Our Story

The Montgomery Center, The Cold War, and Old Town North!

Old Town North was traditionally the industrial end of historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The Montgomery Center building, constructed in several phases beginning in the early 1950’s, was originally built as warehouses. The largest tenant for many of the early years through the early 1990’s was a company called Teledyne Geotech (a division of the same company that makes “Waterpics”) . They used the building as the primary tape storage site of seismic monitoring activity of worldwide Soviet nuclear testing. Yes, the Montgomery Center played its small part in the Cold War! As this information was able to be stored digitally, Teledyne needed less space over the years, and so slowly this excess space was converted to alternative uses, particularly as the area around the Montgomery Center converted from industrial to more office and residential uses.

During the recession of the mid 1970’s, our company purchased the building from a bank. Maj. General Darrie H. Richards, one of the original owners, served as the general manager of the property from 1976 through 1991 when he retired, and was responsible for many of the conversions from warehouse to higher end uses. Roger Machanic, the other owner, convinced his son Bruce Machanic to leave his banking job at Lehman Brothers on Wall St (what a fortunate career move that turned out to be!) and take over the management of the property when Gen. Richards retired. Currently the President, Bruce has continued the Madison Street Cornerupgrading work of the Montgomery Center and other buildings we have managed. Elizabeth Frommer has been with the company since 1996 as the Office Manager and runs the day to day activities.

Today, The Montgomery Center is part of the vibrant, dynamic Old Town North Community. Numerous hotels, residential developments, office, restaurants, and retailers all form the mixed use community of Old Town North. The Montgomery Center itself is roughly equal parts office, retail and mixed use with a wide range of unique tenants. Some very exciting changes are in store for the neighborhood with the closing of the Gen-On Power Plant and redevelopment of its 25 acres just five blocks from the Montgomery Center, plus the scheduled redevelopment of the Metro Bus Barn one block away.