It finally happened… after close to two decades in the neighborhood, NPR is moving on a newer, shinier (and bigger) headquarter in nearby NoMa. Moving vans were spotted throughout the week at both NPR’s old and new headquarters. This is it. NPR is leaving us behind…
New NPR headquarters at 1111 N Capitol Street
The move was announced back in 2008 and it took just a little over 3 years to complete the new 1111 North Capitol Street NE building. NPR had been a part of the Mount Vernon Triangle landscape since 1994, long before new condos and apartment buildings turned our neighborhood into an attractive investment destination. As the media organization’s popularity (and audience) grew, so did it staff, eventually outgrowing their 635 Massachusetts Avenue NW HQ. With staff spread out in 3 different building, NPR set out to find a new home that could accommodate all 767 of its employees as well as visitors. If you’re curious to check it out, public tours are expected to resume in June.
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Jonathan O’Connell of the Washington Post’s Capital Business column reports that the District has dropped Donohoe Development as the developer of the 5th & Eye RFP site. Donohoe initially promised a 475,000-square-foot project made up of a 261-room Spanish luxury hotel by Meliá Hotels International and a 160-unit apartment building, with housing for artists, and retail space. A spokesperson from Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development’s office said the project will be re-bid later this year.
The public presentations of the original RFPs for 5th & Eye occurred on May 1, 2008. My recap of that meeting was one of my earliest postings after joining the blog. At the time the Donohoe proposal was the most inspired and earned the endorsements of local community organizations and ANC6C. That ultimately led to Donohoe being awarded the RFP in September 2008.
The economic slowdown/housing crisis understandably grinded progress to a halt in 2009 and 2010. However I do feel the total absence in progress by Donohoe in 2011 and 2012 was a damning indicator. Nor did they give us any reason to be optimistic for 2013. Residential buildings on other sites have been flying up the last two years in the Triangle and around the city. Yet all this site got was a parking lot and some lip service about potentially breaking ground in 2014 (six years after the RFP award). So I do agree its time to move on even if that potentially pushes things back a year as we have absolutely no reason to be confident in Donohoe. The Mount Vernon Triangle deserves better.
A commercial brokerage firm named Street Sense now has a gigantic “For Lease” banner on the renovation at 433 Mass. We’ve touched on the history of this property, often referred to as the “Ledos building”, many times since the blog began.
Street Sense has a flyer with key facts and floor plate images for the property listing.
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According to Prince of Petworth the Marrakesh Restaurant at 617 New York Ave NW has closed and its inventory will be auctioned off in October. I’d long heard that the Marrakesh restauranteurs owned the building – so the restaurant closure would seem to point to an inevitable sale of the building for part of a larger redevelopment.
Hat Tip: Jay K
Image Credit: jim_malone on flickr
National Public Radio Headquarters (for the time being) sits across K Street from all the construction activity of the AAMC headquarters project. The endeavor of moving five historic structures on the site to make way for excavation has generated a great deal of curiousity and fascination. Robert Siegel and Melissa Block of All Things Considered hosted an informative 8 minute segment (audio | transcript) on the transformative project with sound bytes from Expert House Movers, DC Preservation Society, Douglas Development, architect Shalom Baranes, and Kebrab Tekla – a resident who sold the townhouse he lived in for 25 years to accommodate the site assemblage.
Expert House Movers move MVT buildings on wheels (Doriane Raiman/NPR)
Hat Tip: @pency87
My favorite excerpts from the transcript:
On one building having a history as a former brothel:
BLOCK: And in the middle of the block, there were a couple of faded Grand Dames built with when this was a thriving German immigrant neighborhood; three skinny Victorian-era row houses, and most recently one of them was known to be a brothel.
TYLER ANDERSON: I just told my guys, don’t touch anything.
BLOCK: I found Tyler Anderson outside that narrow three-story house. His company was reinforcing it so it could be moved without falling apart.
ANDERSON: There were saunas and whirlpools and walk-in showers, all on every floor. It was like oh, my God.
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Remember our preservation debate surrounding the warehouse at 460 New York Ave? Renderings for the 63-unit residential building from Bozzuto that will integrate the building have recently been made available by WDG architecture. The designs came out rather attractive. I’ve long thought the warehouse only needed quality warehouse appropriate windows and other modest upgrades to be a handsome contributing structure.
Hat Tips: David A, Brian N
460 New York Ave NW rendering from WDG Architecture
The million dollar question: Is the absence of the gigantic green I-395 sign that currently abuts the building something that will become a reality or is it just WDG taking artistic license in their imagery?
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In April we picked up the City Paper story that Douglas Development was beginning to make the rounds to the ANC about a proposed spec office building project on the 600 block of New York Ave NW. That office project continues to move forward and District Crossfit (presumably DC Eagle too) has been served notice of termination of their leases this fall.
The owners of the popular crossfit gym knew displacement was a possibility all along and have been seeking out a new location. Very recently District Crossfit signed a lease for 10,000 SF at 1525 Half Street SW. This will represent a massive expansion and triple the size of the current gym operations. The new location will offer over twice the amount of space for the regular group classes, have a dedicated space for individual workouts, and for the first time ever offer lockers and shower facilities.
District Crossfit's 635 NY Ave location to close this fall
I’ve been a member of District Crossfit for a year and have had great results. Despite the upgrades at the new location I’ll sorely miss the convenience of having the gym be 3 blocks away from my front door. Even gym owner Andrew Killion will have to make the commute from Mount Vernon Triangle to Southwest as he recently signed an apartment lease at City Vista.
The infamous former Fun Fair Video property at 917 5th Street NW has been renovated to improve it’s ability to lure a retail tenant. The space offers 2500 SF with Loopnet suggesting the landlord is asking for $36/SF/Year.
Fun Fair building May 2012
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Recent rendering of EQR apartments
According to DCMud
the apartment project from EQR that recently displaced BicycleSPACE
and Gold Leaf Studios
at 443-459 I Street NW will break ground this August
. The development will restore
two 3-story townhouses and a 2-story autobody garage while building vertically around those structures. When complete the buildings will offer 15,000 square feet of retail space.
The rendering recently circulating on the internet lacks much detailing. That may be because its just an early drawing or perhaps the architecture of the towers are being slightly simplified as it is a mid-block building. Either way, the renderings from 2008 when Walnut Street owned the project seemed a little more inspired.
So I dropped the ball and didn’t pick up on this earlier as I initially assumed 440 K Street was just Kettler changing the address on their upcoming 450 K Street apartments. But it’s an entirely different new project and is part of a modified plan for Mount Vernon Place. Yay for double the residential and retail development on the block.
440 K rendering by Davis Carter Scott (via MVT CID)
From the MVT CID Spring newsletter:
440 K will be the next apartment building to break ground in the Mount Vernon Triangle. With 234 apartments, 440 K will feature two rooftop terraces, a pool, private club room for social occassions, private balconies, and a fitness center. There will also be 9,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
440 K Street will be the fourth building completed in Mount Vernon Place, the two million square foot, mixed-use development of The Wilkes Company and Quadrangle Development Corporation. Designed by Davis Carter Scott, the building is anticipated to be complete by the autumn of 2013.
I can only assume 440 K has the potential to leapfrog 450 K in timeline for groundbreaking because 450 K has all the historical preservation stuff to work through?
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