Showing posts with label Bank of America. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bank of America. Show all posts

Friday, October 15, 2010

Construction at New VIDA-U Street to Begin Shortly

Having recently secured a ten million dollar loan from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Urban Adventures Companies, headed by David Von Storch, will move forward with their plans to renovate and expand what is currently their corporate headquarters and soon-to-be "flagship" VIDA Fitness site at 1612 U St. NW. With Zoning approval already in hand, only the task of finalizing building permits stands between developers and initial construction; a groundbreaking is expected within the next two weeks.

What will become the fourth and by far the largest VIDA in the District is set to feature a 51,500-s.f., 4-story health club facility offering classes, state-of-the-art machines, personal trainers, and more. A 10,000 s.f., three-story "transparent, modern" expansion will allow for the tremendous increase in fitness-focused square footage; but don't worry preservationists (the DC Historic Preservation Review Board already gave the project a thumbs up), the addition is designed in a way that "complements and preserves the historic architecture of the existing circa 1921 building." To top it all off, literally, the new complex will be outfitted with a "rooftop club including a 60-foot pool, resort cabanas, communal fire pit, outdoor waterfall, sundeck and a membership lounge with full food and beverage service." For those willing to fork over the arm and leg for membership, the new location is sure to offer an array of tools to tone, shape, and relax your remaining two limbs. Some of the flashier amenities include a European sauna, steam room, endless pool, and infrared sauna (somewhere Liz Lemon is saying "I want to go to there"). If that's not enough, the new gym will also feature a 65-foot programmable illuminated interior color wall, which will offer close-up shots of unsuspecting gym-goers' cellulite lines for embarrassing but necessary fat-burning inspiration (just kidding it won't do that).

David Von Storch, who owns the building at 1612 U Street, refused a lease renewal of current tenant and fellow business rival Results Gym, enabling him to takeover the space and assemble all facets of his business enterprise under one roof. Upon completed renovation, all four Urban Adventures entities (Bang Salon, Capital City Brewing Co., Aura Spa, and of course VIDA) will occupy expanded and improved spaces in what Von Storch calls "a desirable urban lifestyle center." This comes as a relief to the young and restless on a time-crunch, who can now get pampered, styled, buff, and buzzed all in one-stop. The Von Storch owned Capitol City Brewing Company will occupy a newly designed restaurant space intended for upscale dining, closely derived from Storch’s newest restaurant concept 901. The current Von-Storch owned and operated 1612 Cafe will be turned into office space intended for local professional services businesses.

Von Storch hopes that much of this action will eventually be captured on film and aired in a reality TV series. Last year he partnered with New York production company Celebrity Endeavors to film and produce the of the pilot episode of “Complicated Order” (the show's working title). And in January of 2010 Von Storch hosted a premiere screening of the episode at Town Danceboutique. With the ambitious Van Storch at center stage, the proposed series would chronicle the colorful drama of running four immensely successful and still growing businesses, as well as the physical and emotional challenges of working and living with an HIV positive diagnosis. Although many networks have passed on it, a few networks remain interested, and Von Storch plans to shell out his own money to ensure cameras are rolling when he and his colleagues break ground on the 1600 block of U Street near Dupont.

Local firm CORE Architecture & Design provided the vision and design for the addition and renovation and were also instrumental in guiding the project through the necessary zoning and historic approval processes. Keeping it in the family, Stoneking-von Storch Architects of Charlottesville, VA and Hallock Design Group of Miami, FL also assisted in the design process for the new gym. Although Results Gym's lease does not expire until early 2011, initial construction will begin shortly and not interfere with the current tenet's operations. Completion of VIDA Fitness-U Street is expected in August of 2011.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Parkside Development On The Skids

For those who've grown weary of all the Benning Road plans for development, with little action to follow, the worst fears may have been confirmed on Monday evening at the Zoning Commission hearing. The mammoth Ward 7 redevelopment project that Parkside Residential, LLC representatives told the Zoning Commission in 2006 was a "landmark Planned Unit Development," has all but lost its early momentum. Whether it's the recent rains, some runaway Gulf oil slicks, or the economic downturn, much of the initial proposal has lost traction. The Commission recently denied the request of Lano Parcel 12, LLC for a two year extension of their first Parkside PUD, which took effect April 13, 2007 and expires October of next year.

The entire 15-acre Parkside project, located between Kenilworth Park and the Anacostia Freeway, was expected to become a massive mixed use development, bringing over 1,500 units of both affordable and market rate housing, 500,000 s.f. of office space, and at least 30,000 s.f. of neighborhood-serving retail. The Kenilworth Parkside area has been targeted by the District and the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development as a site in desperate need of improvement. Given its proximity to the waterfront, the Benning Metro Station, and three of the Great Streets Programs, the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), among other entities and initiatives, are in strong support of the proposed transformation.

