic Director Michael Kahn on the new Harmon Center for the Arts theater in Washington D.C. 

CFA Institute Corporate Headquarters



Engagement Highlights

Strategic Planning

Jurisdictional Incentives

Historic Tax Credits

Financing Structure

Adaptive Reuse

Pre-Construction Planning

Design Process Management


Bid Process and Analysis

Construction Project Management

About the Client

The CFA Institute, the organization governing the Chartered Financial Analysts, is a global association of investment professionals with U.S. offices in Charlottesville and New York City and international offices in London, Hong Kong and Mumbai. The organization has more than 135,000 members in 150 countries and territories.

Client Need

As a long standing international association, CFA sought a long-term, financially viable, solution for locating its global operations center. CFA Institute retained JM Zell to assist with the purchase, financing, and subsequent adaptive re-use of a decommissioned historic hospital in Charlottesville, VA.


The JM Zell team supplemented the client project team with deep real estate expertise needed to successfully acquire the property and deliver the adaptive re-use project. JM Zell was responsible for advisory and oversight through all critical project milestones including site acquisition, financing, government approvals (i.e. permits, historic tax credits, etc.), construction, commissioning and LEED certification, through final delivery.  


The project was completed on budget and on time, meeting all project criteria for success. The project achieved LEED Gold certification with a design that also reflects the CFA’s values of transparency and ethical behavior.




Engagement Highlights

Large Sales Transaction, 618,000 SF

Secured Commitments for Closing 3.1 Million SF of Future Development Rights

First Large-scale Sales Transaction at a Silver Line Metro Site

Three Separate Leases Executed to Accommodate Operational Needs of Tenant (SAIC/Leidos)

About the Client

SAIC - a premier integrator in the technical, engineering, intelligence, and enterprise information technology markets. SAIC has approximately 15,000 employees worldwide.

Leidos - a science and technology company, providing technology and engineering solutions in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, civil, and health markets in the United States and internationally.

Client Need

In 2011, SAIC engaged JM Zell to explore creative ways to maximize and monetize the real estate value of its global headquarters in Tysons Corner, VA.


JM Zell worked with SAIC leadership to develop and implement a strategy to significantly increase development rights and negotiate a sale-leaseback together increasing the market value while simultaneously satisfying SAIC’s corporate operational needs.

After JM Zell fully negotiated the transaction, SAIC decided to split into two distinct publicly traded companies (SAIC/Leidos), requiring operations to be separated.

The planned departure of Leidos from the site significantly changed the underwriting of the property and greatly increased the risk profile of the transaction. JM Zell’s diverse expertise and agility was instrumental in restructuring a transaction.  This enabled SAIC/Leidos to monetize the asset while maximizing value and operational efficiencies, and minimizing tax impact, all within the required timeframe.

The closing represented one of the largest square footage/dollar value transactions in Northern, VA in 2013

Following closing, JM Zell represented Leidos with its corporate headquarters relocation to Reston Town Center.

JM Zell continues to provide advisory services to SAIC and Leidos, ensuring  major real estate decisions align with their respective corporate strategies.

The Washington Post

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Engagement Highlights

Strategic Planning

Highest and Best Use Analysis

Disposition Process Management

Negotiation and Offer Analysis

Lease Negotiation Process

Construction Project Management

About the Client

The Washington Post, founded in 1877, is an American daily newspaper headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Washington Post is a top 10 US newspaper by circulation and has over 1 million paid digital subscribers. 

Client Need

The Washington Post and its parent company Graham Holdings, were determined to better align their real estate with changing operational requirements to achieve long-term business goals. The client leadership team retained JM Zell to evaluate the D.C. portfolio within the context of their business and to determine the best course of action.


Our team began the engagement by completing a thorough analysis of the existing real estate portfolio including establishing market value, base-lining space utilization and determining shortcomings; defining operational and ownership interest requirements and formulating alternate occupancy/operational strategies.

We then assisted the client in establishing an analytical framework to evaluate multiple real estate scenarios to determine and build consensus behind the best course of action. Based on comprehensive review and analysis, The Washington Post and Graham Holdings decided to move forward with the implementation phase of the engagement which resulted in the disposition of their previously owned headquarters asset and subsequent relocation of the headquarters into a leased premises.



JM Zell led the entire disposition process from marketing the opportunity and evaluating offers through negotiation and closing. Ultimately JM Zell negotiated a single transaction with Carr Properties, which included the existing office building, development rights (total of 840,000 SF), ground lease, and a short-term leaseback.

In March 2014, Carr Properties closed on all elements of the transaction, making it the largest land sale in the District.  Less than a year later, Carr Properties signed a long-term lease with Fannie Mae for nearly the entire buildable area. The timing of the transaction enabled The Washington Post to move forward with their overall real estate strategy in a timely manner with limited risk.

Lease Transaction

While negotiating the disposition of the original headquarters premises, JM Zell performed an extensive local market search for a suitable replacement headquarters location resulting in approximately 37 qualified responses ranging from existing buildings to build-to-suit projects. Ultimately, 1301 K Street was selected as it met the criteria for success established during the initial phases of the project.

Publisher Frederick J. Ryan Jr. and Executive Editor Martin Baron give a behind-the-scenes look at the new building.

Association of American Medical Colleges

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Engagement Highlights

Strategic Planning

Highest and Best Use

Disposition, Acquisition

Tax-Exempt Bond Financing

Project Management

About the Client

Based in Washington, D.C., the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members are all 151 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies.

Client Need

Originally operating out of multiple antiquated office buildings across D.C.’s West End neighborhood, AAMC sought a consolidated headquarters solution that would encourage operational efficiency and be a place where members could better connect with AAMC and each other in advancing AAMC’s learning mission. Due to the scale and complexity of the requirement combined with AAMC’s high profile, AAMC sought out a consultant with deep knowledge of all areas of real estate and experience working with high-profile member organizations and educational institutions.


AAMC retained JM Zell to lead the entire real estate engagement and supplement AAMC’s internal project team with specialized real estate knowledge to establish and achieve AAMC’s goals.  Together with JM Zell, AAMC formulated a consolidation strategy and maximized the value of its existing buildings to offset the cost of the new headquarters project. In addition to developing a clear plan of action designed to meet AAMC’s timing and financial goals, JM Zell lead site selection efforts, development, and project management of the new headquarters building to meet operational goals.


AAMC’s entire organization now operates out of a single building (655 K Street, NW) which creates operational efficiency and encourages collaboration. Utilizing state-of-the-art building design and technology, AAMC has also succeeded in creating a meeting and event destination for its constituents to work towards AAMC’s mission.

JM Zell continues to work with AAMC to create operational value through its real estate.

Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, highlights the many exciting features of the AAMC's new headquarters, and tells the story of 655 K Street with the help of the building's architect, Shalom Baranes, and interior architectural designer, Todd DeGarmo.