According to the Washington Business Journal, Boston Properties paid about $39 million last month for its stake to enter a joint venture with Steuart Investment Co to develop a 520,000-square-foot office building at 501 K Street NW. This site is currently the fenced in Marc Parc parking lot between 5th and 6th Streets NW and bounded by New York Ave to the north. The potential development has been in the pipeline for Steuart Investment for years and having a proven partner should finally kickstart it into action.
The article does prattle on a bit about what kind of office tenant they will pursue. Long story short: almost anything. I think as residents we are less interested in the office tenant aspect of this news and immediately wonder what the retail prospects are. I would assume the retail specs should still be at least as optimistic as what Guy Steuart shared with this blog in 2010:
Under the requirements of the Mount Vernon Overlay, Square 483 is required that 50% of its ground floor area be retail and the Zoning Code further establishes design guidelines for storefront window glass ratios, ceiling heights and uses. As cited correctly in the blog, this would yield approximately 30,000 sq feet of retail. It is our intent to fully comply with this requirement and accordingly believe the logical orientation would be along 5th Street and K.
We have no timeframes to report. But Boston Properties has a track record in the neighborhood and tends to be accomplished at attracting tenants and moving developments along quickly. Case in point, the recent raze of the old NPR building to make way for the development of 601 Mass Ave NW. Another nearby Boston Properties development is 901 New York Avenue NW.
This is outstanding news for the neighborhood. 5th & K was always planned to be the heart of the Mount Vernon Triangle. But it has needed another project beyond City Vista to carry the load to truly tap into its potential. Now more than ever we can be optimistic that complementary project is on its way.