Thursday, January 26, 2017

Three Big Developments to Get Underway in Alexandria

Everyone knows that suburban D.C. is undergoing dramatic changes, in part, because of a plethora of long-awaited development.  For several years, developers have been planning to construct massive projects in the Alexandria area to escape the higher building costs in D.C., and soon, these three new developments will get underway to welcome even more new residents to the neighborhood...

North Potomac Yard

The JBG Cos recently announced that it will construct a 1.2 million square foot mixed-use complex in the first phase of its enormous redevelopment of North Potomac Yard.

JBG is shooting to have a portion of it open in 2020, when the nearby Metro station comes online.

The plan for first phase includes 732 residential units, nearly 300,000 square feet of retail, more than 115,000 square feet of office space, and a 120-room hotel.

Streetsense is architecture firm designing these spaces, which will replace the existing multiplex and surrounding parking lots.

Ultimately, JBG aims for 7.5 million square feet of total development upon completion of the final phase.

Oakville Triangle

On a 16-acre tract of industrial park opposite Potomac Yard on Route 1, Stonebridge-Carras is planning an ambitious 1.5 million square foot mixed-use development.

The first phase is slated to be complete in summer 2019.

For Phase 1, the developer looks to deliver a 130,000 square feet office building, 132,000 square feet of retail space, a 190-room hotel, 400 apartments and 130 condominium units.

Cooper Carry Architects is designing the project.

The development site is part of a planned 20-acre industrial park known as Oakville Triangle - which sits across the street from another huge mixed-use project, Potomac Yard.

Oakville will be roughly a quarter of a mile away from the future Potomac Yard Metro station, which is expected to bring an influx of new residents and development.

As part of the plan recently approved by the Alexandria City Council, Stonebridge has also committed to $2,000,000 in improvements for Mount Jefferson Park, $7.8 million in on-site affordable housing, and $1.6 million to upgrade the intersection of Route 1 and Glebe Road.

The Gateway at King and Beauregard

The Gateway at King and Beauregard, will soon be constructed at the intersection of the similarly-named streets.

Abramson Properties plans to construct a 72,000 square foot Harris Teeter Supermarket,  two residential buildings totaling 348 units (70 of them affordable), a combined 94,000 square feet of office space in two buildings, over 40,000 square feet of additional retail space, and 822 parking spaces.

Additionally, the Gateway project will include a 25,000 square feet office building over the retail space, 278 residential units over the Harris Teeter Supermarket, and an interior pedestrian plaza.

The Gateway will be marketed as transit-accessible because it is on the alignment of the future West End Transitway: the $140 million bus rapid transit system that will link the Van Dorn Street Metro station with the Mark Center, Shirlington, the Pentagon, and everywhere in between.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Developers Plan to Build Colossal 17 Acre Project in Reston

Four developers are teaming up to turn a 17.5-acre tangle of office buildings and parking lots at Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road into more than 1 million square feet of multifamily residential, as well as significant office and retail space.

Representatives from JBG/1831 Wiehle LLC, Bethesda’s EYA Development and The Chevy Chase Land Company gave a look at the development plan to the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee on Monday night.

The plan involves taking six parcels of land from 1831 Wiehle Avenue — the office building across Wiehle from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station — several blocks east to Michael Faraday Drive.

In addition to 1831 Wiehle, the plan will include redevelopment of 1861 Wiehle, 1860 Michael Faraday and 1840 Michael Faraday.

“We can see a large piece of property and a big opportunity at the Wiehle Metro,” said land use lawyer Brian Winterhalter, who is working with the applicants. “It is smack dab in between the W&OD Trail and the Silver Line. We see it as “the gateway to Reston.”

Bailey Edelson, JBG Vice President of Development, said the principals of the plan include high quality design; pedestrian and bike connectivity; urban parks and recreation; strategic office and mix of uses; and public art.

The development will be about 78 percent residential, with the remaining retail and commercial.

Some of the planned features closest to the Metro include:

•  A multifamily building for independent senior living along Sunset Hills Road.
•  Two five-story multifamily buildings
•  An 11-story office building at Wiehle Avenue and the Dulles Toll Road

On the East side of the development, the plan calls for:

•  A 200-unit multifamily building
•  Condo Flats and three-story condo townhouses above retail stores
•  A neighborhood of 60 more traditional townhomes
•  Underground parking
•  The retail street will be an extension of Reston Station Boulevard
•  Five park areas, including a central park (2.3 acres total open space)

Overall, the development will have 1.2 million square feet of residential (for about 1,300-1,500 estimated residents); 230,000 square feet of office; and 250,000 square feet of retail (with a plan to amend some of the retail into housing if the market forces are not there later).

