All of these projects are extremely exciting, and show just how strong the regional economy is. While other cities are seeing a few projects moving forward, DC is rebounding rapidly--did it ever really falter all that much, though?
The progress in SW DC is simply astounding, as well as when you're approaching the city from the NE (I believe it's NY Ave, but I'm not sure--I always come in that way when coming back from NYC on the bus, the NOMA neighborhood I guess?). Definitely seems like the hot area in town right now, and it's remarkable how it has boomed so quickly. I remember going there about 5 years ago now and there was nothing at that point--and now all of this! Within 5-10 years it seems like SW DC will be almost completely built out.
It'll also be interesting to see the greater regional shifts as development in DC becomes effectively maxed out in areas. As prices continue rising rapidly in the district, you can bet suburban districts are going to take advantage--I think Tysons/Rosslyn/Bethesda/Silver Spring should all do very well as a result of increasing price pressure in the District, particularly Tysons with Metro now ALMOST finished! (hey, even though it's still about 2 years away, that's very close considering EVERYTHING that's been done to finally get the Silver Line running!).
Another SW Waterfront Mixed use development
Market Square just finished in Bethesda
White Flint Metro Station Development Currently Under Construction
Nobe Tower in North Bethesda Development
Montgomery County has a development underway for route 355 in the white flint area that is going to add gridded streets and walkable communities. Every strip mall is slated for demolition and multiple developments have already begun. The area is slated to eclipse Tysons Corner with building heights proposed that will eclipse 300 feet.
The new Paul S Sarbanes Transit Center in Silver Spring with three Mixed use residential towers around it. It will include an upgraded Metrorail, Marc Commuter Rail platforms as well as new Bus Bay's and terminal. It will also include a new light rail stop for the future purple line light rail train.
American University's growth causes pains for neighboring businesses (Washington Post
American U. has a fairly ambitious 10-year campus plan. The university plans to relocate its law school from the suburban Spring Valley location on Massachusetts Ave to Tenley Circle, near the Tenley metro station. American also wants to build new student dorms on what is currently a large surface parking lot on Nebraska Avenue.
American University's growth causes pains for neighboring businesses
By Derek Kravitz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 11, 2010
"Morty's Delicatessen, housed in a drab brick building in Tenleytown and known across the District for its hot pastrami and matzo ball soup, was never very profitable. Or glamorous.
Its front window featured a cartoon caricature of its folksy Brooklyn-born manager, Morty Krupin. Its owner, the late philanthropist Cy Katzen, believed in the deli and kept it in business. Its customers, always fearful that Morty's days were numbered, would say that the deli would "go as the neighborhood goes."
So when American University took over as its landlord last year after Katzen died and left the building to the university, Morty's was on borrowed time.
"They didn't shut us down, but they didn't help keep us open either," said Krupin, 71, who is retired and lives in Boynton Beach, Fla. "We weren't in their plans and they are the new boss in town." American officials said they lowered the rent to help Morty's get by, but in the end, the deli just didn't make it.
After 20 years, Morty's closed in early November, unable to make its monthly rent. Residents and longtime patrons say Morty's closure is proof that the university's plans for growth do not include many of the small and long-standing businesses that dot the surrounding neighborhoods. American is too tough with its economically vulnerable and small retail tenants, they say, many of whom are still grappling with the recession..."
I attended a discussion about American University's 2010 campus plan last night. American University wants to convert most of the current surface parking lot on New Mexico and Nebraska Ave to student residence halls, leaving only a small amount of surface parking. American also wants to add more student housing on its east campus, directly across Nebraska Avenue from the Department of Homeland Security. Perhaps most interesting, the university proposes relocating the law school (Washington College of Law) from the current quasi-suburban setting in the Spring Valley section of DC (along Massachusetts Ave) to Tenley Circle, along Wisconsin Avenue. In addition to this, American wants to increase enrollment of its law school to 2,000 full and part-time students.
Neighbors were concerned about the usual issues of noise, parking, traffic, etc....
Here is a very informative presentation with renderings of some of the new buildings.
