Friday, September 22, 2017

Plans to Build Two of Region's Tallest Residential Towers

JM Zell Partners and Hines Ltd. are planning to construct the first building within the 6-acre Carlyle Plaza Two, a long-planned four-tower office and residential complex south of Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria, Virginia.

A 382-unit apartment building, designed by Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Miami-based Arquitectonica International, will rise to 34 stories and 375 feet, offering virtually unobstructed views of Mount Vernon, MGM National Harbor and the Washington Monument.

The second residential tower in Carlyle Plaza Two, the closest building to the Capital Beltway to the south, may rise to 354 feet.

Both towers will be among the region’s five tallest residential buildings, rivaling those planned for Rosslyn.

The developers expect to break ground on the four-tower office and residential complex in late spring 2017.
The design features three rectangular blocks of nearly equal height, with the middle block slipped roughly 25 feet to the south to create a cantilever effect.

The result of the cantilever is two large outdoor terraces, one on the 16th floor and another on the 26th. There will be a fifth-floor amenity terrace, with pool, as well.

The unit breakdown: 22 studios, 238 one-bedroom apartments and 122 two-bedroom units.

“They want an iconic building,” Jeffrey Zell, JM Zell president, said of Alexandria. “They now have an iconic building.”

The development site is immediately east of The Alexan apartment building and north of the Alexandria Renew Nutrient Management Facility.

Alexandria approved the development plan for Carlyle Plaza Two in 2012 — for 755,114 square feet of office in two towers and 632,056 square feet of residential in two more towers.

The plan was later amended to offer the option of converting 325,000 square feet of office space to hotel and residential use.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Giant Under Armour Complex Planned for South Baltimore

A 50-acre campus with 3.9 million square feet of office, manufacturing and athletic space, and a manmade urban lake and are the signature features of planned new global headquarters for Under Armour along the Port Covington waterfront. A total of 10,000 employees are expected to work at the South Baltimore campus once it is built out.   

The new corporate campus is being designed by the Pittsburgh office of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.

The firm has designed studio space at Pixar and Disney Studios as well as the iconic Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Frank Grauman, a principal with the design firm, said the Under Armour project will include environmental, spacial and urban characteristics that detail “Baltimore’s sense of itself” — both past and present.

The plans call for public access to the waterfront in certain areas of the secure corporate campus, a field house with indoor practice fields and a basketball court, a 100,000-square foot manufacturing hub and 2.9 million square feet of office space, some of it in a landmark tower to be built in the first phase by 2018.

The tower will showcase Under Armour’s interlocking UA logo to travelers on Interstate 95 located on the northern rim of the Port Covington site. Three towers as tall as 460 feet could be built, depending on the company's growth, architects told the design panel.

The campus will also include a 7,000-seat stadium on the waterfront where executives from Under Armour say possible local rivalries like the Loyola vs. Calvert Hall Turkey Bowl game and the City College-Baltimore Polytechnic football game could be played each year.

“We see this as transformative for the city and transformative for Under Armour,” said Neil Jurgens, vice president for corporate real estate at Under Armour.

The 170,000-square-foot project sits in a completely overhauled former Sam’s Club. The space is now being called Building 37, named after company founder and CEO Kevin Plank’s jersey number on the University of Maryland football team.

The site of a recently shuttered Wal-Mart store at Port Covington will also be used for the future campus.

Earlier this month, executives from Sagamore Development Co. unveiled plans for a massive redevelopment of 266 acres of Port Covington into a mixed-use project over the next decade. The Under Armour campus is part of that development.

Under Armour currently hoists its corporate flag in a former Procter & Gamble soap factory in Locust Point. There, 1,800 employees work in offices that are landlocked and cannot expand because of existing residential and industrial developments and the nearby national park, Fort McHenry, where the Battle of Baltimore took place in 1814.

The cost of the entire project is expected to be in the billions, Under Armour and Sagamore Development officials have said.

Sagamore Development officials are seeking tax breaks from the city of Baltimore for the entire development and have opened discussions with the Baltimore Development Corp., the city’s quasi-public development arm, over establishing a tax increment financing district at Port Covington.

A TIF designation from the city that will allow Sagamore Development and Under Armour to build infrastructure at the site with proceeds from a private bond sale that is repaid with diverted property tax revenues for decades.

