Real Estate

Discovery’s Former Silver Spring Headquarters Is Getting a Big Makeover

No more Shark Week inflatable. But the building will have lots of other fancy amenities.
Renderings courtesy of Foulger-Pratt and Cerberus Capital Management.

Casual observers likely most remember Discovery Communications’ city-block-size building in Silver Spring for Chompie, the giant inflatable shark that protruded from its exterior during Shark Week. But for a lot of residents, the headquarters held much greater significance—it employed about 1,300 people and helped launch the revitalization of the Montgomery County suburb’s downtown. When the company announced last year that it would relocate its operations to New York and Tennessee, it was a big blow to the area.

But on Tuesday, the building’s new owners, Foulger-Pratt and Cerberus Capital Management, announced more detailed plans for its future. While they don’t have any new tenants to confirm yet, they report that they should have news on that front very soon. They also shared their vision for a series of exterior and interior updates to the building, which they’ve renamed Inventa Towers. They’ll begin to make the nearly $15 million worth of renovations in late summer and should be finished by the end of 2020.

Future employees will get to enjoy a new fitness center, a 5,000-square-foot conference center, and other updated common areas. Outside, the courtyard and corner plaza will get more seating options, gathering spaces, and pathways, which the surrounding community will also be able to use. Here’s what the old Discovery HQ should look like by next year.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She was previously a reporter for Legal Times and the National Law Journal. She has recently written about the Marriott family’s civil war and the 50-year rebirth of 14th Street, and reported the definitive oral history of the Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt case. She lives in Northeast DC with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.