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REAL ESTATE INSIDER

Discovery expanding Silver Spring HQ

Discovery Communications Headquarters in Silver Spring. (The Daily Record /Maximilian Franz)

Discovery Communications Headquarters in Silver Spring. (The Daily Record /Maximilian Franz)

Discovery Communications plans a $10 million renovation of its existing headquarters in Silver Spring.

The renovations include consolidating the company’s creative and tech center at Kennett Street, according to the Maryland Department of Commerce, into the headquarters located at 1 Discovery Place.

Discovery, which includes brands, such as the Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, employs 1,300 in Maryland. The company has been in business for more than 30 years and has been headquartered at its current location since 2003. In late July, Discovery announced the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive for $14.6 billion.

The state said it will be providing a $625,000 conditional loan through its Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority. Montgomery County is also providing a $375,000 loan via its Economic Development Fund.

“Maryland Commerce is pleased to support Discovery Communications as they continue to build their powerful worldwide brand from their headquarters here in Maryland,” Commerce Secretary Mike Gill said in a statement. “Working closely with companies like Discovery and helping them grow more efficiently and effectively is a key role that we play in ensuring the continued health of Maryland’s economy.”

This is the second major corporation to announce plans for a new or expanded headquarters in Montgomery County in the last year.

At the start of the year Marriott International, which has called the county home for 60 years, signed a letter of intent to join Bernstein Cos. and Boston Properties in developing a new headquarters featuring a 22-story tower in Bethesda.

Roughly 3,500 employees will work at the new headquarters, and the state and county combined are providing more than $70 million in tax breaks, grants and conditional loans to keep one of only four Fortune 500 companies in the state.

These companies staying in Montgomery County represent positive news for the Washington metro area office market. After posting relatively sluggish results in recent years 2017 has produced solid results for that property sector.

According to report from Delta Associates, in the second quarter of the year the Washington metro area absorbed 594,000 square feet of office space net that includes 1 million square feet of Class A space with 10.4 million square feet of office space under construction.

Delta Associates anticipates the overall vacancy rate to bump up to 11.8 percent by June 2019 with supply outpacing demand by 2.9 million square feet.

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