Thursday, January 10, 2008

Prime Lot on Capitol Hill Being Stitched Up

20 F Street NW, currently a surface parking lot next to the Irish Times, Phoenix Park Hotel and Hotel George, will soon sprout a 165,000-s.f. office building (pictured), once developer Boston Properties selects a contractor. The 10-story building is being constructed for the American College of Surgeons (ACS) who will purchase the land from Boston Properties just prior to the onset of construction. The College's Board of Regents is purchasing the site and constructing the building to house its growing Washington, DC staff and to create a more visible presence for the surgical profession.

BP has been accepting construction bids since the RFP was issued on November 19th, and will continue to take offers until January 24 - although a list of General Contractors allowed to make an offer has been limited to Clark, Bovis Lend Lease and Balfour Beatty. Subcontractors are still being encouraged to take bidding positions with the big three. Although the final exterior design is essentially complete, according to inside sources, though ACS is still making nips and tucks to the interior design.

Currently, the plan involves the construction of an office building with amenities such as a two-story atrium lobby, a first floor fitness and conference center and, more uniquely, a rooftop deck. Not to mention being just stumbling distance from the Irish Times. On the whole, the building is said to be the ultimate "gathering space," full of luxury amenities and a Hill location, but not LEED certification. The surgeons and affiliated organizations will operate on the 3rd and 10th floors, or about 35,000 s.f.; the remaining 120,000 s.f. of leasable space is currently available. The estimated ground-breaking date is this May.


IMGoph on Jan 12, 2008, 4:54:00 PM said...

a two-story atrium entrance isn't an amenity, it's a waste of space. ground floor retail would be a whole hell of a lot better, but nearly everything down that way isn't developing in a way that'll make it exciting and alive for long hours (of course, with irish times next door, it's probably exciting enough on that block)

Chris L on Jan 13, 2008, 10:45:00 AM said...

I agree completely. I don't know why DC doesn't regulate this more. Grand lobbies contribute nothing to the neighborhood and are huge wastes of space. Mass Ave from Mt Vernon Square to Union Station is the worst offender IMHO. Tons of high rise condos and offices going up and almost zero ground floor retail. Forcing people to walk (or drive even) 5-10 blocks to chinatown or capital hill is not a way to create a vibrant neighborhood. In 10 years time I really think the city is going to look back and regret they did not enforce ground floor retail.

The difference in vitality between areas like Mass Ave where everything was torn down and rebuilt on a larger scale and areas like U street where everything was preserved and reused is staggering.

Chris in Eckington said...

U Street is in an historic district, so they can't tear the buildings down unless they are deemed "non-contributing". It does lead to a more interesting streetscape.

poo poo said...

i'm with imgoph and chris.


all in all, is there any sort of rough timeline for the thing to be completed?

Gordon said...

The U St corridor and Gallery Place are fantastic. I live and work in DC and agree that the city should continue to develop as a vibrant 24x7 urban community, but you do not have all of the facts regarding 20 F Street, NW.

It will only have a two story atrium lobby, unlike some that are 10-12 stories. The lobby is designed as a pre-function gathering place connected to a conference center and other meeting rooms. The building is designed to bring people together from around the world while working on projects in Washington, DC and Capitol Hill. The first floor spaces can be used for conferences, receptions, staff training and board meetings. Surrounding the building just within two blocks are already many restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, sandwich shops and of course all of the retail amenities of Union Station. 20 F St. believes that the local community is more in need of a meeting/gathering place.

The building is expected to deliver late 2009/early 2010.

Let's look forward to more retail, food services and residential mix into the new/developing submarkets of NOMA and SE/SW waterfront - baseball stadium.

IMGoph on Jan 17, 2008, 3:33:00 PM said...

hi there gordon, are you being paid much for your comments?

a meeting place for the community?!? if i get a group of kids together from temple courts to have a meeting there, will i be allowed to use one of those rooms after hours when the building is shut down for the say? i would guess that would be a big, fat, no.

and union station doesn't have much in the way of retail "amenities", and it's neighborhood serving anyway. it's destination retail, and is inward facing, doing almost nothing to affect the neighborhood around it.

and your last paragraph....i'm confused. did you think we weren't looking forward to the revitalization of these parts of town? of course we all are/were, silly. i don't know if that's a strawman or a non sequitir you've thrown in there (i'm obviously not a trained debater, so you'll have to forgive me).

David on Jan 17, 2008, 3:40:00 PM said...

poo poo....working on a rough timeline - will respond shortly.


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