The new corporate headquarters will be “an iconic high-performance global headquarters” that will have sustainable features that include a man-made lake to help cool the buildings that will use less electricity and water than a campus of its size in the past.

Port Covington has for decades been an industrial site, and it still has existing industrial companies open for business there.

Environmental remediation will commence immediately on certain parts of the waterfront and the property.

Overall, Sagamore’s plans for Port Covington include 13 million square feet of office, retail and residential space and 40 acres of public park land.

Plank's Sagamore Spirit whiskey distillery is currently under construction at the site.

Jurgens said the corporate executives and representatives of Sagamore Development plan to aggressively pursue public transportation options with the city to help employees and visitors gain access to the site.

They include an extension of the light rail line in nearby Westport, a circulator bus and water taxi service.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Massive 1,555 Unit Residential Project For Rhode Island Ave

As one of the largest redevelopment projects in Washington, D.C., developer MRP Realty is planning on razing a retail center near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station to construct 1.56 million-square-feet of residential, 245,000-square-feet of retail, and 1,992 parking spaces. The retail center, known as Rhode Island Center, will be razed to construct seven buildings with ground-floor retail, covering roughly six blocks of space.

The development plan calls for 1,555 residential units with eight percent set aside for affordable housing. The units will range from studios to three-bedrooms.

The first of the six-phase project will redevelop two buildings along Rhode Island Avenue NE into 345 residential units. Construction is expected to begin in late 2016.

MRP, with B&R Associates LP and Sandrock LP, proposes to transform 13 acres encompassing the Rhode Island Center — anchored by Save-A-Lot, Big Lots and Foreman Mills — a self-storage warehouse and 13 single-story retailers into a mixed-use, transit-oriented community that promises to “ultimately establish this locale as a destination in and of itself.”

The project will replace a shopping center that was the “product of the times in which it was built: it is auto-centric, set back from the street and does not interact with the greater community; it does not facilitate connections within the community but rather isolates itself, creating a barrier between the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the pedestrian path to the Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood Metrorail Station.”

The development proposal calls for six new blocks along an extended street grid, all consisting of residential over ground-floor retail and 1,992 parking spaces.

The development site is bounded by Fourth Street NE to the west, Rhode Island Avenue to the south, the Metrorail tracks and the Metropolitan Branch Trail to the east and the Edgewood Terrace apartments to the north.

The number of units: 1,555, in a mix of studio to three-bedroom. Eight percent of the gross floor area, or 124,612 square feet, will be set aside as affordable.

There will be seven buildings. The first phase will feature two buildings on the two blocks closest to the Metro, to Rhode Island Row and the Brentwood Shopping Center.

The design of the first two buildings, totaling 345 units, “will pay homage to the industrial area that helped shape this neighborhood while generating an architectural vocabulary unique to this project.


Northeast D.C., -- from Rhode Island Ave to Union Market, to NoMa Brookland to H Street, to New York Avenue -- is the epicenter of D.C.'s booming redevelopment pipeline.

Only last month, the JBG Cos. and the Boundary Companies proposed building 691 residential units over retail for the New York Avenue-Florida Avenue intersection.

Edens will break ground soon on multiple projects at Union Market, while LCOR recently picked up $30 million loan to build the 187-unit Edison at 340 Florida Ave. NE, and Level 2 Development has earned Zoning Commission approval for the 315-unit Highline at Union Market, 320 Florida Ave. NE.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Giant Waterfront Station II Redevelopment in Southwest D.C.

PN Hoffman, a developer of urban communities across the Washington Metropolitan Area, has been selected to develop Waterfront Station II, a 59,000-square-foot lot at 1000 Fourth Street, SW. The District-owned property is the last residential parcel to be developed at Waterfront Station.

The redevelopment plans for the parcel include a 400,000-square-foot, mixed-use community of 443 units, in addition to 22,500 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail space and a 10,000-square-foot black box theater.

The mixed-income housing will be comprised of 310 market-rate apartments and 133 affordable units - 30 percent of the total.

The development team is comprised of PN Hoffman, Paramount Development, ER Bacon Development, CityPartners and AHC Inc.

