Showing posts with label Helmuth Obata and Kassabaum (HOK). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Helmuth Obata and Kassabaum (HOK). Show all posts

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Perseid Adventures at 14 & W

On October 7th, Ward One Councilman Jim Graham relayed a message of good news to his listserv and Twitter followers from Bob Cohen of Perseus Realty, who had recently testified at a Council Hearing. Pressing Cohen on a start date for the YMCA redevelopment project at 14th and W, Graham quoted the developer as promising the the ability "to start construction before the end of the year.” The pledge to get the ball rolling on the 231-unit mixed-use development didn't garner much attention at the time, and citizens continue to wonder when to expect action.

Recently queried on the matter, Cohen would only answer that Perseus is unwilling to comment on the status of the project. He asserted that no official date has been set for a groundbreaking, but revealed that "[w]e'll be ready to announce something in the next couple weeks." Whatever could that something be? Developers Perseus, and their partners on the project Capmark Investments LP and FLGA Real Estate Group, had at one point anticipated a 2010 delivery date (the project "broke ground" in September 2008). But the market-plunge has booby-trapped the finance game, understandably complicating the developers' pursuit of funding, and Capmark declared bankruptcy in 2009, making the thought of a 2010 start date a pleasant surprise. Complicating the matter is the requirement to deliver a turn-key YMCA. But with lending spigots reopening for DC's multi-family market, and a passel of multi-family projects in the offing up and down 14th Street, Perseus and its backers appear to have found the heart to build now. The already thin District budget does not have any available funds to push the project along, and have previously granted a generous 20 years of tax abatement and $1 million in forgone sales taxes on construction materials for the project.

Helmuth, Obata, & Kassabaum and Dorsky Hodgson & Partners provided the design for what several online commenters have called an underwhelming facade. The residential portion will rise six largely glass-paneled, rather-vanilla-flavored floors above 12,200 s.f. of ground floor retail space and 170 below-grade parking spaces. Although somewhat plain, the building does show potential for elegance, if it can acquire some of the stone and metal detailing that give appealing character to industrial buildings like the Central Union Mission, the Studio Theater, and the stylish car-showroom turned upscale Italian restaurant Posto.

Developers have promised that eighteen units will be reserved for families earning less than 60% of the AMI. The centerpiece of the development is the the new Anthony Bowen YMCA, a 44,000 s.f. recreational and community facility to feature a "pool, state-of-the-art cardiovascular and resistance equipment, group exercise studios, and a child care area." But for now, local residents will have to build endurance at nearby gyms or stick to in-house push routines, as the YMCA doesn't look to be redone anytime soon.

Update: If you haven't already noticed the reports from the comment thread below, the 14th and W redevelopment project was recently sold by a Perseus entity to Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG), an Akridge affiliate, for $7.5 million. JAG also brought the Rockpoint Fund to provide much-needed equity. Perseus will stay on as development partner, and construction is expected to start as early as December 1st.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News

Friday, September 26, 2008

Its Fun to Dig at the Y-M-C-A

Mayor Fenty, Councilmember Jim Graham, ANC chairman Dee Hunter and numerous YMCA officials today attended the groundbreaking of a new mixed-use development at 14th and W Streets NW, the current site of the YMCA Anthony Bowen. The 263,000 square foot project is being developed by Perseus Realty LLC in conjunction with Capmark Investments LP and the minority owned DC-based FLGA Real Estate Group. The $97 million development, entitled 14W, will include the construction of 231 rental apartments (including 18 affordable), a new 46,000 square foot YMCA and 12,200 square feet of retail space. Designs for the project by Davis Carter Scott and Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum Inc. (HOK) encase the ground-level retail outlets in townhouse facades and place the residential quarters above the new YMCA. Future residents can look forward to amenities such as a billiard room, a 24-hour business center and concierge, catering kitchen, bar, rooftop garden and a 1-year membership to the YMCA. HPRB green-lighted the project in May when it approved the demolition of the existing buildings on the site.

The Mayor was adamant in his support of the development. “It’s the young people that we have at the front of our focus for this project,” said Fenty. “The projects, programs and lives that have been impacted by the YMCA are too numerous to mention…You have our commitment that whatever it is– from deferments to operations to transportation to the help of any other DC government agency – we will give it.”

The new $15 million YMCA is the fruit of more 2 years of active development on the part of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington (YMCAMW). When completed, it will include a wellness center, child care facilities, office space, rooftop terrace, community meeting rooms and – as its centerpiece – a 25-meter indoor pool. Although the current facility has been vacated for demolition, its community services have been relocated to various “borrowed” spaces throughout the city.

The YMCA Anthony Bowen has a rich and storied history in the District. The organization was named for a Prince George’s County slave who relocated to Washington after purchasing his freedom; he then went on to co-found the nation’s first African-American YMCA in 1853. The current incarnation of the YMCA that bears his name first opened in 1912 and has stood at its present location since 1978 – a time when the U Street corridor ran rampant with violence and drugs.

