Friday, June 25, 2010

CityCenter: On Track for Early 2011 Groundbreaking

As the financial downturn slowly releases its chokehold from DC development, increasingly large projects are beginning to set timelines, even without tenants. Underscoring that point is Archstone and Hines Interests’ redevelopment of the old Convention Center site, a plan has been mired in delays, with one groundbreaking schedule after another falling to the wayside. Developers are now claiming that the project will begin early next year. The multi-phase, mixed-use development will commandeer 10-acres of vacant downtown property to eventually realize 400,000 square feet of retail space, more than a million square feet of office space, 458 rental apartments, 216 condos and a 400-bed “high-end” hotel with its own 100,000 square foot retail plaza, under a 99 year lease from the city.
Howard Riker, Vice President at Hines Development, said the developers are "pretty much done with all of our plans and are within a couple weeks to be able to pull our building permits." Riker also indicated that the team had to rework a few elements of the office building design to "accommodate a major tenant prospect." He was unwilling to divulge any information about the prospective major tenant. Riker said the team has already chosen a general contractor team of Clark with Smoot Construction; subcontractor bidding will begin shortly. The first phase of construction is scheduled for the first quarter of 2011. "The idea is that we'd start construction on the entire site south of I Street at one time, dig a deep hole, build the parking" and then continue with the office and residential projects, explained Riker. The project should reach "substantial completion between May and September 2013" estimated Riker, adding that the office would deliver first, likely in the spring, with the residential following shortly thereafter over the summer. The first phase is estimated to cost $700 million and is is entirely privately financed, according to Riker. Foster and Partners of London and DC-based Shalom Baranes serve as co-architects on the massive endeavor. Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, "the design of the landscape, office and condominium buildings relates to the specific sun and wind patterns and the climate. The site and the buildings will also incorporate solar shading, harness rainwater and water conservation and planting," according to Foster's website. The second phase (the northern quadrant) of the project includes a hotel on property owned by Kingdon Gould, which he obtained through a land swap with the District Government in 2007. Gould gave up land on the site of the future Convention Center Marriott to get the northeast parcel of CityCenter. Riker indicated the 350-400 room hotel project was still in the planning stage, but that the team could select an operator "hopefully later this year." Washington, DC real estate development news


Anonymous said...

They already pushed back the start of the NOMA project. Now, they think they are going to start this one in 2011. Archstone is broke. They'll probably have to sell the land to pay their debts.

Anonymous said...

The major tenant referred to in this article likely is Skadden Arps. The scuttlebutt is that the firm signed a letter of intent to move from 1440 NY over to CityCenter.

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