The entire project is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Site Features:
•   One block from Waterfront Metro Station (Green Line)
•   Adjacent to CVS and one block from 55,000-sq-ft Safeway grocery store
•   Across from Southwest Branch Library and Amidon-Bowen Elementary School
•   Four blocks from I-395 on-ramp
•   Daily traffic volume on I-395: 163,800
•   Three blocks from newly expanded 1,400-seat Arena Stage
•   Less than half-mile to Southwest Waterfront
•   Less than one mile from Nationals Park
“The Southwest Waterfront is experiencing a renaissance unlike anything else in the District,” said PN Hoffman CEO, Monty Hoffman. "We are confident that our plan to revitalize a key portion of 4th Street SW will enhance the livability and allure of the neighborhood.”

“We are excited for the opportunity to continue our work in Southwest, and we look forward to providing significant new mixed-income housing, cultural space and retail to help complete the transformation of 4th Street SW,” said Shawn Seaman, senior vice president of development at PN Hoffman.

The overall Waterfront Station project includes twin office buildings at 1100 and 1101 Fourth St. SW, the Lex and Leo apartments (formerly Sky House East and West) at 1150 and 1151 Fourth St., a new mixed-use building from Forest City Washington at 1001 Fourth St., and future office buildings at 375 and 425 M St. SW.

The Capitol Vista site at Second and H streets NW will be redeveloped as affordable housing and 3,000 square feet of retail by Voltron Community Partners (Dantes Partners and Spectrum Management).

At Truxton Circle, 1520-1522 North Capitol St. NW., Urban Green and Flywheel Development will build a net-zero, mixed-use, all-affordable project with a ground-floor restaurant.

PN Hoffman is investing heavily in Southwest DC. They are developing The Wharf, a 3.2 million square foot neighborhood on one mile of Washington, DC’s southwest waterfront, as well as 525 Water, a luxury condominium building adjacent to The Wharf, and Riverside Baptist Church.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Reagan National Airport to Undergo Massive $1B Renovation

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, across the Potomac River from the nation's capital, will undergo a massive $1 billion renovation, its managers announced this week. 
The airport in Arlington, Virginia turned 75 years old this month. Despite its being in better condition than other major airports, such as New York's La Guardia, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority plans to add 1.1 million square feet to the airport.

The added space would shorten security lines and improve customers' experiences while traveling, the authority said.

More than 23 million passengers used National last year, making it the second-busiest airport in the region, after Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport. Last year was its sixth straight year of record-high passenger traffic. And there is little indication it will taper off.

And that’s the problem.

Such phenomenal growth was not part of the original plan for the airport, which sits on 860 acres of infill in the Potomac River.

But in the years since President Franklin D. Roosevelt watched the first American Airlines DC-3 aircraft touch down on the runway, the airport has grown in ways that few could have anticipated. It now serves more passengers than Dulles International — an airport 14 times its size.

The irony is that while airport officials have fought against growth at National, they have been forced to accommodate it.

They have reconfigured space, even re-purposing storage closets and conference rooms to manage the passenger boom. In 2014, they spent $37 million to remake historic Terminal A, adding security lanes and brightening the interior.

This fall, they will break ground on the airport’s biggest building project in nearly two decades. The centerpiece of the ambitious $1 billion program will be a new commuter concourse on the airport’s north side.

The building will replace Gate 35X — a notorious choke point where travelers, in rain, sun or snow, are required to board shuttle buses to get to their planes.

"Over the next four years, there's going to be a transformation of the passenger experience at Reagan National to decrease congestion near the gate and to improve passenger flow through the terminal," said MWAA spokesman Rob Yingling.

The authority released a video that shows security checkpoints being moved and housed under the roadway west of the airport, toward Crystal City.

Some of the checkpoints will be underground and have natural light coming in through glass ceiling panels. Terminal C, which currently houses the airport's executive offices, will be transformed to hold short-hop flights.

The authority said much of the construction will be done overnight so as not to interfere with airport traffic. The work will not begin until spring 2017 and is expected to be completed by 2021.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Big Plans for $100M Renovation of Charlotte Convention Center

The 21-year-old Charlotte Convention Center will get a $100 million renovation over the coming years, according to Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

Under the plan, the convention center’s footprint would not expand onto new property, at least not in the short term. But the center’s meeting space would grow by about 34,000 square feet, mostly by rebuilding the center’s facade facing Stonewall Street.

Tom Murray, CEO of the visitors authority, told council that a combination of changes in the convention business and the age of the building make the changes necessary.

