Mount Vernon Place office building update

As I reported a little over a week ago, the recent demolitions on 3rd Street do not signify movement on the Mount Vernon Place project. The vacant buildings were razed because they were attracting vagrants and prostitutes.

However after attending the PQNA Breakfast meeting I have learned more detail about Mount Vernon Place from the presentations from Sandy Wilkes and David Mayhood. Wilkes presentation began by listing his architectual partners and unveiling an overview of Mount Vernon Place master plan complete with renderings. This information is readily available on

Rendering of 300 K Street

After that introduction Wilkes painted a deeper picture of what we can expect with the Mount Vernon Place office buildings on K Street.

  • They don’t plan to build any of the K Street office buildings until a lead tenant is identified
  • They believe the location will attract non-profits and associations rather than law firms or GSA government
  • Considering target tenants are non-profits they believe the buildings will have some of the highest LEED green building standards in the city
  • They are committed to significant retail on all their K Street offices and integration of public art

Rendering of offices on 400 block of K Street

It was interesting to hear that Non-Profits and Associations are considered to be the target tenant. Recent news items show that non-profits like NPR and the Sierra Club planning to move to NoMA for lower costs. Does targeting non-profits mean we can infer that price/sqft lease rates at Mount Vernon Place will be a little closer to NoMA than the Downtown BID? I was encouraged to hear that GSA was not considered a probable client. With GSA buildings comes sidewalk barricades and armed guards.

The 100 million dollar question is: When will they break ground on these buildings? Considering a lead tenant has not been identified and the credit markets are locked up I don’t think *anyone* can answer this question. I can speculate that unless a lead tenant is identified in the next 3-4 months that 2009 may be unlikely.

Renderings courtesy of

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  1. 1

    PQS says

    Great recap. Thanks. Information on the development has always been sparce. Did they mention anything about development along 3rd St like Church Square and the unfinished side of the building at 3rd and H st? That has been quite the eye sore.

  2. 2

    fourthandeye says

    @PQS – no update on timelines on that. As a Sonata resident you probably know the details they did disclose. Wilkes/QDC plan to build a mirror building to the Sonata at 3rd & H St alongside AIPAC. The Church Square is a partnership with Mount Carmel Baptist Church. They plan to build a residential building, a K-thru-3 school and more church parking.

  3. 3

    pqresident says

    thanks for this useful update. I suspect that financing conditions will play a role in the decision to move forward with development. the good news is that we live in a fairly recession proof town and a lower cost alternative will always be attractive to some.

  4. 4

    Kimberly says

    Any information on knocking down Tony Cheng’s property next to the Fun Fair Video on 5th btw I and K?

  5. 5

    fourthandeye says

    @Kimberly – Tony Cheng attended the community walk with Councilmember Tommy Wells. I would hope his vacant property came up, but I was having my own side conversation and didn’t hear all the discussions that went on. I recommend reinforcing your opinion that action needs to be taken against that vacant property on Tommy’s blog.