Thursday, February 02, 2012

Washington Gateway Finally Breaking Ground?

MRP Realty edged closer to a groundbreaking of the $360 million Washington Gateway in NoMa, as crews this week began disassembling commercial billboards occupying the three-acre site at the intersection of New York Avenue and Florida Avenue, NE.

While some real estate insiders said construction would start shortly, Julie Chase, a spokeswoman on behalf of MRP Realty, said in an e-mail not to read too much into the action on the site as MRP is still in the permitting process. "Yes, the billboards are coming down, but that does not mean they are starting any construction," she said.

The two billboards on the site, both facing the railroad tracks, the Metro Red Line and inbound New York Avenue drivers, have been a familiar sight for road and rail commuters, but now it appears they could finally be replaced by construction cranes and equipment.

The million-square-foot project, designed by SK&; I Architectural Design Group and Gensler and to be built by Davis Construction, will be completed in three phases. The first step will be SK&I's 11-story apartment building with 400 units and 5,200 s.f. of retail.

The initial phase will be followed by two Gensler-designed 11-story office buildings, one with 200,000 s.f. and the other with 400,000 s.f., along with 10,000 s.f. of retail. Gensler is the designer of PNC Place at 800 17th Street NW, and SK& I recently designed Wisconsin Place in Friendship Heights.

All told, the 170-foot high (by some ways of measuring), triangle-shaped project with green space in the middle will have about 15,000 s.f. of retail facing Florida Avenue, NE, which will get its own facelift with new sidewalks, street lighting and landscaping.

The anticipated construction of Washington Gateway comes as the District is in the middle of a $36.5 million rehab of the nearby New York Avenue bridge which will run through September 2013, thanks to federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus funding. The bridge reconstruction, which began in March 2011 is about 40 percent complete, according to contractor Fort Myer Construction Company. Already, on the northwestern side of New York Avenue, NoMa West, by Mill Creek Residential Trust, is nearly a year in towards constructing more than 600 residential units, having broken ground in March 2011 and is expected to be complete by spring of 2014.

Washington D.C. real estate development news


Will Harvey on Feb 2, 2012, 2:37:00 PM said...

Great to hear Washington Gateway is moving forward. FYI - Mill Creek's website is now calling their project "Arrive at NoMa"

Anonymous said...

The architecture isn't the slightest bit innovative, but the basic forms seem well-considered. With the right materials & specifications, it could look sharp. With the wrong materials & specifications, it could look like the lower-rent north end of NOMA (that it of course actually is).

Essentially the same comments apply to the site planning/urban design. If the fountain is big and fabulous, if the paving is well-chosen, if the 15,000 sf of retail addresses and enlivens the street, etc., then this development could be a nice, unexpected jewel of civility. But if they cheap out on the fountain & other "street furniture" and put banks, CVS, and Korean lunch buffets in the retail, it will be sad and unloved.

MRP, it's your chance to step up to the plate! Make the decisions that can make this development successful (and higher rent) - not the decisions to attract a federal government tenant.

Critically Urban on Feb 2, 2012, 4:47:00 PM said...

You forgot the 180-key hotel component!

Dan Goldstein on Feb 2, 2012, 7:30:00 PM said...

Actually the hotel is no longer in the plans.

Anonymous said...


Alan Page on Feb 2, 2012, 10:27:00 PM said...

The Google Map link in the upper left (orange logo) does not appear to work.

Alan Page on Feb 2, 2012, 10:28:00 PM said...

Oh, and just so every comment I leave is not critical, this blog is excellent and my main source of real estate development news online. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

They actually have a contractor lined up, and this will be starting shortly. I think this will be the best project in NoMa - trail connection, public art $, retail, sidewalk widening, etc. It will also really help the retail strip on either side of 2nd between N & Florida to have more pedestrians on this side of NoMa.

Bob See on Feb 3, 2012, 12:19:00 PM said...

Anonymous said...

Translation: "Reading too much signal. Not enough noise. Brain. Hurts. Must. Cry. Out."


Dan Goldstein on Feb 4, 2012, 6:46:00 PM said...

Thanks Alan for the note on the map. I'll see if I can fix it.

Alan Page on Feb 6, 2012, 4:54:00 AM said...

If they're smart, they'll build in some kind of easy entry/exit ramps for bikers utilizing the Metropolitan Branch Trail running right alongside the building site, so future occupants in their complex will be able to get onto the trail, or arrive home off of it, easily.

Anonymous said...


They will have a massive atrium and entrance from the trail, and will improve and expand the trail through their property. This lobby will be open to the public.

This site is just outside of the "transferable development rights" (TDR) zone of most of NoMa, so it needed to add many community benefits for approval as a PUD.

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