MRP Realty edged closer to a groundbreaking of the $360 million Washington Gateway in NoMa, as crews this week began disassembling commercial billboards occupying the three-acre site at the intersection of New York Avenue and Florida Avenue, NE.
While some real estate insiders said construction would start shortly, Julie Chase, a spokeswoman on behalf of MRP Realty, said in an e-mail not to read too much into the action on the site as MRP is still in the permitting process. "Yes, the billboards are coming down, but that does not mean they are starting any construction," she said.
The two billboards on the site, both facing the railroad tracks, the Metro Red Line and inbound New York Avenue drivers, have been a familiar sight for road and rail commuters, but now it appears they could finally be replaced by construction cranes and equipment.
The million-square-foot project, designed by SK& I Architectural Design Group and Gensler and to be built by Davis Construction, will be completed in three phases. The first step will be SK&I's 11-story apartment building with 400 units and 5,200 s.f. of retail.
The initial phase will be followed by two Gensler-designed 11-story office buildings, one with 200,000 s.f. and the other with 400,000 s.f., along with 10,000 s.f. of retail. Gensler is the designer of PNC Place at 800 17th Street NW, and SK& I recently designed Wisconsin Place in Friendship Heights.
All told, the 170-foot high (by some ways of measuring), triangle-shaped project with green space in the middle will have about 15,000 s.f. of retail facing Florida Avenue, NE, which will get its own facelift with new sidewalks, street lighting and landscaping.
The anticipated construction of Washington Gateway comes as the District is in the middle of a $36.5 million rehab of the nearby New York Avenue bridge which will run through September 2013, thanks to federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funding. The bridge reconstruction, which began in March 2011 is about 40 percent complete, according to contractor Fort Myer Construction Company. Already, on the northwestern side of New York Avenue, NoMa West, by Mill Creek Residential Trust, is nearly a year in towards constructing more than 600 residential units, having broken ground in March 2011 and is expected to be complete by spring of 2014.
Washington D.C. real estate development news