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Watergate office building where famous 1972 break-in occurred sells for $101.5M

The purchaser plans to add a museum dedicated to the Nixon-era event

A 1960s office building with horizontal glass panels seen from the balcony of a building across the street.
The Watergate office building as seen from the former Howard Johnson Premier Hotel across the street (2005)
Getty Images

The Watergate office building at the heart of the famous 1970s scandal that took down former President Richard Nixon has a new owner after a $101.5 million deal announced Friday. Situated at 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, the building was purchased by developer Brian Friedman, who plans to add “a sports book, restaurants, an urban athletic club, a co-working office, and a Nixon museum celebrating the break-in that occurred at this building,” according to a release. Part of the iconic Luigi Moretti-designed complex, the building went through a multimillion-dollar renovation over the past three years under Rockwood Capital.

Those updates, including a new lobby, fitness center, and bike storage, helped the building reach 90 percent occupancy by the time it went on the market earlier this year, Bisnow and WTOP reported. “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 statement. His firm, Friedman Capital, formerly has invested in Adam’s Morgan’s Line Hotel and other bulidings.

At 11 stories and roughly 230,000 square feet, the Watergate office was constructed in 1967. Rockwood acquired it for $75 million at the end of 2016, property records show. In 1972, the building was the site of the Democratic National Committee headquarters break-in that led to Nixon’s 1974 resignation. It is connected to the 336-room Watergate Hotel, the subject of a $125 million overhaul completed in 2016. The total 10-acre complex also features residences.