Friday, October 16, 2020

The Parks at Walter Reed

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The Parks at Walter Reed, NW Washington DCPhase One of the Parks at Walter Reed is coming to fruition.  It may seem impossible that such a gargantuan undertaking has gone through what seems like interminable planning, but two of the first phase of buildings will deliver early next year.  The project runs the risk of being both overhyped and understated - DC began planning in earnest in 2006, chose the master planner in 2013, purchased the land from the Army and transferred the site to its developers in 2016, and the first delivery arrives in 2021, with every year in between reporting significant but shifting details.  And still the scale defies casual understanding, a 110 acre parcel, largely inaccessible and hidden behind walls, destined for 3.1m square feet of development just on the public portion (the State Department will take the western third of the site) producing over 2100 units of housing, 300,000 s.f. of office, 175,000 s.f. of retail and public spaces.

Parks at Walter Reed, Urban Atlantic, Hines, Triden, Washington DC, retail for lease, new construction, Torti Gallas
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Technically, the site has already delivered its first housing - 91 units of affordable housing to former military personnel in a refurbished building, but two new buildings, the Brooks and the Vale, will deliver 89 condos and 300 apartments next quarter, the first new buildings of the site.  By the time the decaying military hospital was closed in 2011 and transferred to Bethesda, Walter Reed had served "millions of military personnel" since opening in 1909.  In 2013, the District government chose the master development team of Urban Atlantic, Hines, and Triden, with Torti Gallas as the master architect.  More on the development in Part II, coming next week...

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Old Town Waterfront Project Nears Opening

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EYA is nearing completion on their Old Town Alexandria project, Robinson Landing.  Originally the site of a deep water landing when first mapped in 1749 by a surveyor and his young assistant, George Washington, the land had once one of the busiest seaports in America but was gradually filled in.  The nearly complete project consists of 70 condos in 3 buildings facing the water, as well as 26 (already completed) townhomes.  Designed by Shalom Baranes and built by Donohoe Construction, the project sits on 2 acres of land on the south side of Old Town, overlooking the Potomac River, the MGM hotel at National Harbor, and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
Robinson Landing, Old Town Alexandria, EYA, Donohoe construction, Shalom Baranes architect, commercial real estate

Incorporated into the site is a warehouse, first built in the late 1700's and replaced in the late 1800's, which still stands.  Excavation of the historic site was expected to take 9 months but stretched to double that thanks to the discovery of 3 buried ships, sinking old ships being a common practice to fill in land. 8,000 s.f. of retail space will also face the Potomac and include restaurants Shoreline and Barca by Alexandria Restaurant Partners, the latter designed by Hapstak Demetriou made partially out of shipping containers located on a pier.  Condo sales began at $1.25m for a one-bedroom unit.
Robinson Landing, Old Town Alexandria, EYA, Donohoe construction, Shalom Baranes architect, commercial real estate

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Saturday, October 10, 2020

DC's Best Water Views Opening Next Month

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A Washington DC address - and a view of the water - are nearly oxymoronic desires.  At least until next month, when RiverPoint opens at the southern tip of Buzzard Point with 485 apartments and 70,000 s.f. of retail next month.  The southwestern promontory of DC was, not long ago, an industrial no-man's land, but real estate development has recently and rapidly shifted the landscape toward much trendier uses, including a strong retail presence on the waterfront.  The mixed use project by Akridge, Western Development, Orr Partners and Jefferson Development Group is close to  completion on what is very nearly the southern tip of southwest DC.  The conversion of the former Coast Guard headquarters was achieved by Antunovich Associates, the same firm that designed the conversion of the Watermark, the other Coast Guard headquarters building a block away, another office-to residential project by Douglas Development that delivered this summer.

In keeping with its location highlighting river views, RiverPoint features a rooftop pool with views that stretch well down the Potomac, and beyond the Frederic Douglass Memorial Bridge (still under construction).  Development of the land also completes one more section of the Anacostia River Trail, which will soon connect under the FDMB, making an easy walk or bike to the Navy Yard or Anacostia. 70,000 s.f. of retail will include restaurants by Greg Casten (of ProFish, Ivy City Smokehouse, Nick's Riverside Grill and Tony & Joe's), and by Spike Gjerde, a James Beard chef that until recently ran A Rake's Progress at the line hotel in Adams Morgan.  Architect Joe Antunovich noted the challenges of converting such a large building from "a very sturdy headquarters, but we were able to carve out atrium spaces to let light deep into the building that created more views of the water."  Antunovich called Buzzard Point "a sleeping giant, neglected for so long, and yet so close to so many things."  The firm had to remove the second floor to accommodate retail, noting the unhelpful 10 foot slab-to-slab floor plates required removal of a floor to allow for 20 foot ceiling heights in the retail.

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Riverpoint Apartments, Buzzard Point, Akridge, CBG construction, Western Development, Antunovich Associates, retail for lease Washington DC, Orr Partners

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Riverpoint Apartments, Buzzard Point, Akridge, CBG construction, Western Development, Antunovich Associates, commercial real estate Washington DC

Riverpoint Apartments, Buzzard Point, Akridge, CBG construction, Western Development, Antunovich Associates, commercial real estate Washington DC


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