Any real life pictures of current projects? It would be greatly appreciated :)
Clashing visions for NE's Brookland neighborhood (Washington Post)
With this, the proposed Abdo development (http://facilitiesplanning.cua.edu/re...#256,1,Slide 1), and other development planned for the area around Catholic U. and Brookland, this could be one of the best upcoming neighborhoods in DC. You can get a rowhouse close to a metro station in this part of Northeast for far more affordable than most elsewhere in DC.
Clashing visions for NE's Brookland neighborhood
By Ovetta Wiggins
Thursday, January 20, 2011
"As Jim Stiegman peers out the window of his Northeast Washington tavern, he shakes his head.
"There's the Metro, but nobody's walking in the neighborhood," he said. "Nobody walks around in Brookland because there is no reason to walk around."
Steigman, who owns Colonel Brooks' Tavern, a landmark in the quiet Brookland neighborhood of rowhouses and single-family homes, envisions a vibrant urban village around the Brookland Metro station 10 years from now.
As part of that, he plans to close his bar in the next 12 to 15 months and build a six-story, mixed-used development with apartments, restaurants and stores that would take up nearly the entire city block between Ninth and 10th streets off Monroe Street NE...."
City prepares for Giant construction (Northwest Current)
This will be a good project for the area near the National Cathedral on Wisconsin Avenue. New housing, a new supermarket, and additional retail will replace a dated 1950s era store and large surface parking lot in what is otherwise a very walkable neighborhood. This development and the relocation of the American University law school to Tenley Circle will make Wisconsin Avenue more lively and attractive.
City prepares for Giant construction
By Teke Wiggin
As Cleveland Park residents continue to voice concerns over transportation issues raised by the impending Giant redevelopment, the D.C. Department of
Transportation is making efforts to address their worries, especially those pertaining to truck activity and parking shortages.
“This development [team] knows that many eyes are watching them, so I’d expect them to take extra care,” Transportation Department associate director Karina Ricks said of the “Cathedral Commons” project. The development will create a new, larger Giant supermarket, 72,850 square feet of additional retail, 138 apartments and eight town houses near McLean Gardens.
Residents, concerned that noisy vehicles going to and from the construction site will invade their neighborhood, took up a large portion of a recent meeting’s question-and-answer session asking about the rules governing truck routes and how they are enforced...."
Developers add housing, possibly a hotel, to Hine Junior High development (WP 2/2/11)
Developers add housing, possibly a hotel, to Hine Junior High development
By Jonathan O'Connell
Wednesday, February 2, 2011; 10:31 PM
"Two nonprofit groups, the Shakespeare Theatre Co. and International Relief and Development, have canceled plans to open offices in a planned redevelopment of the former Hine Junior High School on Capitol Hill.
Developers EastBanc and Stanton are reducing the size of the project at Pennsylvania Avenue and Seventh Street SE by 85,000 square feet, said Joseph Sternlieb, vice president of acquisitions for District-based EastBanc. The modified plans call for a 557,000-square-foot project that will add housing units, and possibly a boutique hotel with 120 to 140 rooms, at Seventh and C streets.
The District closed Hine and 22 other school buildings after the 2007-08 school year.
The withdrawal of the Shakespeare Theatre and International Relief and Development, an anti-poverty group that had planned to move its headquarters from Arlington County, leaves the developers with no office tenants for the property. The Tiger Woods Foundation had opted against opening space on the site after the golf icon's personal scandal in 2009..."
EastBanc switches offices to residential (Georgetown Current)
Thirteen parking spaces for nine units is pretty excessive.
EastBanc switches offices to residential
Developer EastBanc has changed course again on a planned addition to the Georgetown PostOffice at 1215 31st St.
Following a directive from the city’s Office of Planning, EastBanc is planning a residential project behind the post office, abandoning previous plans for an office building.
The project will be a three-story, nine-unit building with 13 parking spots, architect Guy Martin said at Monday night’s Georgetown advisory neighborhood commission meeting.
The addition will join to the rear of the original 1850s post office, once a customs house and office of the last mayor of Georgetown..."
Developer: Whole Foods deal near Nationals Park would require $8 million in tax break
This is ridiculous. This location is within a 10-12 minute walk of three metro stations. The District simply does not have the funds to give a $800,000 subsidy to build and additional level of parking that will only encourage more driving and undermine transit ridership. I'd say no thanks to the Whole Foods. There is a beautiful new Safeway one stop away on the Green line.
