Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Making Half Street Whole

Construction noises and dust are a welcome sign at 1015 Half Street, a planned office project that fell victim to the economic times and has sat half-finished ever since construction stopped in mid 2009. The halted project was the product of a partnership between Opus East, LLC and Prudential Real Estate Investors until Opus ran aground and filed for bankruptcy in mid-2009. Now that court-appointed receiver, Douglas Wilson Companies, is in the picture, general contractor Skanska USA Building has a new $26 million contract to begin work again on the shell and bring 1015 Half Street to completion within the year. Skanska, which is developing the stalled office project at 10th & G, was the surprise choice in a bid awarded on April 23rd.

Construction, begun in October 2008, has now resumed, and will add 442,000 square feet of office space, complemented by 21,000 square feet of retail to the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. The 10-story, WDG-designed building boasts a 2-story lobby, 8 1/2' ceilings, 3 stories of underground parking and views of the Capitol and Anacostia River. Opus purchased the property in 2007 from Potomac Investment Properties for $41.5m.

Skanska is shooting for a Silver ranking from the USGBC, the arbiter of greenness, by covering 60% of the roof with vegetation, using recycled materials, and adding bike racks and showers, among other features. Skanska Executive Vice President and General Manager, Chuck Brawley, said the project will "certainly be silver" but that the team is "hoping to get gold." Altogether a much different atmosphere than when the site was home of the Nation nightclub.

Skanska will still need to complete the building’s core and shell, including the building’s glass and precast concrete exterior skin before work on the interior commences, though Skanska anticipates completion by December. Brawley said his company "tried and succeeded to reuse the existing contractors" who had worked on the site, prior to the stall. About the significance of renewed work to the community, Brawley said the project is "realizing the potential of the area, moving the redevelopment along. We are excited to be part of this success." Skanska, headquartered in Stockholm, currently has 33 offices and 7,000 employees in the U.S. alone.

Washington, DC real estate development news


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