Monday, July 07, 2008

DOES Seeks Approval For New Digs

DC's Department of Employment Services will go before the National Capitol Planning Commission Thursday for approval of their new five-story, mixed-use headquarters on the site adjacent to the Minnesota-Benning Metro Station. Part two of the larger Minnesota Benning Government Center development, the Deverouax & Purnell-designed 225,000 s.f. headquarters will bring 500 jobs, over 7,000 s.f. of retail space, and a four-story parking garage to the 9.2-acre site.

The government's goal in relocating the headquarters to the Benning-Minnesota Metro area was to make DOES' services more accessible to its clients while improving the developing neighborhood. According to Bill Rice, Spokesman for DC's Office of Property Management, "The new headquarters for the DC Department of Employment Services will make DOES services more centrally accessible for District residents and promote economic development in the Benning Road-Minnesota Avenue, NE, area east of the Anacostia in downtown Ward 7. It will bring new employees to the area, thereby promoting economic development and serving as a catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Ward 7."

The HQ project will not be alone by the Metro, however; Ward 7 and the Benning neighborhood have received quite a bit of development attention lately. In March, the District issued a solicitation for bidders for a five acre site adjacent to both the Metro and the DOES site; Parkside Residential LLC's senior and affordable housing project and Abe Pollin and the DC Housing Authority's 150-unit development are also in the works.

Part of the Government Centers Initiative that places civic buildings in less-developed neighborhoods, the job creating, development-promoting HQ project will complete its wholesome image by pursuing Silver LEED Certification. Located at the Northwest Corner of Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road, NE, the development will be funded by the sale of 500 C Street NW to the Newseum and general obligation bonds. It will replace current bus shelters and Metro parking and widen Minnesota Avenue.

If the final site and building plans secure NCPC approval, Rice said the District will begin the permit process with groundbreaking in September, he added that the government will not partner with another developer.

Phase three of this development thrill ride is currently on hold, but will eventually be a new office building for the Department of Homeland Security and will include 125,000 s.f. of office and retail space. Phase one was a parking garage.

The DC-based architects specialize in designing buildings for agencies and corporations and are responsible for the MCI Arena, the Convention Center, and the Pepco Headquarters.


DG-rad on Jul 7, 2008, 2:18:00 PM said...

is anyone else out there not a fan of Deverouax & Purnell? why did they become the default "DC-based" architects??

IMGoph on Jul 7, 2008, 2:21:00 PM said...

this is absolutely ridiculous. they're placing a building right next to one metro station and within walking distance of another metro station, and they're going to build a 4-story parking garage there??!?

what kind of urban planning is that? non-existent, i'd say. i'll bet anyone who reads this $100 that they end up subsidizing employee parking in that garage, so instead of convincing people to ride metro to work, they'll drive.

why oh why is this city so godforsaken shortsighted!?

poo poo said...

what's going to happen to DOES' old digs?

DG-rad on Jul 8, 2008, 11:54:00 AM said...

whats the deal with that KFC that Doug Jemal wanted to replace on Penn Ave SE? Any latest news?


Anonymous said...

There is no station called

Minnesota-Benning Metro Station.

Its called Minesota Avenue Station

There is no Benning Station

There is a Benning Road Station about a little over 1 1/4 mile east.

Most DC workers dont live in DC for the people complaing about the parking lot there old building has parking also. It doesnt matter if a place has a parking lot or not some people will use it and some wont, you know metrorail doesnt stop everywhere it doesnt even cover most of DC and they would they will to park somewhere else.

IMGoph on Jul 8, 2008, 11:26:00 PM said...

anon: your "argument" that metro doesn't stop everywhere has no meaning here. it does stop right here, because they are planning to build this building practically on top of the station. with that in mind, there should not be a 4 story parking garage built here. maybe one story of parking under the building, but building a parking garage just as big as the building will induce demand.

people will be given reason to drive to a job on top of a metro station. if you can't see why that's stupid, then you're not paying attention.

Anonymous said...


Your seeming to forget where the building will be at and have you ever even been to DOES and or over to Minesota ave where the building will be.

Half of the people working there, will be coming off Kenniworth Ave from the BWI Parkway or Route 50 and another majority of the people will be coming straight down Benning Road from Southern PG County.

I use to work at DOES about 4 years ago and the majority of the employees lived outside of the beltway in PG County. Id say only a handful of employees caught a metrobus or took the metrorail and they lived in DC.

Most of the employees will be coming from places such as Mitchellville, Largo, Riverdale, Forestville, Bladensburg, FT Washington & Clinton.

Lets see going from most of them you would either end up going to

Mitchellville -Largo station
Largo- largo station
Riverdale - no station near but New Carrolton is to closest and still may be easier to hop on 50 and drive
Forestville - Branch Ave or Sultland stations
Bladensburg - no station near easier to drive
Clinton - closest station Branch Ave.
Ft. Washington - cloest stations Branch Ave or Southern Ave.

Traveling from most of those places its easier to drive from than looking for parking at the station and then catching the train get off and then transfer to the orange line to get to minesota ave.

I think that they could have built the parking underground but its going to be used with other buildings coming there its only a matter of time before it will be fully used.

People catching the metro will still be driving to the metro so it doesnt get the cars off the road your just shifting where they go instead of driving to there job there driving to a parking lot at a metro station.


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