Monday, November 29, 2010

Del Ray Project Stalls

A development darling of Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood is on hold, with the green office building on Mt. Vernon Avenue sidelined until market conditions improve. Del Ray Greens was designed to replace Anthony's Auto Center with a small retail and office building high on green credentials and capable of supporting a small vegetable farm, but the project's developer has asked the city to put a hold on its application, citing market conditions not yet justifying a start date.

Last May, would-be developer Julie Wadler anticipated that the project, more a passion than a business shift, would be underway this fall, integrating the community with design input, locally designed art projects for the facade, and public access to the rooftop garden. The city has not issued construction permits, and plans have been shelved for now.

The concept was to transform the property, which sat tantalizingly close to Wadler's Epiphany Productions, into refined, carbon-light office space worthy of a LEED Gold rating, phenolic panels (a recycled composite) and a "farmable, vegetated roof." Wadler purchased the property in 2005 for $1.2m and has spent the intervening time on its design and pushing it through the city.

"Part of the reason for building in the first place was to put something green there. If we're going to do it, we're going to do it right," said Wadler last May, who has now put nearly 6 years into the project.

Old Town-based Maginniss + Del Ninno designed the building, and Wadler held a competition for two mosaics that will adorn the building's entrance. A 9th grader from Alexandria and a 7th grader from Arlington won the contest for the 7' x 6' mosaics; their schools will be responsible for producing the final piece at the still indeterminate moment of production.

Alexandria, Virginia real estate development news


Anonymous said...

Disappointing but not surprising. Other nearby projects have gone ahead though.

NikolasM said...

Is it me or is Del Ray starting to angle for a Portland, OR vibe? Not that I have a problem with that.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't go that far. I live there and its too stuffy and not enough critical mass of commercial stuff. Too many dogs, too many kids, too many people too old to start having kids. Oops I'm 39! My eggs are almost gone!


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