Developer: Whole Foods deal near Nationals Park would require $8 million in tax breaks
"Whole Foods Market and a D.C. real estate firm are interested in building a new store in Southeast Washington near Nationals Park, but the developer says that luring the grocer would require $8 million in tax breaks.
William C. Smith and Co. is proposing a 39,000-square-foot Whole Foods for 800 New Jersey Ave. SE as part of a building that would include 375 apartments.
The arrival of the popular grocer on the site, which is currently a parking lot, would possibly inject new life into a neighborhood where dozens of development plans have stalled after the recent economic collapse. The developer, however, is asking that the city provide an $8 million property-tax abatement over 10 years in order to make the project financially viable, a difficult request because the city filled a $188 million budget gap for this fiscal year and might face a shortfall of more than $440 million next year..."
Yet another subsidy for driving while our metro system is crumbling. I think the entire Capitol Bikeshare network cost less than $4M to build. We should absolutely not give $800,000 per year to finance more off-street parking.
NY Times profile of Columbia Heights
The NY Times has a good slideshow of Columbia Heights.
Expanding Downtown (Transport Politic 2/25/2011)
I attended a very interesting discussion by Chris Leinberger (Brookings, U. of Michigan), sponsored by the U. of Michigan DC alumni club, of which my friend is the president, on Thursday. Mr. Leinberger said that within the next 15 years, the not only will all the land in the central business district of DC be developed but most of the remaining parcels in the downtown adjacent neighborhoods (Southeast Waterfront, L'Enfant, NoMa, etc...) will be developed as well (http://www.bayareavision.org/marketp...einberger).pdf , Slide 26). Mr. Leinberger also noted that we have overbuilt the traditional auto-dependent suburbs, as this was largely the only type of development built from 1945 - 1990/95. He said there is now a huge pent-up demand for housing in walkable urban communities. Something like 70-80 percent of households in the next couple of decades will be childless (either the retired baby-boom generation or the Millenials who are delaying marriage and child-rearing). Another interesting point was that in 2000, a house in McLean or Great Falls, with some of the best schools in the country was selling for 25% more per square foot than a house in a walkable urban neighborhood in Dupont, with some of the worst schools in the country. By the end of the decade, the house in Dupont was selling for 75% more per square foot than the house in McLean (slide 15).
Regarding this posting on the Transport Politic blog, Nat Bottigheimer from WMATA noted in his presentation to the Tenley Historical Society in October 2010 that peak period trips into the central business district of Washington on the Red Line will grow modestly because the downtown core is mostly built out. With the development of White Flint and North Bethesda, many of the new trips will be reverse commuting. The real capacity challenge for Metro rail is on the Orange and Blue lines, especially in Rosslyn, with the continued growth of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and more importantly, the massive redevelopment of Tysons from an edge city to a walkable urban area. Chris Leinberger called the Tysons transformation 'the mother of all redevelopments,' with perhaps as much as 100M square feet of new development. I've read elsewhere that this could very well be the largest development project outside of Dubai. A Greater Greater Washington post on the Tysons transformation said that it will have as much office space as Seattle when completed. I asked Mr. Leinberger to describe the scale of this, since most people can't fathom how much development 100M square feet is. He said it will be roughly the equivalent of creating another Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.
February 25th, 2011
"Washington, D.C. is a lucky city: Its downtown has been filled up with new construction over the past few decades to such an extent that it has virtually no space for new office buildings. Some, like Matt Yglesias, have suggested that one way to resolve this problem would be to increase densities by ridding the city of its height limit, which in essence makes it impossible to build structures in the city that are over about 10 stories. Lydia Depillis, another local commenter, has argued that the municipality still has plenty of developable sites which, though they may not be directly downtown, still offer opportunities for more office space.
What would be the manifestations of these different approaches? How can we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of upzoning the center city for more office space? Is our goal to produce vital, walkable, and dense downtown districts, or simply to expand new construction there, no matter the use?
The missing ingredient in this discussion is transportation. When we discuss the demand in downtowns like Washington’s for more office space, we sometimes make an assumption that the transport network will be able to handle whatever is thrown at it. In fact, there is a direct relationship between a downtown’s growth and the transportation provided to it. In general, businesses want to locate their offices in places that are accessible and that provide the benefits of agglomeration, and this sometimes means downtown, but not always. If the trip to and from the center — by whatever mode — becomes too arduous, there are significant reasons to locate outside of it. How does this fact apply to a place like Washington..."
