SVN Deal Stories: Selling an Outdated but Spacious Office Building

The Property:
Landmark office building (former headquarters of Potomac Edison) plus 44 acres of land in Hagerstown, MD.

The Challenges:
The 44-year-old building was behind on maintenance and had outdated floor plans and facilities and an obsolete HVAC system. Due to these issues, it was also not up to green building standards required by buyers and the GSA. The local market had fewer buyers in 2012 and potential data center prospects are not able to use a Class C building.

Syd Machat, CCIM, CRE
Syd Machat, CCIM, CRE

The Brokers:
Syd Machat, CCIM, CRE
Sperry Van Ness/Miller Commercial Real Estate

Getting the Deal Done the SVN Way:
Syd Machat was focused on selling the various strengths of the building, which included a convenient and secure location, corporate neighbors, availability of fiber optic cable and a solid  construction, which could be retrofitted. Machat, as a SVN senior advisor and veteran CCIM and CRE, worked extensively with the brokerage community to arrange numerous site inspections and offers to cooperate. Extensive advertising and publicity in all media were used.

All of Sperry Van Ness’ marketing advantages were employed: Monday National Sales Call, CRE Internet web site syndication’s, BuildOut™ Brochures, and others. Henry Hanna, CCIM, SIOR and Brent Miller, CCIM, CPM of Sperry Van Ness/Miller Commercial Real Estate were mentors for Syd on this listing.

Ultimately, the building was sold to the Washington County Board of Education for $5.5 million, and will undergo $6.5 million in renovations.

The Lessons Learned:

  • Focus on the potential of a building and the ability to renovate to suit.
  • Extensive marketing opens up possibilities.


*All Sperry Van Ness® offices are independently owned and operated.