Monday, January 17, 2011

A Kick Start for Buzzards Point?


Buzzards Point, the southern tip of the District above Anacostia, is about as desolate a neighborhood one can find in the DC region - empty lots, equipment storage fields, and an overall post-industrial decay that makes ballpark visitors quicken the walk back to their car late at night. An actual buzzard circling above would not seem entirely out of place. But all of that is going to change, and one local developer thinks that time might just be nigh.

The promise of the area is obvious, close to the Capitol and a focal point for DC's highways, the region is still secluded and private, and is surrounded by water, and the area's largest developers like PN Hoffman (along Water Street) and Steuart Investment (with more than 5 acres at the tip of South Capitol) and Akridge among them. But Duane Deason, who bought the empty 20,000 s.f. lot on the Anacostia back in 2004, when a new baseball stadium was maybe, just possibly, coming to southeast, has plans for an Eric Colbert-designed condominium, and thinks the time is right to start.

On the boards is an 80-foot high, 97 unit condominium nearly fronting the water behind the marina. "If you had asked me in the 3rd quarter of last year I would have said we were quite a ways away, but right now I'd say we are moving much faster...the market has notably improved, and I think its a good time to take advantage of that." Deason has an upcoming hearing before the Zoning Commission and is actively pushing ahead. "This is our first hearing before Zoning; there's no such thing as matter of right here, but we're sort of there, we don't need a PUD [zoning change] to do this."

Deason has little company at the moment, the other Buzzard Point developers are sitting on their hands, reasoning that there it makes little sense to develop in isolation without a pre-signed tenant. "Eventually I think it will be a great place" says one developer with skin in the game nearby that is choosing to wait. Deason is confident. "Eventually there's going to be other places, with the PN Hoffman development there, but there's a view of the water, the Coast Guard is there for another 5 years or so. There is the planned riverwalk, that will come. There are a couple of big landowners there that will cause a huge change." Deason says he paid under $1m for the property, including all costs associated with the acquisition, and that while he doesn't have a development financier, he has no financial pressure and will consider a joint venture partner.

"Being only 75 feet off there water, there's just not alot out there that currently that offers that, with a view of your boat...I love the waterfront and I just thought it was a fantastic location" said Deason. "The views are phenomenal because its on a point, almost every unit in the building will have an outstanding view of the water." Deason says most of the units will be less than 1000 s.f., and the new inclusionary zoning rules mean another 7200 s.f. of affordable housing.

While Deason may not have any immediate residential neighbors on the waterfront, another residential developer in southwest has the same sense of potential value and will break ground much sooner, you can read about that at DCMud this afternoon.

Washington DC real estate development news

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent. I foresee a connected waterfront that stretches down the Anacostia and up the harbor, tying all of that into the Mall. What a great biking city DC will be when that happens. Hope the city is working hard on that right now.

Anonymous said...

Be nice if this could look like the gorgeous blue/grey glass waterfront condos in Vancouver, BC. This design looks ho-hum. Hope it's net zero energy or at least extremely energy efficient.

Anonymous said...

Actually, at a presentation to the ANC, the architect said they would NOT be seeking an LEED certification.

Anonymous said...

Why would they build a new building "old school?" Isn't that very short-sighted, especially since, LEED or not, sustainable construction no longer comes with a price premium?

Anonymous said...

Not persuing LEED doesn't mean they're necessarily building an inefficient or "old school" building. Perhaps they decided that the money otherwise spent funding the US Green Building Council would have been better spent on the building and amenities.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree that they don't have to pay for USGBC certification (nor should lots of other people) but the previous comment sounded like they weren't putting any emphasis on sustainability. That would be unfortunate, given the prominent position of this building.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused, where is this location in relation to the Akridge lot that is currently being talked about as the location for a new DC United stadium?

Because the first image posted in this article appears to show development in the Akridge property...

SWill on Jan 23, 2011, 10:43:00 AM said...

Marina Place is to the southeast of the Akridge site. The first image is from Akridge's website for their 100 V Street site and the buildings on it show what the site would look like if a secure federal campus was built.

IMGoph on Feb 4, 2011, 5:19:00 PM said...

you got it right in the article (buzzard point), but you have it plural in the title (buzzards point). just a minor nit.

Ken on Feb 5, 2011, 6:45:00 AM said...

Thanks IMGoph, though I looked through a number of sources and have found it listed both ways by what should be authoritative sources. In the end, its not incorporated or official so I don't know that there is an official spelling.

IMGoph on Feb 5, 2011, 8:11:00 AM said...

Ken: Could you share a couple of those sources? If not, that's understandable—I'm just working on a map of the city, and have seen both names, but consensus seems to be around the singular.

Ken on Feb 5, 2011, 12:12:00 PM said...

Let me see if I can find those sources, I can't remember where I looked at the time...

Ken on May 27, 2011, 8:39:00 AM said...

By the way, the zoning folks call it "Buzzards Point". Not that they are the definitive, but I give that some weight.

IMGoph on May 27, 2011, 9:12:00 AM said...

Alright, thanks.

thomas said...

what's this about a soccer stadium for DC United at Buzzard Pt?

It fits all the criteria and soccer has plenty of examples of regenerating communities to bring to the table, but DC officials are holding it up while refusing to renegotiate the tenancy deal at RFK - they seem to want to drive the successful team out when this could be win-win.

Will this happen?

 

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