EastBanc plans two new Georgetown projects (Washington Business Journal)
Good riddance. This is some of the most valuable property in the country. Building 35 new $2M - $3M condos here will bring the District significant new tax revenue.
EastBanc plans two new Georgetown projects
By Sarah Krouse
Friday, February 25, 2011
Washington Business Journal
"EastBanc Inc. is planning two new residential projects in Georgetown that are poised to offer the first new high-end condos after the recession.
The Georgetown developer has the Key Bridge Exxon station at 3607 M St. NW under contract with plans to build 35 to 37 new units likely to be condominiums.
The current owner, Anacostia Realty LLC, will continue to operate the gas station on site through July 2012..."
Planning board approves N. Bethesda project (Gazette 2/23/2011)
Planning board approves N. Bethesda project
Mixed-use project follows earlier site plans
By Sonny Goldreich
"Spring is here, the snow has melted, the geese are honking and developers are flocking back to feather projects that lay dormant during the winter of recession.
Or so it appears, as the latest and one of the most ambitious proposals approved Thursday by the Montgomery County Planning Board would allow a 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-use complex to be built in the Rock Spring Centre opposite Walter Johnson High School in North Bethesda.
The action revives prospects for DRI Development of Washington, D.C., to embark on a massive build-out of the site, where a number of earlier plans featured luxury apartment or condominium towers, retail and office space and a spa resort."
The photos of Tysons the next few years are going to be nuts, as development is really supposed to begin this year on several projects.
I think the height limits of downtown DC really should stay, as well. They've encouraged the creation of so many new urban neighborhoods in MD and VA, as development continues to move outwards while downtown DC remains vibrant. It's crazy how downtown DC is literally only a few lots away from being completely maxed out.
As Christopher Leinberger pointed out in his discussion, most of the new development is also concentrated in the 'favored quarter' (i.e. Montgomery Co, FFX Co, and NW DC), although this is changing a bit. Most of the unemployment and poverty, however, is concentrated in the eastern half of the DC region. This leads to a mismatch of where new jobs are created and an available labor pool that can use them. This isn't to blame anyone. One response to address this is to do a much better job of creating transit-oriented development in Prince Georges Co.
UDC campus plan
Here's a link for a new student center on the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) campus:
The architecture of this building has received some really mixed responses but anything to improve this sterile area of DC is welcomed. This is directly next to the Van Ness metro station but the Van Ness section of DC lacks any kind of pedestrian or street life most of the time, despite being on the Red line and in an affluent area. The UDC campus, in particular, is made up of a collection of large, cold, brutalist buildings that are setback significantly from the street and the that don't engage the surrounding neighborhood.
The plaza where the new student center depicted in these renderings would be built is a largely vacant, brick plaza, with little shade or anything else to attract people walking by.
Across the street and a little north from the UDC campus, a developer plans to build a dozen condos where the current Shanghai Garden restaurant is. This is further help to enliven the neighborhood.
Hopefully every major city in the US can see development and revitalization that dc has gotten over the past two decades. Dc is one of the last cities I haven't visited in north America, I need to get over there really bad.
Is it feasible for DC to take the La Defense approach and find an area of Southeast away from major flight paths and sight lines, where highrises could be built and transit expanded? Moscow has already taken this approach with its International Business Center.
Rosslyn already acts sorta like La Defense given its prominent position at the end of the Mall, but as was already mentioned, DC doesn't get any of that tax revenue, and the building heights are strictly capped by the FAA because of the approaches to Reagan.
The Graduate School to expand with new campus on D.C.'s Southwest waterfront
The Graduate School to expand with new campus on D.C.'s Southwest waterfront
By Jonathan O'Connell
March 9, 2011
The school plans to lease 190,000 square feet at the corner of Maine Avenue and Ninth Street. It will keep its leases at L'Enfant Plaza. (Image courtesy of the Wasington Post)
"The Graduate School USA, formerly an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, plans to more than double its physical size in coming years by opening a new campus in a planned redevelopment of the District's Southwest waterfront.
The school serves about 200,000 people annually in mostly non-degree courses, many aimed at preparing them to work in the federal government.
