Thursday, February 21, 2008

Gateway On Its Way

MRP Realty is about to finish the design phase for their long awaited Washington Gateway project located at the corner of New York and Florida Avenues in NE, on the northern edge of NoMa. The 1 million-s.f. project will cost an estimated $350 million to construct, and sit atop the New York Avenue metro station. MRP closed on the purchase of the land from Greenebaum & Rose Associates in August of ’07. Designs are now 80% complete with only interior refinements remaining. The bidding phase and excavation applications will follow, with ground breaking expected in the third quarter of this year.

The project will consist of three buildings, two of which will be office towers. The northern tower - the tallest in the NoMa and Capitol area - will have about 415,000 s.f. of office space. Its sister tower to the south will have roughly 210,000 s.f. The taller building caused MRP a setback in December of 2006 when the National Capital Planning Commission objected to its height, an attribute at least in part caused by a 40 foot height difference between New York and Florida Avenues. The Zoning Commission overrode their objection (yes, they can do that) and made the final approval in February of 2007, deciding to measure the building's height from New York Avenue, although the foundation for the building will be poured on the Florida Avenue level. This allows MRP an extra three stories, making the Washington Gateway more visible to those entering NoMa from New York Avenue - a rare coup for height in our two-dimensional city.

The opposite side of the site features a "T" shaped building, housing a 180-room hotel and a 260-unit apartment tower, of which 8% of the units will be reserved for affordable housing. The rental units will feature 'condo level' finishes like granite counter tops and undermount sinks. A public central plaza will connect each building.

Washington Gateway will also give commuters and residents easy access to the New York Avenue Metro and the Metropolitan Branch Bike Trail. The three-story glass Bicycle Atrium will provide bike storage, lockers, refreshments, trail and neighborhood maps, and an automated bike pump.

MRP is teaming up with Gensler Architecture as master planner and designer of the commercial office buildings. SK&I Architectural Design Group is working on the residential building and hotel while Oculus is planning the plaza and streetscape design.

According to Gensler's Michael Patrick, Washington Gateway "extends the urban grid of NoMA from the south into what was an abandoned and isolated eyesore, and creates a great urban space in a plaza with first class materials."

"The residential building cantilevers an energetic volume of triangular glass which will capture and frame the view for those eastbound on either Avenue. The residential tower and south office building create a ceremonial entry from NoMA, with the office building's plaza facade articulated in high detail of stone, glass and metal to set the tone for the Class A office space inside," Patrick added.

Completion of Washington Gateway is expected in the fall of 2010.


John W DC on Feb 21, 2008, 2:30:00 PM said...

I really hope this project keeps on track. They still haven't broke ground at Constitution Square which will house a new supermarket. That's supposed to happen in this quarter.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand - will this go in on the south side of the DOT building next to the tracks?

John W DC on Feb 21, 2008, 4:27:00 PM said...

It will be just north of the ATF building in that triangle plot of land. Between New York, Florida and the train tracks.

Anonymous said...

So good to see this happening. It appears that NOMA is one step closer to attaining the critical mass we need to see in order for development to move toward the "sustainable urban living" model gaining popularity throughout the city. Very exciting times!

Anonymous said...

"sit atop" or "site adjacent"? I haven't seen anything showing it on top of the NY Ave station.

yp_fred_washington_416 on Feb 22, 2008, 8:57:00 PM said...

The building ideas shown in the pics are so boring. Doesn't the site require quality or at worst something a bit better than mediocre K-avenue design.

Anonymous said...

Well I gotta say kudos for such a big ambitious project in what has been such a dead area of town. If it goes forward, it will make this area livable again, and get rid of that armpit area that is now the intersection of NY and FL Aves. Maybe N. Capitol Street will stop being an open air drug market.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the status is of this project? I have yet to see any ground broken.

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