After the recent revelation that Radio One will no longer relocate to the District, Ellis Development Group, Jarvis Company, LLC and Four Points, the developers of the planned Media Center One project in DC's Shaw neighborhood, are modifying their plans and seeking official permission to extend their development timeline. The current approved Planned Unit Development is coming up on its two-year deadline, the requested two-year extension would give the developers time to regroup after recent setbacks.
The loss of Radio One for Media Center's 300,000 s. f. mixed-use development on 7th and S Streets, NW, forced the developers to revert to their "original" plan, a less grandiose proposal planned before Radio One swooped in and then bowed out. According to "Chip" Ellis of Ellis Development, the "new" plan is for 94,000 s.f. of office space with anywhere from 180 to 200 residential units. The units will be rentals "at this time," said Ellis. The change drops 25,000 s.f. of retail space and reduces the amount of office space by about 10,000 s.f. Construction could begin this July, though after years of delays and extended construction time lines, color us skeptical.
The United Negro College Fund will (likely) occupy the majority of the office space, but the development team is working to secure additional tenants, according to Ellis.
In January the Mayor's office proposed $3.8 million in tax breaks to assist the UNCF and entice their move to the District from Virginia. The District Council is set to review the proposal this week. In 2008, DC approved $23 million in subsidies for Media Center One, including $6 million in TIF financing which is now up in the air given the changed project, the massive budget shortfall facing the city and competing development plans elsewhere.
The moves come despite the developers' assertions in late September at the Shaw Main Streets (SMS) Development Forum that Media Center One would move forward and break ground before the new year (2010). On a rather bitter note, the developers had noted that they were one of the few "lucky" projects to actually have a tenant secured. Ouch.
Washington, DC real estate development news