But Jerry Ice, president and chief executive, said the school needs more space. The 47 classrooms the school leases at L'Enfant Plaza are nearly booked every day from early morning until 10 p.m., he said. The school will lease an additional 190,000 square feet - it has about 130,000 now - in a building planned for the corner of Maine Avenue and Ninth Street SW, part of a nearly $2 billion, 10-year project by developers PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette..."
Alexandria waterfront small area plan
Draft small-area plan is finally available.
By Michael Lee Pope
March 07, 2011
"At long last, the wait is over. Planning officials have finally released the long-awaited draft Waterfront Small Area Plan, which could guide redevelopment along the Potomac River for the next 15 years. The 141-page document is the result of months of discussions, public hearings and work sessions. In April, the Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on the plan. The City Council could docket its public hearing as early as May.
"Some interest in some development has surfaced," said Planning Director Faroll Hamer. "I think that’s because of the plan."
Each of the five chapters has a set of recommendations, ranging from building hotels on the Robinson Terminal sites to constructing at 200-foot pier at the foot of King Street. Responding to concerns about building piers in waters owned by the District of Columbia, the draft presents an alternative scenario that would stop redevelopment efforts at the city limits. Overall, the plan would cost taxpayers as much as $41 million, although planning officials estimate it would generate $45 million in revenue..."
Image courtesy of the Connection Newspapers
AU set on dorms despite ANC’s vote (Northwest Current)
AU set on dorms despite ANC’s vote
By BRADY HOLT
“While neighbors have formally requested that American University not build student housing on the site of its Nebraska Avenue parking lot, university officials say they remain committed to building dorms on the East Campus.
The Spring Valley/Wesley Heights advisory neighborhood commission voted last Wednesday to send the university a nine-page letter outlining dozens of requested changes to a draft version of the American University campus plan — with the housing stipulation among them.
Neighbors are concerned about noise and the aesthetic effects of putting hundreds of students on a plot that backs to the Westover Place town houses. Many residents have said they would have no complaint if the parking lot were redeveloped into administrative space, if the new buildings were shorter and if there were more green space.”
Appeals court hears debate over Giant redevelopment (Northwest Current)
Appeals court hears debate over Giant redevelopment
Zoning: Neighborhood groups challenge procedures
By ELIZABETH WIENER
The decade-long battle over the Giant supermarket site on Wisconsin Avenue is now playing out at the D.C. Court of Appeals, which heard arguments Tuesday that the city Zoning Commission erred when it approved an ambitious retail and residential development for two blocks in 2009.
A three-judge panel handling case was clearly interested not only in arcane zoning questions but also in the impact — on both the city and immediate neighborhood — of a new 56,000-square-foot supermarket and other shops, set to go south of Newark Street, and a five-story residential and retail building planned for the low-scale block to the north.
Controversy over the project that has divided the community for years may not be resolved until the court rules. “We all want a new supermarket,” said Dan Hecker, who lives across the street from the project site. “But nobody in the community is cheering for a five-story building to the north.”
CityMarket Moving Forward
According to the Tenley listserve, Rosa Mexicano (http://www.rosamexicano.com/) will be opening a location on Wisconsin Avenue in Friendship Hts, where the former Bambule restaurant was.
New Tenley development
My girlfriend and I took these photos on the way back from the gym today. Although being very affluent and located on the red line, Tenley has missed out on much of the development occurring elsewhere in the region because of militant NIMBY opposition to any development. This is starting to change with the election of more favorable ANC commissioners and neighborhood groups such as Ward 3 Vision advocating transit-oriented development.
In the Tenley-Friendship Hts section of DC on Wisconsin Avenue, the Harrison (http://www.theharrisondc.com/) is almost completed. There are rumors that Douglas Development may seek to build a mixed residential/retail development on the closed Babe's Billiards property. American University wants to relocate its law school from the more suburban Spring Valley location to Tenley Circle, directly next to Wisconsin Avenue. Across the street from the previously mentioned Babe's Billiards, a four-story mixed use building is under construction. Two parcels to the south, a formerly closed building is being renovated and will open soon as a bar/restaurant. Additionally, a Panera Bread is opening in the recently-constructed vacant retail space, right next to the Tenley metro station. Across Wisconsin Avenue, immediately to the south, the new Tenley library opened earlier this winter. Although the architecture has been criticized as being cold and it would have been great to see the proposed public-private partnership with the library and 6-7 floors of condos built above it, the new library is still a great improvement over the vacant lot that had been there for years.
