Thursday, June 30, 2016

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 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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

New Luxury Residential Community Underway in Reston

A builder has plans to construct a brand new community in Reston, Virginia with over one million square feet of mixed-use development. Located on eight acres of land on Sunrise Valley Drive, this community, dubbed Reston Heights, will soon make way for a brand new mixed-use building. 

Recently, The JBG Companies hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for a five-story building called VY / Reston Heights that will house 385 apartments and 89,000 square feet of retail.

The project will include a public plaza with outdoor dining, a play area and an amphitheater for events.

Additional plans include building adjacent parking structure with over 700 above-ground and below-ground parking spots.

Residences will include junior one-bedroom to three-bedroom apartments. 46 of the units will be designated for affordable housing. The project is expected to be complete by 2017, with retailers arriving in early 2018.

The developer may add an additional 375,000 square feet of mixed-use space to the project in a future phase. 

The five-story apartment building, designed by Cunningham Quill Architects, was inspired by the original 1960s development at Lake Anne Village Center in Reston, a modern European-modeled community.

The mixed-use buildings and adjacent parking garage will have tall natural wood beams that echo the vertical designs of Reston’s first buildings at Lake Anne.

The Reston Heights district has several existing properties along Sunrise Valley Drive on the south side of the Dulles Toll Road, including two hotels, a condo and two office buildings.

The site is roughly half a mile from the planned Reston Town Center Metro station, which is expected to open only a few years after the completion of VY in 2020.

The community is within a few minutes’ drive to the Wiehle Avenue Metro station, which is already open, and to Dulles International Airport.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Massive Redevelopment Planned Near Rhode Island Ave Metro

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.