In 2008, the Zoning Commission approved the first Second Stage PUD for three of the ten building blocks. Affordable senior living housing is planned and approved for Block A, B, and C. Being that the Second Stage PUD was granted for an area less than the original First Stage approval, Parkside Residential was accorded three years to submit the rest of their Second Stage PUD applications for review by Zoning. Applications for two more blocks are currently pending, and the submission of Second Stage plans for a third block are said to be in the works and should be filed soon. This would amount to Second Stage plans for a total of six blocks out of the original ten. But that's four blocks too few. The venture's representative pleaded in a recent document that this was "significant progress given the size of the project and the recent economic conditions." The Zoning Commission was apparently unmoved, and the deadline for all Second Stage applications remains October 3, 2011. This still leaves over a year left for the parties involved to shore up resources and finalize plans for the remaining four blocks. But given the the already requested extension, and characterization of meeting such a deadline as "not possible" despite their "every effort," that seems unlikely to happen.

The Lano Parcel 12 LLC and the Parkside Residential LLC are both multiparty ventures between Bank of America Community Development Corporation, Lano International, City Interest, and Marshall Heights Community Development Organization. The majority of design plans are being shouldered by Urban Design Associates in Pittsburgh.

Washington DC real estate development news

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Jazzed about Florida Avenue

You've got to appreciate DC's Shaw residents. The small northwest neighborhood has seen more development projects announced - and sit idle - than any other, leaving residents in a cycling state of hope and apathy as the neighborhood talks about big plans with little effect. One such disappointment was the flea market-sporting WMATA site at 8th and Florida Avenue, awarded to a developer more than a year ago, only to sit out the ensuing financial crisis. But thanks to city and federal dollars, and a restructured partnership, that may finally change.

Banneker Ventures has announced a new partnership with Bank of America (BOA) to develop the former WMATA site into three new "affordable" apartment buildings. Banneker can now go forward with The Jazz @ Florida Avenue, designed by Silver Spring-based Torti Gallas, turning 3 separate lots into 124 apartment units above 20,000 s.f. of ground floor retail and a 61-space parking garage, all straddling WMATA's metro tunnel below. The developers have already applied for, and been granted, Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in the form of a $7m promissory note from the District. And with the District's recent receipt of $33m in stimulus money for housing, the developer has petitioned the District government to receive a portion of those funds. As a result, the apartments will be entirely below-market, open to a mix of income ranges, with the cheapest one-bedroom units to rent out at $768. Developers hope to deliver the project in late 2011.

The long path to development began in May of 2007 when the WMATA Board of Directors issued an RFP for developers to build on the site. The Board did not make its final selection, however, until June of 2008, selecting a team that included Banneker and Metropolis Development. But the latest announcement drops Metropolis from the picture in place of BOA. In addition, the formerly tiny project footprint now includes two adjacent parcels on 9th Street recently acquired by the development team. Bozzuto will serve as the general contractor for the project.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Low-Rise Victory for Parkside

Northeast's Parkside neighborhood will soon be getting a little greyer with the construction of the Victory Square senior housing development. Located at 600 Barnes Street NE, the project is being developed as a joint venture between Bethesda's Victory Housing Inc. and the Bank of America Community Development Corporation (BACDC) - an altruistic wing of the commercial bank which contributed over $1 million in loans and investments towards low and moderate-income real estate projects within the District in 2007 alone.

Measuring in at 97,100 square feet, the 4-story Victory Square project will house 98 apartments suited to the needs of seniors, plus an exterior courtyard terrace, coffee bar and lounge, exercise facilities, library and computer center and an in-house salon - all based on designs by local architecture firm Grimm + Parker. Victory Square will mark the developer’s fifth so-named senior housing facility in the region, after Palmer Park’s Victory House, Potomac’s Victory Terrace, Columbia Heights’ Victory Heights and Takoma Park’s Victory Tower.

Victory Square marks the BACDC's very first project in the area, although more are in the pipeline. “We have been working on the master plan development of the area," said Maurice Perry, Development Manager of the BACDC. "This project would be the first phase of the overall development.” In cooperation with Parkside LLC, the proposed plans call for future redevelopment of existing townhomes and apartment complexes in the Northeast neighborhood.

Subcontractor bids are due to the project’s general contractor, Hamel Builders, by September 26th. Construction is slated to begin in March and be completed 13 months thereafter.

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