Elsewhere in DC, all of this would be pretty unremarkable but Tenley has long been a laggard in development. This area was known as a the mattress-district of DC, with the abundance of mattress stores, fast food restaurants, low-quality retail stores, and vacant, tumbleweed-strewn lots. This, however is changing.
New Tenley bar/restaurant
New Tenley residential (with Western Union tower and radio towers visible in the background)
New Tenley residential (another view)
DC's new libraries are really beautiful. I saw the one in Benning a few days ago.
American University has posted its updated 2011 campus plan. There are many projects proposed under this plan but the most significant involve relocating the Washington College of Law building from its current quasi-suburban Spring Valley location to Tenley Circle, within walking distance of the Tenley metro. Additionally, American U. proposes building new student housing, academic buildings, and retail on the current large surface parking lot on the corner of New Mexico and Nebraska Ave.
There are many renderings available on the campus plan website but be warned, some of the pdfs are very large.
Watkins Mill Town Center in Gaithersburg (Under Construction)
Construction has begun at Watkins Mill Town Center, a 200-acre, mixed-use development located in Gaithersburg, Maryland along I-270 in the midst of the affluent and highly-educated population of Montgomery County. Watkins Mill Town Center is slated to include nearly 4.5 million square feet of Class A office, hotel, restaurants, retail and residential product surrounded by significant forest preserves and stream valley buffers. By design, it will provide a pedestrian-friendly environment with easy access to services, restaurants and shopping. During development of this "Smart Growth" project, special attention has been paid to environmental protection and "green building" techniques.
Watkins Mill Town Center is a transportation-oriented project, and is located at the confluence of several major road systems: I-270, Route 355/Rockville Pike, Route 117, Route 124, and the future Watkins Mill Interchange. It also is bordered by the existing Metropolitan Grove Amtrak/MARC rail station, which provides access to and from both METRO Rail and Washington DC's Union Station. Finally, the project also is planned as a main station for the programmed Corridor Cities Transit (CCT) Light Rail system.
Watkins Mill Town Center is comprised of three distinct development elements: West End at Watkins Mill, a 475-unit residential community designed around "new urbanism" principles, the Urban Core at Watkins Mill consisting of 1.9 million square feet of Class A office and high-rise residential and hotel towers with a total of 225,000 SF of first-floor retail, and The Spectrum at Watkins Mill, a 40-acre mixed-use urban village with a strong emphasis on restaurants and retail complimented by residential and public uses.
Crown Farm in Gaithersburg (Under Construction)
2,250 units (6 Urban Neighborhoods High Rises up to 20 floors)
Archstone in Gaithersburg (Under Construction)
Archstone Westchester broke ground in Olde Town Gaithersburg last week. Here is the press release:
"Archstone Starts Construction on Gaithersburg Apartment Community
New development to feature 389 apartments in heart of biotechnology hub
Archstone—a leader in apartment investment, development and operations—today announced that it has begun construction on a 389-unit, transit-oriented apartment community in Gaithersburg, Md. The development will be funded primarily through an $89.9 million FHA insured Section 221(d)4 loan through CWCapital.
“We are excited to be an active developer of high quality infill apartment communities again, and expect significant additional investment activity in 2011,” said Scot Sellers, Archstone’s chief executive officer. “We are pleased to have completed our recent balance sheet restructuring, which positions us well for the future.”
The Gaithersburg community will provide much needed housing to the area known as the epicenter of the nation’s biotechnology research industry. Located just south of the intersection of North Summit and East Diamond Avenue, in Gaithersburg’s historic downtown, the 6-acre site sits directly across from the Gaithersburg MARC Rail Station, a commuter rail stop that will provide future residents with direct access to downtown Washington, D.C.
“Gaithersburg is located in the center of the Montgomery County Technology Corridor, the heart of biotechnology research in the United States,” said Neil Brown, Archstone’s chief development officer. “The area’s unique combination of a growing technology employment base, strong demographics, exciting growth projects, like the new Science City, and easy access to mass transit, make it an outstanding location for high quality institutional investment. We are excited to begin construction on another landmark project that we believe will create significant long-term value for the City of Gaithersburg, for our future residents and for our shareholders.”
