Fairfax County Public Schools has transformed 40K SF of a Herndon office park into educational spaces primarily focused on adult learning programs.

The school system leased one building and part of another at Penzance’s 420K SF Marker 20 campus at 450-485 Springpark Place, JLL — which negotiated the deals and managed the construction — announced Tuesday. The system initially agreed to lease 33K SF in December 2021, and then it expanded the deal by 6K SF in March 2022.

The buildings were converted to classroom, office and testing space to house programs geared toward teaching English to speakers of other languages, adult high school credentials programs and the school system’s short-term intervention program.

The conversion comes as Herndon faces an oversupply of large office parks with underutilized Class-B and C buildings, many of which are difficult to convert. Herndon’s 11M SF of office inventory had a 27% total vacancy rate in Q3, according to JLL, above the Northern Virginia average of 22.4%.

“What’s really exciting about this project is that it is an adaptive reuse of office space for a school,” JLL Managing Director for Tenant Representation John Gibb said in a news release.

“As urban environments get built up, we are left with limited space for building new educational institutions,” he added. “In this case, it was more efficient to locate an educational facility in one-story buildings that externally resemble a school as much as corporate offices and [it] transforms the buildings into exactly what Fairfax County Public Schools needed.”

Penzance purchased the property, then Spring Park Technology Center, in 2019 for $72M and rebranded and renovated it last year. It now includes a 9K SF amenity center, indoor/outdoor tenant lounge, conference center and fitness center.

Gibb represented Fairfax County Public Schools in the deal, and the development team was led by JLL Project and Development Services Vice President Cheryl Russ, according to the release. Avison Young leases the office park on behalf of the owner.

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