Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Hoffman-Madison Details Second-Stage Plans for Southwest Waterfront


PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette, the chief developers of the planned $1.5 billion Southwest Waterfront project, unveiled revised details of its vision for the 3.2 million s.f. development, which will include offices, apartments, a four-star InterContinental Hotel, four piers and a three-acre park -- part of the District's bid to transform its sleepy waterfront into a destination on par with San Francisco's Embarcadero and Seattle's Pike's Place.





While the first stage of what's to be known as the 23-acre Wharf District was approved by the Zoning Commission in 2011, that stage mainly dealt with traffic issues and building heights and setbacks -- today's Planned Unit Development (PUD) submission will give many in the District their first glimpse of the architectural vision and details.

"Each space is going to have its own experience," said Monty Hoffman of co-developer PN Hoffman in an interview. Hoffman's company has built more than 35 projects in the D.C. metro area, including The Lofts in Adams Morgan, the Mather Building near Verizon Center and the coming Northern Exchange on 14th Street. "There will be a different designer on each parcel so each can put their own DNA into the projects," Hoffman said. "It's not going to look like one contrived development."

Hoffman said that his group, along with partners Madison Marquette, builders of Cityline at Tenley, studied waterfront cities like San Francisco and Seattle to bring elements of the Embarcadero and its Ferry Building and Pike's Place to the Wharf District. That will include laying the groundwork (if not the tracks) for connecting to the District's planned 37-mile streetcar network, which could run on M Street SW and Maine Avenue and connect to the Nationals ballpark, said Matthew Steenhoek a development manager at PN Hoffman. The District has a M Street and Maine Avenue connection as part of its third phase of the streetcar plan. Steenhoek said short-term, the District Wharf would be connected by Circulator buses until the streetcar plan is built.

The project is more than 50 years in the making. Ever since the federal government as part of its "Urban Renewal" plan razed much of Southwest D.C. to build the I-395 freeway and apartments, residents of Southwest have been cut off, for the most part, from the revival of the rest of the city while its natural waterfront remained underutilized.

Still, don't look for Baltimore Inner Harbor-style national chain attractions at District Wharf, Hoffman said. "We're not inviting large national brands, we're not going to be dominated by national chains," he said. Instead, emphasis will be placed on integrating D.C. icons like the Maine Avenue Fish Market into a larger community, he said. "We're going to be more Washington-centric."


What it will share with Baltimore's Inner Harbor is an emphasis on water-related activities and entertainment. The Washington Channel is 16 feet deep, which would allow some deeper-draft vessels to sail up to the many planned piers, including 180-foot tall schooner ships. "Water activity will be central, so whatever we can draw to the water will be critical," Hoffman said. To that end, Hoffman plans a partnership with the Capital Yacht Club to bring more boating activities to the piers, including regattas. The Washington Kastles, the District's tennis team, will also remain at the Wharf, although moved from their current location atop the demolished Hogates restaurant, Hoffman said.


So far, Hoffman-Madison has lined up $50 million for pre- development, partly through Monty Hoffman's own pocket as well as Madison-Marquette. "We're self-funded," he said. "We're spending about $1 million a month, but we've got the capital to work with for pre-development." Hoffman didn't say who will be financing the rest of the construction but said that he's got multiple avenues from potential investors. The District's Southwest Waterfront Redevelopment Bond Financing Act of 2008 also provides $148 million worth of related infrastructure improvements along Maine Avenue. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) last July began rehabbing parts of Maine Avenue in advance of the Wharf project. The Wharf District is expected to bring in $40 million in taxes to the District a year.

The Land Disposition Agreement, or LDA with the District will close at the end of the year,

which puts Hoffman on track for a groundbreaking in the first quarter of 2013, he said.

Here's how the project will break down:

Stage 2 is being designed by Rockwell Group and Perkins Eastman, which absorbed the former master planner of the Southwest Waterfront from Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Kuhn in 2010. It includes parcels 2, 3, and 4 along Maine Avenue. Parcel 2 will include 135,000 s.f. of entertainment-related venues, nearly 500 residential units in 357,000 s.f. and 39,000 s.f. of retail.

Parcel 3a will consist of 218,000 s.f. of Class A office space and 15,000 square feet of retail by Perkins Eastman. Parcel 3b will include a 245,000-s.f. InterContinental Hotel featuring a clock tower and 278 rooms. InterContinental operates the Willard Hotel. Carr Hospitality is the developer and BBG-BBGM is the architect.

Parcel 4 will be designed by Handel Architects, creators of the Ritz-Carlton D.C. and Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, and feature industrial and dockyard-related waterfront structures. It will include 168 rental units on 124,000 s.f. along with 130 condominiums on 179,000 square feet and 77,000 s.f. of retail including a fitness club.

Hoffman-Madison plans a public presentation of the plans on Feb. 27 at 6pm at Arena Stage.

Washington D.C. real estate development news.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will there be a bike trail in front that goes all the way around to SE waterfront?

payton on Feb 8, 2012, 7:15:00 AM said...

There will be two bike routes: one a continuation of the Maine Avenue sidepath from the west, and a "shared street" next to the water that continues the existing path from the south (east). I'll need to check the site plan to see how the two link up.