When complete, the Gaithersburg community will not only feature well-appointed apartment homes, but also a host of resident-centric, quality-of-life amenities, including 15,000 square feet of street-front retail space, a beach-entry lagoon-style pool, a fully-equipped re-oxygenating fitness center, pet grooming salon, a resident greenhouse and an above-ground parking garage.
“We develop all of our communities with attention to every detail,” said Rob Seldin, Archstone’s senior vice president of development for the East Region. “We know that people have a choice in where they call home; therefore, it is always our objective to provide both prospective and existing residents with the most reasons to choose Archstone. Archstone Olde Towne will be developed with a unique combination of features and amenities that will clearly differentiate it from other apartments available in the area, along with a few surprises that we’ll announce as we get closer to the grand opening.”
The Gaithersburg project is the second major apartment community Archstone has begun developing in the Washington, D.C., area this year. In July, the company broke ground on Archstone NoMa, the newest apartment addition to Washington, D.C.’s white hot NoMa Business Improvement District. The Archstone NoMa apartments in Washington, D.C., are primarily funded through a $152 million FHA insured Section 220 loan, also through CWCapital."
Can UDC Get Its Students to Come Without Cars? (Washington City Paper)
Can UDC Get Its Students to Come Without Cars?
Posted by Lydia DePillis
Mar. 31, 2011
Washington City Paper
"Out of all the campus plans working their way towards the Zoning Commission this year, the University of the District of Columbia's is somewhat unique: None of the others are attempting to transform themselves into something entirely different. With this year's launch of the Community College of the District of Columbia–which will accommodate many of the city's non-traditional and part-time students–UDC wants to break free of its commuter-school image and become a bona fide residential campus.
To do that, UDC needs two things: A fancy student center where kids can hang out during the day, and dormitories, which it's never had before (the University currently leases about 100 units, primarily for athletes, at an apartment building across Connecticut Avenue). Nice facilities are essential to attract the caliber of students the University will need to raise its academic standing, UDC officials argued at an ANC 3F meeting on the subject last night–and it worked, sort of, with George Washington.
At the meeting, there seemed to be little concern about the new student center, which will activate a huge dead plaza in front of drab, bunker-like buildings (inspiringly named "38" and "39.") Building two new residence halls for 600 students on the southwest corner of the campus, however, puts residents on edge–primarily because the campus plan doesn't call for increasing the current footprint of some 800 parking spaces, at the Office of Planning's behest. Won't all those students want to bring their cars?"
The blog, 14th & You has a good post several developments under construction on the 14th Street and U Street corridors.
The planned City Center development where the old convention center was located and most recently used by the DC - NY buses is also under construction. I will post some photos when I get a chance.
Construction begins on project at site of former D.C. convention center (Wash. Post)
Construction begins on project at site of former D.C. convention center
By Jonathan O’Connell
"Development of 10 acres of land that the District freed up when it demolished its original convention center was supposed to mark a major step in drawing residents and shops into the city to rejuvenate downtown.
Image courtesy of the Washington Post
That was 15 years ago. As the project gets underway, CityCenterDC will in many ways cap off the effort to revive downtown Washington rather than initiate it.
On Monday, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and members of the D.C. Council gathered to celebrate the start of construction at the site, currently part of a parking lot bounded by New York Avenue and H Street NW to the north and south, and Ninth and 11th streets to the east and west...."
The Washington City Paper (http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/b...rary-pipeline/) notes that Vince Gray's recently-announced budget contains funding for a new library in Cleveland Park. This would be a great location for a public-private partnership, similar to what was proposed for the library in Tenley (hopefully with a better outcome). This location is a block and a half from the Cleveland Park metro and is on Connecticut Ave, a major corridor. There are 5-7 buildings surrounding the library directly to the south on Macomb/CT Ave and on the opposite side of Connecticut Avenue. It would be great if the District can get a private developer to pay for a modern library in exchange for the right to build new residential units above it.