The convention center, bounded by Brevard, Stonewall and College streets and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., opened in 1995 and cost $150 million to build.

An 18-month study by Jones Lang LaSalle Destination Planning Services and architect TVS Design led to the initial concepts introduced in late September. Murray told the council that the Visitors Authority will next refine the nine recommendations and sharpen the construction budget.

The $100 million figure is a rough estimate, Murray said.

The convention center today is focused on large exhibit space. Those are the large, unfinished rooms in the center’s lower floor, with 30 foot ceilings.

Only 18 percent of the Charlotte center is for smaller meeting space. Murray said newer convention centers have as much as half of their space dedicated for meeting space.

“Our market has changed,” Murray said. “It’s less exhibit focused. It’s more meeting focused. In the past meeting planners wanted four white walls and keep everyone out. Now they want an authentic feeling about Charlotte.”

Council members responded with enthusiasm to the plans, which include a pedestrian bridge and so called linear park to be built on both sides of the existing light rail bridge across Stonewall St., a project that would provide better access for convention attendees staying at The Westin.

A park style pedestrian space on each side of the light rail bridge would also provide direct access to the Whole Foods anchored development — Crescent Stonewall Station — opening next year.

The Visitors Authority envisions those projects as a likely first phase that would begin as soon as next summer, the start of fiscal year 2018.

Additional work would be completed in stages as part of a five-year renovation, including the conversion of an outdoor terrace into a flexible, enclosed, atrium style space along MLK Blvd., an event space above the light rail stop and dividing a ballroom into multiple meeting rooms.

Because the Charlotte economy has been booming, uptown hotels have found they can make more money on regular business travelers. That has created a conundrum for the CRVA, whose mission is to put “heads in beds.” How much should the city invest in conventions when the hotel industry is doing well, mostly on its own?

But there are a number of new hotels under construction, and Murray said an increased supply of hotel rooms should increase demand for conventions.

“We have 1,000 hotel rooms under construction,” Murray said. “We think those things are correcting themselves.”

Conventions and conferences have become lighter on exhibits and instead emphasize technology and flexible meeting space as well as an overall experience that connects attendees to the host city. In the latter sense, Charlotte benefits from the convention center being located uptown, within walking distance of museums, restaurants and sports venues.

Friday, August 11, 2017

$400M Mission Hospital Tower Largest in Asheville’s History

A massive $400 million medical tower that will soon be built at 509 Biltmore Avenue will be the largest construction project in Asheville’s history.

The new tower will allow to Mission Health to shutter its aging St. Joseph’s campus and consolidate all operations on the newer Mission campus side of the operation.

Last year, the City Council voted its approval to Mission Health to build a new 12-story, 681,000 square foot tower, which will include new operating rooms and an emergency services department.

The project’s architect is HDR and the general contractor is Turner Construction.

The project’s large size meant it required a Level III review under the city’s Unified Development Ordinance and a council vote.

The tower would have frontage on Hospital Drive and Victoria Road, replacing the St. Joseph’s hospital campus, which is on the opposite side of Biltmore from most of Mission Health’s facilities.

That has meant at times patients are transported by ambulance across the busy road.

The hospital began seriously looking at changes four years ago. The facilities at the St. Joseph’s facility were aging out, and there was a need for a new emergency department.

The St. Joseph’s facility is outdated, cannot accommodate new technology, and would be too costly to renovate.

The tower project on the Memorial Campus achieve cost savings by eliminating the duplication of services required to maintain facilities on both sides of the street, as well as to improve patients’ experience and safety by eliminating the need to transport them back and forth.

Construction on the tower, which will have two floors underground, is set to be completed in November 2018.

City planning director Tod Okolinchany said it will be the biggest project Asheville has ever seen. “The Asheville Mall exceeds 900,000 square feet but was completed in phases over several years,” he said.

The tower will have 216 beds, and services such as a heart catheter lab and endoscopy, intensive care unit and medical-surgery recovery floor, along with a cafeteria, an 84-bed emergency room, and support offices.

The project calls for retaining walls as high as 28 feet in some places. To soften their effect, the hospital plans to use plants and design elements.

There are also plans for a small park area at the corner of Hospital Drive and Biltmore.

The former St. Joe’s site will later be redeveloped to provide needed affordable housing, as well as commercial use and retail shops.