Save the Tree

ANC 6C01 Commissioner Keith Silver contacted me this morning urging the blog to support his urgent cause to save a 100 year old tree on the NW corner of 4th and I Streets NW. Mr Silver says the community only has 15 days to organize and petition before the tree will be cut down.

Tree on NW corner of 4th and I Streets NW

The Paramount Development group behind the 425 Eye Street project is the entity aiming to cut the tree down. The developer has been renovating the office building for the last year and is now upgrading the sidewalks on Eye Street. The project removed all the other trees that surrounded the project months ago. I thought that was pretty weak sauce to begin with but now this attempt to remove the last remaining tree, which was the oldest and largest of the group, is rather reprehensible. If this tree is indeed 100 years old it survived the construction of the building – yet we’re to believe it can’t survive sidewalk installation?

Commissioner Silver urges all concern citizens in favor of “Saving this Historic Tree” or those in favor of “Cutting it Down” located at 425 Eye Street NW to contact him at within the next Ten (10) Days to determine what should be done in this 15-day window.

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WBJ: Veterans Affairs picks 425 Eye for swing space

According to WBJ, Veterans Affairs has agreed to a lease at 425 Eye in the Mount Vernon Triangle. The lease is for 10 years with a right to terminate after 7. Veterans Affairs views 425 Eye as “swing space” that they will occupy on a temporary basis until their current home, the Lafayette Building, is renovated.

According to the article VA may begin their move as soon as June 2011. Hopefully we’ll hear similarly bright news about the ground floor retail soon.

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Latest Bisnow update on 425 Eye

Commercial Real Estate news site Bisnow has provided another update on Paramount Group’s renovation of 425 Eye Street NW.

John Bone of Paramount Group

It’s a great value play at low to mid-40s full service) and on schedule to deliver Q1 ‘10. It’ll have all new lobby, common areas, bathrooms, fitness facilities, and rooftop deck, and he adds that 4th and I is a “perfect” place for a restaurant.

Paramount has selected Bill Miller of Transwestern Retail to lease the 29,000 SF of ground floor retail space. Transwestern has been a key player in the downtown retail scene signing Buddha Bar for 455 Mass and listing Coco Sala, PS7, Proof and Cork & Fork among their deals.

Transwestern’s website lists 22 tenants actively looking available space in the DC Metro Area. Any of the 22 seem like a fit? I think Humble or Marvelous Market might work. While I know there is a hunger for diners among district residents I can’t say Metro Silver Diner really appeals to me. That seems like it should have signed on at DCUSA…

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425 Eye Retail floorplate

The Paramount Property Group has posted floor plates on to their corporate website for each level of it’s 425 Eye renovation project.

Image from Paramount Group; Click to enlarge

Over 29,000 SF of retail is split across 7 bays. Bays A thru C are west of the lobby entrance on Eye street and represent nearly 13,000 SF of contiguous space. East of the lobby Bays D through G follow along Eye Street then wrap around to span the building’s entire Fourth Street frontage.

Seems there are a large number of columns tenants will need to design around. I’m not certain of ceiling height but I would guess 12 feet. If so I think potential restaurant tenants would most likely be fast casual concepts. In past retail discussions many of our females readers have lobbied for a nice spa/nails place. Could this building eventually fill that need?

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Eye Catching Displays

Below are snapshots of two signs posted in the neighborhood over the last few days.

The remodel of the office building at 425 Eye is in full force and the Paramount group recently erected the gigantic banner above along the structure’s rear. I do think the slogan “Here comes the neighborhood” is a bit ridiculous for an office building. If you’re going to spin it that way atleast hype the 28,000 s.f. of retail elsewhere on the banner. Overall I am pleased the blank wall has been dressed up.

Also of note on Eye Street is that DURKL apparel now has lettering in their front window. They reside in the blue & white garage at 443 Eye Street.

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Picking off the (S)CAAB

The skin/scab has come off the old Chester A. Arthur building (CAAB). The office building is being renovated and rebranded from the CAAB to 425 Eye. The renovation will transform the building from Class B office space contained in a bland white box to Class A office space with a glass facade and 28,000sf of new retail space.

Renovations are forecasted to be completed by the Summer of 2010. Presently there is no news about potential office or retail tenants.

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Triangle Times – Summer ’09 edition

The Summer ’09 edition of the Triangle Times newsletter is available on the MVT CID Website in PDF form. The newsletter has a special focus on new retail and redevelopment in the Triangle.

On interesting piece of new information is that the 425 Eye Street office building renovation plans to substantial ground floor retail:

Approximately 28,000 square feet of retail space will be created on the first floor – ideally with a white tablecloth restaurant in the mix.

For a frame of reference 28,000 sf of retail would be 3 times the size of Buddha Bar or Acadiana. While I doubt they would lease to three large restaurants it’s very easy to imagine a scenario with one nice large restaurant, a cafe catered towards quick lunch food for office workers, and a mix of other service oriented businesses.

Triangle Times also announced that 455 Mass Ave won an award from WBJ:

The Buddha Bar at 455 Mass was awarded the Urban Retail Transaction of the Year from the The Washington Business Journal. The building, developed by Penzance and ASB Real Estate Investments, leased a 9,500-square-foot, first-floor space to the international restaurant group based in Paris. Congratulations!

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