Ummmm, not to be rude, but at this point I think boom needs to be added to the thread title. :notacrook:
I'll try to put something together soon for the thread of everything going on, but in the meantime, more news! There's another huge project next to the Nats Stadium about to get underway, and they're beginning demolition of a building on-site soon. That entire area around the stadium has been one of the most dramatic urban transformations in the United States (seriously; there was literally nothing there five years ago). Everything slowed temporarily, but with the huge news out recently about several projects the region is just seeing some crazy activity right now.
I think the best thing to happen to DC was growth... formerly more like Ottawa or some other forlorn capital, DC has become amazingly more cosmopolitan, and rather more like Paris. Obviously Paris is much larger, but at the rate DC is growing/the increasing amount of urban infill, it wouldn't surprise me if the general scheme (very dense suburbs, large city core) of large European cities predominated in DC's growth patterns. Something that surprised me was Fairfax's #s for the Census, which (I thought) were much higher than expected (besides the huge gains in Loudon and PW especially... geez). The numbers out of Fairfax and Arlington especially show that you can do transit-oriented development very successfully, especially in Arlington's case so far.
My main point is that there are two areas that will be most transformed in the near future, and those are the corridor from Rosslyn to Reston and then the District in general; Montgomery's cities are seeing infill, but I don't think the scale of developments there (in general) will transform areas. Downtown DC just continues to grow and grow, and now we have the added (apparently massive) residential demand, which has increased dramatically for SW DC. Blocks and blocks of DC are just turning into European style 12ish story buildings, one after the other. Rosslyn-Reston continues to become much more dense, with the obvious implications of the Silver Line for Tysons-Reston. Rosslyn is going to be dramatically different rather soon with three new tallest buildings, although I don't think such large-scale development will occur in Clarendon or Courthouse etc. Basically, the region as a whole is becoming hugely more urban and much more livable, especially as growth allows more to move into walkable neighborhoods.
I'm guessing this has already been posted ref: CityCenterDC, it's the property's site, and there's a cool video as well as other info.
I took some pics of the start of construction, and hope to update the progress every once in a while.
Looking toward 9th street from H.
Looking at NY Ave from H, not much of the once huge parking area left.
11th street on the left and intersecting with NY Ave in center. Just to the right(above the construction trailers) is 10th St ending at NY Ave.
Not much happening yet, but the landscaping, parking lot light poles, and walkway which had bisected the area following 10th street's old course are now gone.
The little building in the middle of the pic the next block up was one of the taller ones above NY Ave when I started working in the area a dozen years ago.
I'll try to get some more in a couple of weeks.
Regarding the area by the Nats stadium, Christopher Leinberger noted in a recent discussion that land at the Southeast Waterfront sold for $7 per square foot in 2000-2002 (most likely used as gravel lots or to park vehicles) and by the height of the boom in 2007 the same land was worth $700 per square foot.
--Ex-Ithican: Thank you for posting these photos. I went by there last weekend as was going to take photos but didn't get a chance.
DC Metrocentric has a post this week about this but the Flats at the Atlas District (http://www.clarkrealty.com/project.asp?pid=21763086), a 257-unit apartment development is under construction along the H Street Corridor. Here is a link from Clark's website of construction photos:
I'll be in this area on April 20 for a streetcar forum and will try to take photos then.
DC is my second favorite US city, but this project stinks. Why hire Foster for such uninspired designs? Also, even though the buildings stink, they could have made a better central plaza like Rockefeller Center with a grandiose fountain and sculpture.
I took a pair of photos of the Canal Park (http://www.canalparkdc.org/) a couple of weeks ago. My apologies for the the quality of the photos. The park is directly across the street from the US DOT headquarters, two blocks from the Navy Yard metro station, and a couple of blocks from the Nationals stadium. Here are some renderings of what the park will look like once completed: http://www.canalparkdc.org/renderings.aspx
In the upper left of this photo, you can see phase II of the Capitol Corridor (http://www.eya.com/capitol_quarter ) townhomes under construction. My friend has one of the homes completed in the first phase and it is pretty nice to drink a beer on his deck before going to watch the Nats lose.
I took these photos of the new DC consolidated forensics lab when I went out for street-meat (http://www.eatsauca.com/) the other week. This building is located near L'Enfant Plaza, between the CSX railroad track and I-395. Here is a description of the building. It will be LEED Gold certified.
Spectrum at Watkins Mill
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