The infamous Watergate office building, the site of a scandalous 1972 political break-in, has changed owners in a deal valued at $101.5 million that will include the construction of a sportsbook, coworking space, restaurants and a museum dedicated to the crime itself.
Located at 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, the 11-story office building is connected to a larger, multi-building complex that includes condos, hotel units and a fitness center. In 1972, it was the site of the Democratic National Committee headquarters, which five men, known as the “Plumbers,” broke into in a bid to dig up political dirt. Subsequent investigations uncovered the involvement of President Richard Nixon’s administration.
The unfolding scandal has gone down in history and ultimately led to Nixon’s 1974 resignation.
While the Watergate scandal gave it notoriety for years to come, the property itself is a typical D.C. commercial building. It was built in 1967 and changed hands among numerous developers over the years. Investor Brian Friedman bought it through his firm, Friedman Capital, from Rockwood Capital.
Rockwood bought the building for $75 million in 2016, and when it hit the market earlier this year it had an occupancy rate of 90 percent.
Friedman’s plans for the 215,520-square-foot building include adding “a sports book, restaurants, an urban athletic club, a coworking office space, and a Nixon museum dedicated to the break-in that occurred at this building,” according to Curbed. The space had already been updated to include a new lobby, a fitness center and bike storage while under Rockwood’s ownership.
“We are very excited about what we have planned at The Watergate Office Building and what it will bring to the neighborhood,” Friedman said in a press statement.