BTW, the blog owner should watch out for spam...

Robert Cannon on Feb 8, 2012, 9:35:00 AM said...

+1 for Bike paths. Excellent to hear that they are going to be there. I would encourage DC, NPS, and the developers to consider how bicycles and pedestrians safely cross Maine Ave, particularly at the northern end at the pedestrian walk. The pedestrian walk terminates into a narrow sidewalk under the highway bridge - and there is NO SAFE crossing to the east side of Maine Ave at the Ohio Dr intersection (the light cannot be triggered by a pedestrianl the north bound Maine Ave cars existing to the 14th st bridge do not stop for red lights, and one lane of the intersection has not light at all to stop traffic for pedestrians.) There is currently an old train bridge crossing Maine Ave that is almost useless in its current design, that could be perfect for a safe pedestrian crossing.

This looks like a fabulous development. If it is successful, there will be more pedestrian traffic - more pedestrians crossing an unsafe crossing will mean more accidents and injuries.

Anonymous said...

DC needs a true waterfront destination badly. I really hope this plan comes to fruition and can become a great mixed-use district and attraction.

Dan Goldstein on Feb 8, 2012, 12:09:00 PM said...

Payton. In fact, DDOT last July started a rehab project on Maine Ave. to make it more bike friendly in advance of the Wharf project.

http://ddot.dc.gov/DC/DDOT/About+DDOT/News+Room/Press+Releases/Construction+To+Start+on+Maine+Avenue,+SW+Trail+Widening+and+Eastbound+Roadway+Resurfacing+Project

Anonymous said...

Bloggers, fyi, it looks like in the last few posts the map icon/link to google maps isn't functioning.

It's remarkable how slow SW is coming along (not talking about the past 50 years - talking about the past 8). I really feel bad for anyone who paid big money to get into the area.

Anonymous said...

Looks incredible. I realize there's a long ways before it's a reality, but kudos to the team that drew up the plans.

payton on Feb 9, 2012, 10:33:00 AM said...

@Dan: yep, I use that path almost daily; it's the sidepath that I referred to.

@Robert: indeed, the Maine/Ohio/15th/US1-ramps intersection is frustrating. (As are the bike connections from there to points beyond, like the White House or the Lincoln Memorial.) However, there already is a footpath on the old RR overpass that runs between the Capital Yacht parking lot and the Mandarin Oriental hotel. It's not terribly useful, since you have to walk around the hotel to get anywhere, but it is there.

Anonymous said...

I hope the plan will incorporate innovative green infrastructure to manage stormwater and add some vegetative life to the area. Should contact DC Water to learn more.

Anonymous said...

It looks awesome. I hope we don't have to wait 50 years for it to get built.

Anonymous said...

Is storm-related flooding ever an issue for the Channel - a la Washington Harbor? Will the site be prepared to deal with those potentialities?

Anonymous said...

It seems churlish to lodge any complaint or concern about such a well-considered development. But I would like to offer the hope that the developers and architects step it up a notch. I see a lot of well-excuted architectural flash, but I'm wondering where the substance is. Do any of the dizzying myriad of architectural elements derive from sustainable/green design practices? Are any expressive of an underyling order, such as the buildings' structures or viewsheds? Or the buildings' uses, perhaps? As much as each individual rendering is basically appealing, there's a uniformity to them. A peripatetic uniformity, which is certainly better than Modernist Southwest's catatonic uniformity.

And how is this design specific to Washington DC? Pike Place Market embodies is very Seattle: casual, kinda grungy, well-adapted to the rainy, grey climate (via lighting elements and being mostly indoors). The Embarcadero combines City Beautiful and Mediterranean Revival concepts and styles in ways that speak to the noble side of SF's history and catch its marvellous clear sunlight. Surely Washington has something to offer as inspiration: eclectic rowhouses, marble edifices, an earnest appreciation of history, a 4-season climate, etc.

dihi on Feb 10, 2012, 1:17:00 PM said...

So basically the city picked a guy who has done 1 rehab and an infill building that was smashed into a space way too small for its footprint to "Expand" the SW waterfront. What makes everyone think he has the knowledge or expertise to carry it off? Why should we listen to him when he says he needs 13 story buildings to make it pay? his other projects have been much lower rise.

The Adams-Morgan project was 5 stories. The completed Mather Building was 10 stories. The proposed Northern Exchange Building will be only 6 stories. They all make economic sense and fit into their respective neighborhoods. Why is it only in Southwest at our Waterfront must he build massive 13 story buildings with 18 foot penthouses above separated by tiny alleys of 20 and 30 feet from Maine Avenue to the water to make it "viable."

Also to address Wharf street...It is to be cobblestone. Not the most conducive surface for biking, carriages and wheelchairs. And it will be shared with cars, streetcars and pedestrians. That ought to be fun.

Johnathan on Feb 11, 2012, 4:25:00 PM said...

How they going to name any retail tenants?

Construction Companies on Oct 15, 2012, 7:45:00 AM said...

Nice post I wish we don't have to wait too much time for it to get designed.
Water Front Homes Seattle

 

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