Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Northwest One Project Aims to be First New Residence in Northwest One

Northwest One's race for the first residential project is showing some contest. The development team for the SeVerna had forecasted earlier this year that their 60-unit affordable housing project would get moving this summer, which DCMud reported last spring, but construction has not yet taken place, and now William C. Smith & Co claims their $80 million, 314-unit "classy, rental building" will in fact be the first to break ground - next spring. But not so, says Jose Sousa, a spokesman with Mayor Adrian Fenty's office, the SeVerna's developers settled on their property August 12 and will be breaking ground, at least officially, "in the next couple of weeks."

The District has already built the Walker Jones Education Campus, a school and recreation center, officially the first successful portion of the redevelopment plan, but it remains unclear where its next students will come from, as neither the Severna developers ( MissionFirst Development, The Henson Development Company and Golden Rule Apartments, Inc.) nor William C. Smith have offered a definitive date for actual construction. William C. Smith's proposed building will stand twelve stories tall upon completion,
with a small ground-floor retail component, a first installment on the larger Northwest One Initiative (part of the New Communities Project), a $700 million redevelopment project in Ward 6, providing a makeover for the scarred, crime-infested real estate extending from K Street in the
south to New York Avenue in the north, and stretching from North Capitol Street in the east to New Jersey Avenue in the west. In 2007, the Mayor and DMPED awarded the rights to the redevelopment project to One Vision Development Partners headed by William C. Smith & Co in partnership with Jair Lynch, with Banneker Ventures and affordable housing provider Community Preservation and Development Corporation also involved with portions of the larger project. As promised, the building will offer 93 affordable units, 30% of the total apartments.

The first parcel (out of a total of 5 or 6) will be situated on the corner of North Capitol and M Street, NE, technically in NoMa. Architectural designs are courtesy of Eric Colbert & Associates; William C. Smith-affiliated WCS Construction will build the structure. Architect Brian Bukowski says the industrial nature of this part of DC was the major inspiration for a unifying aesthetic theme. "We wanted to give the building an updated post-industrial flavor," Bukowski explained. The exposed fixed post steel, generous use of red brick, and angular, geometric fenestration seem to bear out his claim. But if on whole the building brings to mind a downtown warehouse, the ten two-level townhouses serve as a friendlier introduction to the large facade on the M Street side of the building. The townhomes and accompanying courtyard will help relate to the residential-nature of the immediate neighborhoods. Loading and and parking access will be relegated to the opposite site of the building on Patterson Avenue. A roof penthouse will crown the building.

The main rooftop will not only provide panoramic views, but will also be ornamented with a landscaped green terrace and lap pool. A rain harvesting cistern on the roof will conserve run-off and curb water consumption; low-flow showers will further aid the conservation effort. On what will likely be a crowded roof are several solar panels, funneling electricity to the building's energy grid. In the end, residents will be able to brag about one of the greenest roofs in the city, collecting water, converting the sun's rays into usable energy, and deflecting thermal load with it's organic plant life, all aspects in an effort to earn a LEED Silver certification, with the possibility of becoming the first LEED Gold-rated multifamily residential building in the District.

William C. Smith is in the final steps of negotiating the lease agreement with the District, and although financing is not in place, developers are working toward securing funds, still optimistic that groundbreaking will happen in the late first quarter or early second quarter of next year. A request for subcontracting bids has been issued by WCS, a sign that the developers and teammates are serious about moving forward. The estimated 20-24 month construction time places delivery in the early part of 2013.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News


Anonymous said...

Too bad that if Gray wins this fall he will kill Northwest One just like he tried to kill the trolley...

Anonymous said...

why would gray kill NW-1?
and no, he didnt try to kill the streetcar. he tried to ensure fiscal responsibility. the news today states that the work on the streetcar line is being halted.

its going to be expensive and we need to find funding. gray has been a supporter of the streetcars since the beginning.

what gray is really bad at is PR, because people are pretty clueless about him.

Anonymous said...

Northwest One is across North Capitol form this site.

Anonymous said...

No one knows what Gray will do until his pollsters tell him which opinion is most popular, then he will follow the crowd. I've never heard him take a strong, original position on anything. He's just a not-Fenty candidate.

Anonymous said...

Gray would kill NW1, because he does not understand the difference between an investment and an expense. The halting of work on the street cars today reeks of Gray. He tried to kill it before in a midnight back room deal to halt the gentrification of Ward 6 & H street. The street cars are highly popular program, but because its not a "social program" but an actual investment Gray opposes it. Gray is a throw back to they days of Marrion Barry. He's bad for the City. DC has gone to far to fall back now.

Unknown on Aug 26, 2010, 4:42:00 PM said...

spare me the political conjecture.

Alex Higbee on Aug 27, 2010, 10:03:00 AM said...

I'm glad to see a concerted focus on sustainable design principles and the goal to achieve LEED Gold for the intial residential parcel, even if it will not be the first in the District to reach that level. That distinction goes to WestEnd25, a Vornado/ Charles E. Smith residential project designed by Shalom Baranes Associates Architects and built by James G Davis Construction. It was completed earlier this year and has already received the LEED Gold certification from the USGBC.

The more the merrier, though.

Truth, not innuendo said...

The comments about Vince Gray are totally off-base! Is that you, Omar Karim, or some other Fenty fraternity buddy? The reality is that Vince totally supports the streetcar system -- he had been misinformed by a staffer about how much planning had already been done, and had re-allocated some construction funds to complete the planning for the system. As soon as he found out that the original information was incorrect, he immediately admitted his mistake and found the necessary funds to continue the construction. In other words, HE ADMITTED A MISTAKE, something that Mayor Fenty only figured out how to do after he lost all but one ward straw poll and discovered that he was losing the election. As for Northwest One, not only has Vince always been a strong supporter that project, he supported getting Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings added as a New Communities project, at the request of the residents. Vince was the one who hammered out a majority on the Council to give the full power over the schools to the Mayor -- had it been left to Mr. Let-me-gratuitously-piss-off-the-legislative-branch-by-refusing-to-have-my-senior-staff- show-up-for-oversight-hearings- and-having-my-personal-attorney Peter-Nickles-reject-four-times-as-many-freedom-of-information-requests-as-prior-administrations-and-refusing-to-send-the-baseball-tickets-specifically-earmarked-for-them Fenty, we wouldn't even have a Michelle Rhee.

And by the way, has anyone ever seen the original cost estimates and timetables and compared them to the final accounting for all those $400,000 dog parks and shiny new buildings that Fenty keeps saying were built on time and under budget?

Shawchica said...

Gray has actually been involved in this area years before Fenty was even a name in DC Politics... he was the Executive Director of Covenant House which has a location right there on New York Ave, east of North Capital. Because of this work he was helpful in the Perry Center (NY ave/1st, nw) support and continues to this day to be an advocate of support of NW1. The NW 1 project was actually started by Williams and changed (not with community support) once Fenty came into office. There is also a new great garden for the school and community on the corner of K and New Jersey at least until some more of the building starts.

Anonymous said...

Someone please tell me this. What is the purpose of a dog park? I swear people would rather love animals instead of humans.

Anonymous said...


a dog park is designed so that dogs may run separate from children, so that childrens parks don't get covered in dog feces and urine. and to keep children ( and other adults) safe. they are built with special run offs to keep feces from seeping into the ground.

in the long run , they benefit children as well as dogs and dog owners.

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