Another NoMa project has now delivered, this time at the corner of K and 1st Streets, NE. 90K, Trammell Crow Company's new office building, is the first of the (eventual) four-stage Sentinel Square development, which will take up several lots along L, First and K Streets, NW in NoMa. 90K offers 400,000 s.f. of green office space for the taking. To date, no announcements have been made about tenants, potential or otherwise, though the developers indicate "strong interest" from government agencies. Developers say the timeline for the next three stages is dependent on the market and financing.
Clark Construction Group began building in June 2008, which is noteworthy according Tom Finan, Managing Director at Trammell Crow, because the development was able to secure construction financing that June "while the rest of the world tumbled around us." Finan said the building was designed by architects SmithGroup to appeal to both public and private sector tenants, though the 12-story Class A office building includes ISC Level IV security features - 30 foot set-backs on all sides, blast-resistant window glazing and separate shuttle elevators from the parking garage to the security check point - not exactly necessary for your average law firm. Building design even assures progressive collapse avoidance, preventing the sudden loss of any column or beam from causing collapse for sufficient time to evacuate.
90K was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, with aspirations for Gold; Finan indicated that the announcement on LEED is expected this summer. Three levels of below-grade parking provide 317 parking spaces, though the building is just a few blocks from Union Station. And since looks matter, 90K is surfaced with stainless steel and glass, with a skirt of black granite at street level and Jerusalem Gold marble from Israel.
Asked about the impact of a new building without secured tenants on occupancy rates in the NoMa neighborhood, Liz Price, President of the NoMa BID, said the project does not make a big impact considering the area is set to have 14-15 million s.f. of new or converted office space when and if all proposed projects come to fruition. But the Trammell Crow project is probably "one of the only spaces currently or near-term available for a large HQ," added Price. NoMa's remaining office space can only be leased piecemeal thanks to other large leases.
On the leasing front, Finan said his company has "chased a number of bigger government deals and some of the medium sized agencies," but nothing firm. Finan is hopeful that a deal could be "only months away" on leases that would take upward of one-third of the building. Though designs could permit ground floor retail, Finan said his company secures office tenants first and then determines whether or not there should be retail in the mix.
What does 90K, Sentinel Square's first phase, do for NoMa? Finan sees the project as an anchor that connects the "preexisting" NoMa up and down First Street near Union Station with the newer, "more pioneering elements" closer to New York Avenue. The project, which replaced a surface parking lot, serves to "unite" the area between metros into a clear NoMa market, added Finan.
Washington, DC real estate development news