Covington & Burling has inked a 20-year lease for 420,000 square feet of space in the CityCenterDC development project.
The deal puts the 429-attorney office as the anchor tenant in the mixed-use development located northwest of Washington's Chinatown.
The firm currently is located at 1201 and 1275 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. CityCenterDC is located on New York Avenue between 10th and 11th streets N.W. Covington plans to make its move in 2014.
"We are excited to participate in the redevelopment of this historic section in the nation's capital, which will have an enormous positive impact on the city," Timothy Hester, chair of Covington's management committee, said in a written statement.
Including the Covington lease, the office space at CityCenterDC is more than 80 percent pre-leased, according to a press release.
Commercial real estate firm Studley and Lehman Smith McLeish, a design strategy firm, advised on the deal. The First Investor, the investment banking arm of Qatari-based bank Barwa Bank, is a co-investor in the development alongside Qatari Diar, the real estate investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority.
"As Qatar's first major real estate investment in the U.S., I am very pleased to note that construction is progressing ahead of schedule and that the project has secured this prestigious anchor tenant," Mohammed Al Saad, vice chairman and managing director of Barwa Bank and board member of The First Investor, said in a written statement.
During a panel discussion hosted last week at McDermott Will & Emery, Covington senior counsel Thomas Williamson Jr. said that the developer negotiated with the firm to have an earlier move-in date, the purpose of which was to attract other businesses. Williamson said that after a letter of intent in May, talks picked up between the developer and other potential tenants.
Construction on the development started in March of last year with a grand opening slated for spring 2014.
Covington did not immediately respond to an inquiry into how much the firm is paying for its new space. But as the National Law Journal reported in May, the D.C. office of the now-defunct Dewey & LeBeouf, catty-corner to CityCenterDC, recently paid about $51 per square foot, according to an NLJ estimate based on that former law office's monthly rent and square footage.
Zoe Tillman contributed to this report.