Updated Aerial Renderings for I-395 Air Rights Development

The following images represent updated aerial renderings for the proposed Center Place project over I-395. These renderings are for the north block that sits along Massachusetts Ave NW and, as of this moment, are more current than what resides on the Louis Dreyfus website.

Aerial Rendering of proposed north block of Center Place (as of Dec '10)

The plan now feature 3 buildings on the north block rather than 2 large buildings with a skybridge. The old massings evoked architectural comparisons to the universally despised Tech World development at 8th and K.

Aerial Rendering of proposed north block of Center Place (as of Dec '10)

While removal of the skybridge is an upgrade I’m uncertain about the new configuration. With G Street to the southern edge of this block slated be pedestrian only street can the project support TWO activated pedestrian only alleys as well? I’m a little skeptical all these pedestrian only spaces will be active into the evenings given the lack of residential. I suppose if they targeted the right kind of destination retail it may work.

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  1. 1


    they still need to work on this. i understand the need to be dense as possible due to the height restrictions in the city, but this is uninspired.

    (BTW, nice new logo!)

  2. 2

    Shipsa01 says

    Agree with IMGoph – very uninspiring and still too Tech World-ish. I’m not an architect or engineer, but would be very interested to hear what other ideas people have.

  3. 3

    RobA says

    Residential will be located in the middle block and with the right retail/restaurant mix, I don’t see why people wouldn’t walk to this location. They’re walking 4-5 blocks now to go to City Vista.

  4. 4

    FourthandEye says

    @RobA – it takes a large base of potential walkers to enliven a pedestrian only area. One or two residential buildings isn’t that critical mass.

    The Courthouse plaza in Arlington has a movie theater and a metro entrance access point within the pedestrian only area. It also has a few restaurants and small convenience retail off this courtyard. Despite all these things in place and several 20 story residences occupying the blocks just south it’s dead in the evenings.

    I don’t think activating these pedestrian only areas is impossible but it’s not slam dunk easy either. I think they’ll need to really consider what will pull Gtown Law students over after classes and put in some kind of destination retail. Maybe another gym too.

  5. 5

    RobA says

    Part of what the Zoning Commission asked for last week was more information on the retail plan – what they expected to place in those areas (as well as to increase the height of all retail bays). You also have the residential building to the west of the project that it will be able to pull from. But you’re right it’s all in the mix.

  6. 6

    ceefer says

    Well, what do you expect with the DC height limits?

    When you restrict building height to a mere 130 feet or so, maximum, you don’t leave much rrom for creativity. A “tissue box” is the best we’ll get.

    You want imaginative buildings that will add to the cityscape and make REALLY dense development possible? Eliminate or at least sensibly modify the height limits.

    Until the, we get tissue boxes.