“Anthony Bowen had a dream and it’s the centerpiece of that dream that’s become the reality for what we have here today…an unwavering belief that the evils of our past do not dictate the possibilities of our future,” said Angie L. Reese-Hawkins, CEO of the YMCAMW. “We’ve replaced the fear and distrust with families and…people who are committed to the community. This is what the nation’s capitol is all about.”

14W is being financed by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Clark Construction has been contracted for the development and is predicting a late 2010 completion.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Akridge's Field of Dreams

With all the talk about waterfront development, you would think the best waterfront property in DC was spoken for. That might just depend on who you ask. Real estate development firm Akridge currently holds the keys to a corporate dream home: nine acres of land on the Anacostia waterfront, which can house 2.7 million s.f. of development and more than 1,600 parking spaces by right, not to mention site lines down the Potomac River. And for baseball fans who dream of finishing up a day at the office with a cold beer behind home plate, the Akridge site is only four blocks away from the new Nationals Stadium.

Officially, the site's address is 100 V Street, SW, just within the historic Buzzard Point district. Yet the potential for development is vast; with the possibility of spanning three full city blocks to create a corporate campus that fits nicely within the context of the Fort McNair neighborhood.

“We think it’s ideal for a user that has security needs because there are several natural buffers. The site encompasses three full city blocks with water on one side, Fort McNair on the West and a PEPCO sub-station across First Street SW, it is on a point with little thru traffic, and adjacent occupants also have large campus-like properties,” said Mary Margaret Plumridge, Media Contact for Akridge.

Akridge, which purchased the site in 2005 for $75 million from utility supplier PEPCO, has lovingly maintained its original parking lot appearance, retaining the Field of Dreams look and, Akridge hopes, its promise. The new owners did remove an abandoned oil tank left behind by the previous owners - unfortunately empty.

The development team has decided (for now) to avoid setting a firm design plan in stone. It's what Akridge calls the "ideal build-to-suit" opportunity. Basically, if you like the idea of having your office a stone's throw from the Potomac, or the notion that you could catch a home run from your office courtyard (assuming Bonds is still juicing), this might be the opportunity you seek. And in a reverse Field-of- Dreams-scenario, if someone wants it dearly enough, Hellmuth Obata & Kassabaum will design it for the lucky bidder, at which point Akridge will build.

Because of Akridge’s by-right zoning, the developer is ready and willing to build and is marketing the site to either a “secure user” or for the traditional mixed-use path.

Akridge expects to eventually manage the project that is built, but recognizes that the nature of the user would dictate that possibility.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bowen YMCA Update

Five buildings in the 2200 block of 14th Street (2203, 2205, 2207, 2209, 2211) were approved for demolition by the DC Historic Planning Board as part of the new Anthony Bowen YMCA and 14W project by DC-based developer Perseus Realty, LLC and YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. As DCMud reported in May of last year, at the project's completion, 1325 W Street will include a new YMCA facility (45,000 s.f.), 229 rental apartments, and 12,000 s.f. of retail space in a project that will border 14th and W Streets. Construction will begin at the 1325 W Street site in September with completion scheduled two years later in 2010.

According to Perseus, legislation was passed to close part of the alley between the townhouses and the existing YMCA, and Perseus has already received HPRB approval. The facades of the townhouses and the front forty feet of each structure will be preserved as historic structures.

“We are filing for certain permits, which takes a while and we are in the final stages of working drawings, so we’re positioning it to get started,” said Robert Cohen, President of Perseus Realty, LLC.

The project was designed by Hellmuth, Obata, & Kassabaum and Dorsky Hodgson & Partners, the developers have also hired Bozzuto to oversee leasing and management of the residential component.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

YMCA, Perseus Ready to Move Forward on 1325 W Street Mixed-Use Project

After months of negotiation, it appears that the nonprofit YMCA of Metropolitan Washington DC is partnering with DC-based developer Perseus Realty LLC to redevelop the existing YMCA Anthony Bowen center at 1325 W Street NW in Shaw (the oldest YMCA in DC, dating back to the 1850s) into a $100 million mixed use complex that will include a new, larger YMCA facility (45,000 sf), over 200 apartments, and 12,000 sf of retail. The Washington Business Journal reports that under the arrangement, Perseus will build and finance the YMCA’s new facility, and in exchange receive the land for the apartment building and retail, which it will own and control. The YMCA will own and run the new facility. In preparation for this development, Perseus has already purchased five buildings along this block fronting 14th Street between W Street and Florida Avenue – these structures will be preserved for the retail portion of the project. The architects for this project are the DC office of Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum and Dorsky Hodgson & Partners. If all permits and approvals are received, Perseus hopes to break ground in late 2008, with completion expected toward the end of 2010.

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