MRP Realty is about to finish the design phase for their long awaited Washington Gateway project located at the corner of New York and Florida Avenues in NE, on the northern edge of NoMa. The 1 million-s.f. project will cost an estimated $350 million to construct, and sit atop the New York Avenue metro station. MRP closed on the purchase of the land from Greenebaum & Rose Associates in August of ’07. Designs are now 80% complete with only interior refinements remaining. The bidding phase and excavation applications will follow, with ground breaking expected in the third quarter of this year.
The project will consist of three buildings, two of which will be office towers. The northern tower - the tallest in the NoMa and Capitol area - will have about 415,000 s.f. of office space. Its sister tower to the south will have roughly 210,000 s.f. The taller building caused MRP a setback in December of 2006 when the National Capital Planning Commission objected to its height, an attribute at least in part caused by a 40 foot height difference between New York and Florida Avenues. The Zoning Commission overrode their objection (yes, they can do that) and made the final approval in February of 2007, deciding to measure the building's height from New York Avenue, although the foundation for the building will be poured on the Florida Avenue level. This allows MRP an extra three stories, making the Washington Gateway more visible to those entering NoMa from New York Avenue - a rare coup for height in our two-dimensional city.
The opposite side of the site features a "T" shaped building, housing a 180-room hotel and a 260-unit apartment tower, of which 8% of the units will be reserved for affordable housing. The rental units will feature 'condo level' finishes like granite counter tops and undermount sinks. A public central plaza will connect each building.
Washington Gateway will also give commuters and residents easy access to the New York Avenue Metro and the Metropolitan Branch Bike Trail. The three-story glass Bicycle Atrium will provide bike storage, lockers, refreshments, trail and neighborhood maps, and an automated bike pump.
MRP is teaming up with Gensler Architecture as master planner and designer of the commercial office buildings. SK&I Architectural Design Group is working on the residential building and hotel while Oculus is planning the plaza and streetscape design.
According to Gensler's Michael Patrick, Washington Gateway "extends the urban grid of NoMA from the south into what was an abandoned and isolated eyesore, and creates a great urban space in a plaza with first class materials."
"The residential building cantilevers an energetic volume of triangular glass which will capture and frame the view for those eastbound on either Avenue. The residential tower and south office building create a ceremonial entry from NoMA, with the office building's plaza facade articulated in high detail of stone, glass and metal to set the tone for the Class A office space inside," Patrick added.
Completion of Washington Gateway is expected in the fall of 2010.