Thursday, March 01, 2012

JBG's Woodley Park Residential Tower Reborn as 2700 Woodley



Construction on The JBG Companies' long-planned residential tower in Woodley Park, just east of the Marriott Wardman Park, is well underway with excavation nearly complete, and the project - formerly known as Wardman West - has been rebranded as 2700 Woodley.
Upon completion (delivery is anticipated in Q1 2014), the upscale David M. Schwarz Architects-designed tower will offer 211 rental residences. Ongoing speculation has centered on whether the project would be condos or apartments, and it turns out that developers have decided to go the "premier apartment community" route, a savvy decision considering the almost complete absence of new high-end rentals in the immediate area. Matthew R. Blocher, Senior Vice President at JBG, said a full-scale marketing campaign will launch in the fall. (Possibly from New York-based SeventhArt?)

A new rendering acquired by DCMud (top) shows a building structurally similar to the Esocoff-designed concept depicted in the earlier renderings (below, right), but with a vastly different, and more attractive facade. Whereas the previous design verged on minimalistic (if not outright post-Soviet Eastern Bloc), the new facade is more texturally interesting, and much more in keeping with the character of the nearby hotel.

While the 2700 Woodley tower will likely be successful, the building also represents something of a defeat for JBG. After buying the nearby Wardman Park hotel and its 16-acre parcel for $300 million in 2005, JBG and partner CIM planned to convert the hotel into residences, in addition to building the new tower. Marriott objected, the project stalled, and then the recession hit. The project lay dormant for some years before resurfacing in seemingly unrelated litigation between JBG and Marriott over a new Marriott hotel at the Washington Convention Center. After a JBG-affiliated entity filed suit to block construction at the Convention Center, a Marriott countersuit claimed JBG's suit was a mere tactic to force them to renegotiate regarding the Wardman Park hotel. JBG denied this, and eventually all suits were dropped.

Regardless of what it was really all about, the Marriott Wardman Park, the city's largest hotel, and onetime home to three former U.S. presidents (I'll buy you a drink if you can name all three without looking on Wikipedia), continues to operate, even as construction kicks into high gear just to the west.

Washington D.C. real estate development news

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an improvement! I wish that firm got more work here in DC. Finally a firm that's not afraid to give the people what they want, beauty!

Anonymous said...

The "new" design appears to be an unimaginitive adapatation of the exact materials and motifs of the Wardman Tower component of the hotel to a different-shaped building. Let's hope that what the Schwarz design lacks in vision, optimism, and yes beauty is offset by quality materials and detailing. (Not that Esocoff's design looks so great either, but at least it speaks to history-in-the-making.)

Anonymous said...

Was the Capitol building "History in the Making" or was it a nostalgic rip-off of Ancient Rome, the Vatican, and St. Pauls?

You be the judge.

Anonymous said...

it can't be east of the marriott wardman park or it'd be on conn ave. if it was called wardman west initially, let's just say it's to the west of the wardman park hotel.

Anonymous said...

Architects have copied design elements from other buildings for thousands of years. This is nothing new. It is a form of flattery as I see it.

And, some of the world's most famous buildings that have been around for hundreds or thousands of years also copied design elements from its predecessors.

JBG's 2700 Woodley is a beauty and will be a keeper. It is scaled nicely, from its massing down to the look of the windows. The landscaping is gorgeous. The building also has a clearly defined base, middle, and top, which is pleasing to the eye. Great job.

Murphy said...

DCMud editors:

I'm willing to forgive the many grammatical and factual errors on this site, but I really wish you guys would save the half-baked aesthetic judgments for another forum. The relative "attractiveness" of the facades is your subjective opinion. Esocoff's design wasn't perfect, but you do yourself no favors by calling it "Soviet bloc" (just because a design is modern does not make it Soviet bloc) and "minimalistic" (the word is minimalist, and it doesn't apply to this design, either). In any case, I find Esocoff's design to be more preferable to Schwatz's, which is a facile pastiche, a confused jumble of historical motifs.

Anonymous said...

Murphy: Thank you. I agree.

DCmud: I will stop coming to this site if the subjective remarks continue; not that I'm anyone but Anonymous.

Ken on Mar 2, 2012, 11:30:00 AM said...

Well we certainly appreciate your forgiving spirit, we forgive your misspellings as well. We collectively preferred the David Schwarz design, which is of course subjective. If that opens a discussion, its positive, you are free to disagree, and we respect that. Thanks for the comment.

-Editor

Anonymous said...

Wierd. People are threatning to come to this site becasue the editors dared to express an opinion contrary to their own? Isn't that the whole point of a blog? I want to commend the editors for not falling into the facile "pastiche, a confused jumble of historical motifs" criticisms. The "soviet" character of the Escoff design seems to be in character with the "pastiche" commentator in that it's their way or the highway. In the market place of ideas, everyone's opinion is equaly valid, whether one agrees or not.
Keep up the good work.

Bob See on Mar 2, 2012, 2:44:00 PM said...

Much nicer. The old design is impersonal and those balconies look like stuck-on afterthoughts. I agree with the Soviet Bloc look, it looks like some kind of "heroic" government building rather than a nice residential one. The new design is more cohesive and seems a better fit. Not everything has to attempt to be the next architectural "revolution", comrades.

Connecticut Ave. neighbor said...

Finally someone builds a residential apartment building here with bricks. I am glad that JGB is offering renters of the national capital region a choice.

Anonymous said...

dumb (see above comments).

Anonymous said...

"we forgive your misspellings as well." - dumb.

CQ on Mar 4, 2012, 1:40:00 AM said...

The concept drawing reminds me of 425 Massachusetts Ave NW (formerly The Dumont) as well as 1010 Mass Ave NW (XX Mass). I can't really tell but I hope 2700 Woodley will have some nice terrace units, even if only as penthouses.

Anonymous said...

Lifeless design on a beautiful and exclusive site. The new design reminds me more of a retirement home.

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