The developers gave a look at the planned urban street grid, as well as pedestrian and car connectivity with the Metro station. It has not yet looked at traffic impact at that intersection, which is already one of the busiest in Reston.

JBG has talked to Marymount University and Northern Virginia Community College, both of which have locations in the affected office buildings, said Edelson. Both colleges have indicated they would like to stay in Reston.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Copper Prices Jump 28% Since November; Wire Prices to Follow...

Copper prices rose by more than 28% since the end of October, regaining price levels metals investors haven’t seen since July 2015. The red metal had been lagging behind growth in other metals prices through most of this year then jumped by more than it has since 2011

After seeing $2.08 per pound during the last week of October, copper prices began a gradual rise and then really took off Nov. 8, the day of the U.S. general elections, hitting $2.66 per pound this month.

The reasons for the jump appear to go beyond enthusiasm for an expected boost in demand since Donald Trump took office as U.S. President on January 20th.

John Gross, publisher of The Copper Journal, likewise sees the recent move as speculative. "There is no quick—and easy answer to address the near 60-cent move up over the past two months," he said.

“The best we can say is that after copper initially broke through resistance, more buying came in, and the buying accelerated as each previous high point was surpassed. The fundamentals have not changed in any meaningful way, and don’t warrant the move. This level of volatility is no good for anyone, except for speculators who got it right."

What does this all mean for the electrical contractor? 
It means that next purchase of 500MCM is going to cost you a lot more than it did last year... 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Orbit Industries Opens New Distribution Center & Factory on East Coast

Orbit Industries has opened a 450,000-square-foot regional distribution center (RDC) and factory in Morristown, Tennessee, The facility is the first location Orbit has established outside of its main Los Angeles headquarters.

Between Orbit’s Morristown facility and Los Angeles warehouse, Orbit can deliver products anywhere within the continental United States in three days or less.

The Morristown RDC will stock all Orbit products, shipping all 6,000-plus catalog items to the East Coast out of the Tennessee facility.

“We are always looking for ways to better service our customers,” said Marcus Bannerman, Orbit’s national sales manager.

“Delivery time on the East Coast has always been a complication for us. Our new Tennessee facility will help provide a solution to our East Coast customers and get material to them faster than ever before.”

In addition to warehousing, Orbit will soon begin manufacturing at the plant to meet “Made in America” standards. Currently Orbit’s BCHS and RAP Plates are already manufactured in the United States. The introduction of this manufacturing plant will allow other products to soon begin following suit.

The manufacturing plant is expected to be fully operational before the end of 2017. Other future plans include a state-of-the-art training center, which will allow customers, visitors and representatives to test out Orbit’s more innovative prefab products.

Orbit’s product line is UL- or ETL-listed and includes steel junction boxes and accessories; NEMA enclosures; weatherproof products; electrical fittings and elbows; emergency/exit lighting; photoelectric controls; and LED lighting.

Click logo for more Information

Monday, January 2, 2017

Thea & Schoen Acquires William B. Bleiman & Sons

A merger of major electrical manufacturer rep firms is causing a stir in the Mid-Atlantic region. Thea & Schoen, based in Clifton, NJ, announced its acquisition of William B. Bleiman & Sons, Inc., a Philadelphia-based agency serving the Mid-Atlantic and Baltimore/DC territories since 1940.

The merger brings together top names in adjacent territories. Thea & Schoen’s primary concentration has been in the northern New Jersey and New York City metro markets, where the firm represents traditional electrical as well as audio/video manufacturers and recently launched a new division, Empire Lighting, built around its relationship with Philips Lighting to represent its professional products portfolio.

Bleiman & Sons, meanwhile, has its roots deep in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and southern New Jersey as well as Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Both firms are third-generation family-owned agencies with line cards packed with high-profile electrical manufacturers.

Both have existing relationships with General Cable, Bridgeport Fittings, Cantex and Ilsco. Thea & Schoen represents a wide assortment of the Hubbell package of brands plus Klein Tools, Robroy, Lutron and Erico.

In a letter to clients, Thea & Schoen said the integration of the two firms “will only help strengthen those relationships with our enhanced offering of services. We will work together as one unified team to provide our customers with the highest quality products and services in the industry.”

Bleiman & Sons will continue to operate out of its current offices in Conshohocken, Pa., supported by the Thea & Schoen team and facilities including their 250,000 sq. ft. warehouse in Clifton, NJ. T&S said to look for rebranding in the coming months.

Click Here to visit the William B. Bleiman & Sons website
Click Here to visit the Thea & Schoen website