Last November, the Deputy Mayor's Office of Planning and Economic Development, after months of community input, approved the master plan submitted by developers Archstone-Smith and Hines for the $650 million complex planned for the 10 acres comprising the site of the former Washington Convention Center, bounded by 11th Street to the west, New York Avenue to the north, 9th Street to the east, and H Street to the south. Last week, the developers finally unveiled their vision at a public meeting at the Carnegie Library for the three main components of this project, which will contain 686 residential units (condos and apartments), 415,000 sf of office space, and 280,000 sf of retail. (In addition, over 100,000 sf of land is being reserved for a possible new DC library.) The designs, by London-based Foster and Partners and also Shalom Baranes Associates, reportedly show the condo complex with a floor-to-ceiling glass curtain allowing maximum sunlight, while the office and apartment structures will feature more traditional features and lines. To gather comments from the community on these new renderings, the developers will shortly post them to http://oldconventioncenter.com and they hope to receive final city approval by the end of May.
The Old Convention Center project is expected to break ground in 2008, with completion in 2011. It will also contain 1,700 underground parking spots and a public plaza, plus feature the reconnecting of both 10th Street and I Street through the site. The project is anticipated to generate over 7,000 construction-period jobs and 5,217 permanent jobs, plus $30 million a year in new tax revenues.