Mayor Fenty issued an RFEI for the land on May 14th, announcing it was seeking a developer to create 2,100 market-rate and 900 affordable units with 2,000,000 s.f office space and 67,000 s.f. of retail space - a total of 5 million square feet of development. At the time, the District anticipated a price tag of $1.1 billion for the development, and required bids in by October 31st.
The four teams announced today are:
New Hill East Joint Venture, led by Urban Atlantic. The team includes Vornado/Charles E. Smith; Trammell Crow; Elm Street Development; Blue Skye Development; Brickstone Development; Eagle Vision Ventures; Dynamis Advisors; Sun Edison and Ellis Denning Development.
Hill East Development, led by the Franklin L. Haney Co. The team includes Donatelli Hill East, LLC; Chapman Development; Combined Properties; Banneker Ventures; and Tudor Holdings.
HDG Waterfront Partners, led by Hunt Development and Mosaic Urban Partners. The team includes Abdo Development, the William C. Smith Cos.; EYA Development; and Jair Lynch Development Partners.
Hill East is one of three major redevelopment sites that make up the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, an ambitious 20 year plan to turn the Anacostia River banks into a more developed mixed-use neighborhood. At the time of the RFEI, the Mayor predicted that major District-developer planning would start in early 2009, although today's announcement was more cautious, stating only that a developer "could be selected" by early next year.
Issuing the RFEI in May, Fenty stated that the District sought a developer that “takes advantage of the opportunities of the river. We want the development to serve as a gateway between Capitol Hill and the Waterfront so people can walk down to the Anacostia River, which is hard to do now."
The Hill East site is intended to be a low-impact, LEED certified, mixed-use development. The project will include residential, retail, and office components and will extend Massachusetts Avenue and other streets within the site to tie the new neighborhood into the existing community; including, apparently, the correctional facility, which will remain. The District government has vowed to better integrate the Hill East project into the surrounding neighborhoods and the District at large, citing its measures to connect the parcel by bike path to the Capitol Riverfront, and by cleaning up the Anacostia River to finally make it a place for (legal) recreation.
The site is bounded by 19th street, Independence Avenue, the Anacostia River, and the Historic Congressional Cemetery. The entire site consists of 67 acres, but development will take place on only 50 of those. The land, also known as Reservation 13, is owned by the General Service Administration, but was given to the District under the 2006 Federal and District of Columbia Government Real Property Act of 2006, a “Transfer Act”. As DCmud reported in April of last year, 12 acres of the property were to be given back to the Federal government for a congressional mail facility.
As the only developer going solo on the project, Eastbanc's strategy seems like a chancy way to approach the DC government's selection process, but Joe Sternlieb, Eastbanc's Vice President for Acquisitions, thinks it gives the company an edge. "We put in an unconventional proposal for a development approach...We're not proposing specific development, but rather an approach for the city to work in partnership with us to redevelop the site. Because of that, it doesn't preclude the city from selecting additional developers." Eastbanc developed the Ritz Carlton residences in the West End and Georgetown, 3303 Water Street in Georgetown, and large scale commercial spaces throughout Georgetown, and is now building 22 West, in DC's West End.
For those wanting to run there today to buy one of the new condos likely to rise on the site, the District cautions that the whole project may take as much as ten years to complete. Axis