San Diego Business Journal

Wilson Cos. Completes Formerly Stalled D.C. Area Projects

By Lou Hirsh Monday, April 9, 2012

San Diego-based Douglas Wilson Cos., which deals with distressed real estate properties, recently completed two Washington, D.C., construction projects that were stalled under their original developer.

The projects include the new home for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the 400,000-square-foot Half Street office building in the Capitol Riverfront District, according to an April 5 statement. Wilson Cos. was appointed receiver for both buildings following the 2009 bankruptcy filing by original developer Opus East.

Chairman and CEO Douglas P. Wilson said the firm “had to essentially take on the role of developer,” working with construction companies, architects and engineers to ensure the projects were completed.

The NOAA project, part of a research park overseen by University of Maryland, was nearly two-thirds complete at the time of the developer’s default, but still required more than $65 million to be finished. Wilson’s firm worked with the U.S. General Services Administration, Maryland education and congressional representatives and Bank of America to complete the project.

In December 2011, NOAA Maryland LLC purchased the 270,000-square-foot building from Bank of America, and it is scheduled to be occupied this summer.

The Half Street project was 40 percent complete when Wilson took over as receiver. The firm oversaw construction completion and settled numerous mechanics liens to clear the way for new financing.

The building was completed in June 2011 and transferred in January 2012 to Prudential Real Estate Investors, which will oversee future leasing.