Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Getting Serious at Howard Town Center


After years of vying for the opportunity and negotiating the development, Castlerock Partners LLC finally has plans to break ground on the 2.2 acre Howard Town Center come Fall 2010. Along with development partners AVCO Interests LLC, Hardie Industries Inc and, of course, Howard University, Castlerock secured the site a year ago. The team is still working through the design phases with architects Devrouax and Purnell. Opting not to pursue a PUD, the team added Tompkins Builders as the general contractor in November, a sign the time for waffling is through.

Tim Kissler, CEO of Castlerock, told DCMud that the design phase moves forward as the team shops around for retail tenants. "First priority is a grocery store. Once that is set, we move on to other spaces and prospects," said Kissler. The grocery store was a prerequisite of the RFP and upwards of 45,000 s.f. has been tossed around as the size. Kissler added "leasing interest is strong, despite the slow economy." The rest of the retail space could total 78,000 s.f. with the University looking to support small local businesses in some of the space.

The developer has yet to commit to firm figures on the actual breakdown of residential units, but most recently has suggested there would be 420 units with the required minimum of 8% set aside as affordable, much to the disappointment of the surrounding community.

DC real estate and development news.

12 comments:

IMGoph on Dec 2, 2009, 9:13:00 PM said...

please, please, just make sure that you follow strong urban design and construction guidelines!

i can't believe that the main street running through a prominent college campus has been so unproductive for so long!

ML said...

Castlerock should be taking Trader Joe's execs out nightly for steaks at the Palm, trying to sell them on the space as this would be a perfect spot for another Trader Joe's in the District. Good food, lot's of organic options, quality prepackaged stuff for students and busy families... would be awesome.

Aaron on Dec 3, 2009, 1:16:00 PM said...

I agree with both of your comments. A decent grocery store is sorely needed in this area and will act as a catalyst to attract other types of retail. The lack of decent retail options is a missed opportunity for this section of Georgia Avenue. I also hope they connect W Street so it better fits in with the existing street grid.

Shaun on Dec 3, 2009, 2:16:00 PM said...

ML- The Palm? Founding Farmers is more like it...

Big Green Cat said...

Too small for Trader Joes. They rarely have more than 10,000 SF at a site.

Ahmet on Dec 3, 2009, 5:42:00 PM said...

where can I see the exact location of the project? I hope they create a roadway connecting northern side of bloomingdale to the east. Currently there is no continuous street east-west direction north of florida avenue.

Shaun on Dec 3, 2009, 5:58:00 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaun on Dec 3, 2009, 5:59:00 PM said...

Ahmet: As with all of our blog posts, the orange and white map button at the beginning of the story contains a link that will take you to the site location on a Google Map. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I really liked Group Goetz rendering @ DCMetrocentric.com this one is typical bland DC arhcitecture. It looks like a 100 other projects around here.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous
Get real that poor design from Group Goetz is terrible. People can like architectural renderings all day long but if the architecture sucks like your example, then all it is or ever will be is some pretty picture. Goetz's "design" is barely that...

Anonymous said...

Okay, you're right Anonymous, I am now enightened and concede to your all-knowing architectural mastery.
You are obviously far more brilliant than I and can determine the outcome of any architectural rendering posted. Thank you for your wisdom and for putting an end to those annoying divergent opinions. We can shut down all message boards now. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Group Goetz is not minority owned. This is why the District is poluted with the mediocre architecture of Devrouax and Purnell.

 

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