Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Developers to Build Two of Region's Tallest Apt 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 by the end of 2016.
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.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Developer Selected for Waterfront Station II Redevelopment

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.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Under Armour Plans Massive HQ in 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.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Developer Plans to Build Reston’s Tallest Building

Reston Town Center is ready to get a new gateway in the form of a 23-story, trophy class office tower being planned for 1760 Reston Parkway by RTC Partnership. The 330-foot building has already been approved and would be 125 feet taller than anything currently in Fairfax County.

The 420,000 square foot project would replace an existing 61,000-square-foot office building at, often known as the Town Center Office Building.

RTC already has approval for mixed-use office and retail project.

Richard Whealen, managing partner of the ownership group, said the building’s distinctiveness should set it apart from other offices nearby, some starving for tenants.

“Despite the fact that office vacancies are relatively high along the Dulles Toll Road corridor, the time is right for a high-end office tower in Reston,” Whealen said in a press release.

The plans have attracted increased attention because of the property’s prominent location on Reston Parkway at Bowman Towne Drive, where Fairfax County planners have called for a signature office structure. The building’s design is more contemporary than many other Reston buildings.

RTC recently retained HOK, the largest U.S.-based architecture and engineering firm, to do “some refinement and enhancement” to the original design from Reston-based architect, Polleo Group.

Polleo has designed residential projects such as the mixed-use Spectrum development in Reston and Kennedy Row, a multifamily residential project on East Capitol Street in the District.

The design incorporates a six-story lobby atrium at the intersection of Reston Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive.

The first five floors would consist of retail and parking, with offices on the 18 stories above. On the sixth floor, the developers plan an outdoor 38,000-square-foot terrace (and green roof) that they envision featuring outdoor seating from a restaurant on that floor.

“Hopefully these features will attract a high-end restaurant that could have both indoor and outdoor seating with a striking view of the Reston Town Center and surrounding properties,” Whealen said.

The site is currently home to a five-story, 61,000-square-foot office building that Whealen bought more than 10 years ago.

The board approved the redevelopment plan in 2012, as Whealen fended off opposition from some neighbors and county staff who argued the proposed office tower is too tall and dense for its immediate surroundings.

The site is less than a mile from the planned Reston Town Center Metro station.

RTC has not announced a firm construction timeline, giving the company flexibility to begin demolition on the existing building.

The developers will join a handful building speculative office projects in Northern Virginia or planning them for coming months. In Tysons Corner, Lerner Enterprises has begun an office project and Macerich Group plans to begin one soon. In Rosslyn, Monday Properties is building a speculative office tower in Rosslyn and the JBG Companies plan one.

Like those projects, RTC envisions 1760 Reston Parkway as a property that will be accessible to Metrorail. The Wiehle Avenue station, on the Silver Line, is expected to be complete in 2014 and is a 10- or 15-minute walk from the property.

One of Whealen's key supporters was Reston founder Robert E. Simon, who died in September at the age of 101.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Shakespeare Theatre Plans Mixed-Use Project in D.C.

Erkiletian Development and the Shakespeare Theatre Co. have filed plans to construct a 136-unit mixed-use project in Southwest Washington, D.C... The seven-story project, known as The Bard, is planned to house everything from residential space to artist studios to non-profit office space to educational space. The development will also house the Shakespeare Theatre's costume fabrication studio.

The development site is located at 501 I Street SW, the former home to Southeastern University, which was razed last year.

The entire project will span 149,298 square feet with 131,273 square feet tailored for residential space.

Building heights will vary from 42 feet high to over 73 feet high.

The space for the Shakespeare Theatre Company would essentially consolidate the company’s operations in DC, and will include the costume studio, four rehearsal spaces, two classrooms and additional storage below grade, in addition to office space.

All of the residential units to be rental apartments, with 93 market-rate and nine inclusionary zoning. For the Shakespeare Theatre, 29 of the units will be set aside for actors and five will be for fellows.

The project will also include an underground parking garage with 36 spaces will be for residents, 16 spaces for non-profit office use, nine spaces for art use, and nine spaces for education use.

Despite the limited number of spaces for residents, the site, 501 I Street SW, is only a couple blocks from the Waterfront Metro station. There will also be 75 long-term and 10 short-term bicycle parking spaces on-site.

In the effort to appease residents' concerns, the developers reduced the height and the number of units planned.

Proposed benefits of the project include: free use of the assembly spaces/conference rooms for community meetings; annual donations to the multi-day festival, SW ArtsFest; and scholarships to sponsor up to 10 low-income children to attend the Shakespeare Theatre summer camp.

With this project, the developer hopes to further satisfy three goals in the D.C. Office of Planning's Southwest Neighborhood Plan.

These goals are to strengthen I Street as a cultural corridor, grow the presence of the arts throughout the Southwest neighborhood, and build on and market existing cultural assets and institutions to reinforce the concept of an arts and cultural destination.

The site of the development is the former home of Southeastern University. The area is currently vacant and consists of approximately 36,476 square feet of land area. Shalom Baranes Associates is the architect of the project.

Click images to enlarge

Arlington Approves Construction of New Village Center

Changing Columbia Pike from a concrete corridor of surface parking lots into a lively main street, as is Arlington’s goal, comes one project at a time.

At the corner of Columbia Pike and George Mason Drive, a big, new development is planned with new apartments and retail for Arlington, Virginia.

The Arlington County Board recently approved a project, dubbed "Columbia Pike Village Center," that features a six-story apartment building.

Reston-based Orr Partners will replace the Food Star supermarket and its associated parking lot with 365 market-rate apartments atop 82,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. KGD Architecture designed the building.

Plans include a 50,000-square-foot grocery store, a three-level, 604-space parking garage and a 22,150 square foot public square, designed by landscape architect Oculus, featuring a garden, public art and a water feature.

Orr Partners has also retained Kendra Haste, a “contemporary animal sculptor” based in Surrey, England, to design public art for the square.

The grocery store is likely to be a Harris Teeter, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The developer will also widen the sidewalks to six feet, to provide space for outdoor dining, and set aside 152 secure bicycle parking spaces.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Ryan Orr, Orr’s vice president of acquisitions and development. “I think for Columbia Pike, it’s a game changer.”

In order to make room for the three-acre project, the developments currently on the lot will be razed. The developments include a Food Star supermarket and a pool hall, called Hi Cue Billiards.

“This is an exciting project that will bring more vitality to an important intersection on Columbia Pike and we look forward to its completion,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby.

Construction is slated to begin later this year.

Arlington offers incentives for developing along Columbia Pike, including streamlined review and higher density. Proposed projects there are reviewed using the Form Based Code zoning tool, which focuses on physical form and the relationship between building facades and public spaces, as opposed to traditional zoning and its focus on dwellings per acre and floor-area ratio.

Since 2003, when Arlington adopted Form Based Code as a rule, the county has approved 14 projects along Columbia Pike totaling more than 2,000 residential units (612 affordable), more than 220,000 square feet of retail, a public plaza, a community center, and a new Giant supermarket.

Arlington County's decision to nix its streetcar plans has not spelled doom for Columbia Pike's growth.

In the wake of the November 2014 cancellation of the controversial streetcar system, developers have sought approval for roughly a half dozen new projects along the 3.5-mile corridor totaling nearly 1,000 residential units and more than 100,000 square feet of retail.

Columbia Pike remains a corridor dominated by pavement, and the Arlington board has yet to reveal how it will move people with streetcar no longer in the plans. But the development community remains amenable, at least, to Arlington's goal of creating a lively "Main Street" atmosphere on Columbia Pike.