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.
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