Thursday, March 11, 2010

Eastbanc Wins West End


Life is a circle, of course. To underscore that point, the District government announced today that Eastbanc won its bid to redevelop three underused properties in the West End. The D.C. government issued the RFP last July, after a contentious process in which Eastbanc had been awarded the rights to develop the land in 2007, only to have a public outcry over no-bid contracts stop the process, and give the Council a morning-after moment and, shocked at what it had done, recall the land sale to Eastbanc.

That, in turn, led to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to issue a fair and balanced solicitation last July, which received two offers, one from an Eastbanc partnership, the other from Toll Brothers, Paramount Development and Torti Gallas. Now, two and a half years after the Council pulled the plug on Eastbanc, the city has given it the official nod to develop the three sites.

To those few unfamiliar with the sites, the properties include the West End Library, fire station, and special operations police unit, all low-rise relics in a sea of pricey condominiums.

EastBanc had said in its initial proposal that Square 37, the current site of the library, would sport a 20,765 s.f. ground floor library with a 10-story residence above (rendering below). Designed by Ten Arquitectos, the plans call for approximately 153 market-rate residential units on the 2nd through 10th floors, 235 parking spaces and 10,000 s.f. of ground floor retail. LeMay Erickson Wilcox Architects will be the architects for the fire station and WDG Architecture will be the architect of record.

Eastbanc's designs for Square 50 - the fire station - include a replacement fire station and mezzanine with 52 affordable residential units on the 2nd through 4th floors. Eastbanc's Anthony Lanier predicted a renaissance, thanks to the $150 million project, saying "we want to make a community...not just a street with 10-story buildings." Asked about how the new plans differed from those he proposed more than 2 years ago, which could possibly have been built by now, Lanier responded "not much." Eastbanc had earlier said it "can and would build a supermarket on site if the community and city united to support it," but has voiced skepticism about the need for one.

The Toll Brother's plan for the library called for 48,000 s.f. of retail, including a 40,000 s.f. grocery store. The library would remain in place; 21,300 s.f. on two levels. To top it off, the building would have been LEED Silver and would have included as many as 220 residential condos. The group did not submit a plan for the site of the fire station.

Eastbanc's partners on the project also include the Warrenton Group, Dantes Partners, TEN Arquitectos, and WDG Architecture. Eastbanc also recently won the rights to develop a highly visible Capitol Hill property late last year. Deputy Mayor Valerie Santos said the District would work hard to "ensure what has been proposed moves forward as quickly as possible." Mayor Adrian Fenty added that he expects groundbreaking for the project "at the end of 2012, at the very latest."

Washington, DC real estate development news

14 comments:

DG-rad on Mar 11, 2010, 12:27:00 PM said...

ugggglyyyyyy

si on Mar 11, 2010, 1:03:00 PM said...

sweet, a borg cube.

si on Mar 11, 2010, 1:04:00 PM said...

Warrenton group, same slumbanking owner of that funky vacant dump at 7th & Q? nice.

Anonymous said...

Has DPMED issued a release on this selection?
It'll be interesting to see if EastBanc can pull this project off at the same time as the Hine School site...one of those projects is bound to suffer at the benefit of the other...

Anonymous said...

Just jealous!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous-
The press release was generic and said nothing new. The 2012 groundbreaking is extremely optimistic.

This dance has just begun and if the DMPED doesn't fulfill very well-crafted requirements outlined by the ANC and neighborhood groups, the deal could very easily head south.

Eastbanc has claimed since 2007 that the Enrique Norten drawings shown here are simply massing studies, NOT the final design. No doubt, whatever winds up on that site is bound to be a big box of some kind.

Anonymous said...

shnastyyyy

Anonymous said...

whoa, that's uggggly. i'd rather live in a cave in afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

Yep, Warranton Group is the same group that gets a piece of every project the city gives out. Mind you that despite every one of their awards, they have never built anything, but a developer is required by the city to include a minority group, which gets a nice fee for being minority-owned. This group happens to be friends with Fenty. I notice that early posts on this blog had more information about them, and that after a few posts about them on this blog they took down their website and location, as has previously been referenced here.

Developers take note: if you want to win a real estate award from the city you have to include Warranton Group on your team, bribery pure and simple. We're like Haiti, corruption will kill us. Defeat Fenty if you want to stop this kind of corruption.

Anonymous said...

I'll second that Fenty criticism. After reading that expose in the Post recently, I'm done with that guy.

David Alpert on Mar 12, 2010, 11:05:00 AM said...

Eastbanc gave me an important clarification after I posted about the ugly "borg cube": That is NOT what the building will look like. That was a "massing study" just to show the shape and size of the building. It will probably look something like one of the more typical contemporary buildings being built around DC.

Anonymous said...

No offense, but the "massing" argument to excuse such a banal design is what they always say. It's photoshop for god's sake. It's supposed to be realistic. If they wanted to do a massing model, they would have done a massing model. that being said, thanks for the "clarification". Hopefully, they will come up with something a bit nicer.

Christopher on Mar 15, 2010, 11:22:00 AM said...

The rendering pictured here for the library site development is based on a massing study and not the concept for the actual building. The building has not yet been designed.

DC Food on Mar 15, 2010, 8:07:00 PM said...

For me, I liked the other design from Toll borthers much better, this one is so strange looking and the library seems like an afterthought!

 

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