Monday, February 14, 2011

Stonebridge, District Kick Off Conversion of Washington Star Printing Plant Tomorrow


The District government and developers will commemorate the start of conversion of the old Washington Star printing plant tomorrow, turning the featureless, carton-like exterior in the shadow of the Southwest Express into a more modern structure designed by Hickok Cole. In a redevelopment plan the city inked with StonebridgeCarras in July of last year, the Washington DC government will pay to transform the building then rent it back from the developer for a 20 year period. Tuesday's ceremony will market "the official beginning of redevelopment," according to a press release.
The District government began leasing the property in 2007, but failed to use the building, then purchased the property last year for $85.2m, though it has not occupied the space. Actual construction began on the property last month. The revised building has been designed to earn a LEED Silver certification, incorporate the largest green roof owned by the District of Columbia, and provide space for a public gallery to "showcase the vast art collection of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities."

The city will continue to own the land in a lease-leaseback arrangement with StonebridgeCarras. The city will lease the property to the developer, which will finance construction of the renovation, then lease it back to the city for $8.4m per year to be used as office space for several District agencies. The property will revert to the District at the end of the 20-year agreement. The District government will build a data center and is seeking an occupant for the 50,000 s.f. of available space.

Washington DC real estate development news

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