Thursday, October 01, 2009

Ballston Bus Garage Gets Final OK for Founders Square

The Arlington County Board and WMATA agreed last week on final terms of sale for the former WMATA bus garage site for the final piece of the Founders Square puzzle in Ballston. The site, at 675 North Randolph Street in Arlington, will be sold to Ashton Park Associates, LLC (APA). Though APA was chosen as the developer and executed a sale agreement in June 2007 for the entire property, the developer had since requested a phased purchase due to financing issues. Under the amended sale agreement APA, along with its managing affiliate The Shooshan Company, can purchase the property in two or three phases as long as the sale is complete as of December 23, 2011 for the agreed upon $25 million. The parties will close on the first phase in mid-November with Clark Construction set to dig-in before the new year.

The first phase, sold for an undisclosed amount, will be the home of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) when construction finishes on the 355,530-square-foot, 13-story, secure office building in 2012. To land the agency, Shooshan worked with architect RTKL Associates, Inc. to design a building that will meet LEED Silver requirements and the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Minimum Antiterrorism Standards for Buildings. It will be the first in Arlington to meet DoD’s new standards, featuring force protection, 82’ standoff distance and controlled parking.

According to John Shooshan, while most of the project will be financed through APA's own equity, the state of Virgina is providing a $10m grant to help defray the development and construction costs attributable to the force protection requirements under the DARPA lease. Tally another project to the list of those lubricated with government dollars, whether for leases, stimulus, or subsidies to keep development on track.

The DARPA building will be the first of the planned buildings for Founders Square, which is intended to house 26,000 square feet of retail space (8,000 of which is a standalone building that will be owned by a separate investment group and constructed by Paradigm Development), 730,000 square feet of office space in two towers, and another two housing towers with 378 residential units.

Arlington Virginia real estate development news


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