Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Grosvenor, Skanska Close on Ballpark Site, Hope for Construction Next Summer

Capitol Riverfront real estate developmentThe Capitol Riverfront neighborhood got another shot in the arm today as developers announced a new project adjacent to the Nationals ballpark.  Developers Skanska USA and Grosvenor Americas closed yesterday on their purchase of the long block on 1st Street, SE, between M and N Streets, just north of the ballpark, and hope to begin construction by next summer.

Washington DC commercial property
The site, known as Square 701, will hold four buildings with more than 650,000 s.f. in total:

-An 11-story, 224,000 s.f. office building (built by Skanska, designed by Gensler, see rendering below),

-A 170-room hotel (by Grosvenor),

-Two residential buildings with a total of 285 units and connected by a "trellised glass bridge" (by Grosvenor, designed by Hickok Cole).
Washington DC retail for lease

In all, the site will offer up to 55,000 s.f. of retail space.  The land had been owned by Potomac-based Willco Companies since 1948, and was cleared of buildings several years ago; in a simultaneous transaction Grosvenor purchased nearly the entire block from Willco and Skanska purchased the northernmost portion of the site from Grosvenor.  The site is adjacent to the hole Monument Realty excavated in 2007 and has left sitting ever since.  Rob Ward of Skanska says that while Grosvenor and Skanska are not technical or financial partners on the project, they will be working in tandem to unify the site.

Ward tells DCMud that while Willco had its own plans for the site, both Skanska and Grosvenor are developing new building designs, which have been wending their way through DC's zoning process throughout the summer.  Ward expects that under the most optimistic circumstances work could be underway on either the residential or office component as early as next summer; to date the developers have been in discussion with the ANC and zoning officials but "don't have enough design to pull permits yet."  Ward says the project is "basically by-right zoning" and "consistent with what the city has in mind for the site."

The new building is being designed to earn a LEED Gold platinum rating.  McCaffery Interests will be representing Grosvenor on construction elements of the project, which include the alley (Cushing Place) between this site and Monument's land.  The alley is expected to be reopened, though Ward notes that he has no news on Monument's projections for work to resume.  Below is a site plan - north is up.

Washington D.C. real estate development news


Anonymous said...

What a beauty! I can't wait to see those curtain wall reveals up close.

Jay on Oct 11, 2012, 9:18:00 AM said...

There's hope and indication DC will get the 2015 All Star game, so it will be nice to have the Half Street walkup have this new building, as well as some others by then.

Anonymous said...

How funny. I'm actually not sure whether the first comment above was meant ironically or not. It's certainly true that the details make or break the curtain wall, but even if they are exceptional in this case, I think it's gonig to be hard to get exciting by this building.

Skidrowe said...

The first comment, I feel certain, was meant ironically. It harkens back to a comments discussion from last week.

Unlike the building under previous discussion, this office building will take a lot more than good curtainwall details to have any life, though. What a dog! Even the renderer seems to consign it to terminal dullness.

To the architects: Geometric complication doesn't buy you much if the exterior materials are boring and badly proportioned. You're better off doing a full-envelope building (a "box"--no random notches, angles, etc.) with thoughtful facades. These can still be all-glass if desired (although let's face it, that's lost most of its excitement due to overuse), but regardless of materials, they need to be interesting and well-considered.

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