Renderings for 900 New York

Gould Parcel in NE corner

Gould Property Co retained a block of the old convention center site with plans to independently develop it outside the City Center DC project bidded out by the District to Hines-Archstone in 2007. While City Center has made amazing construction progress in the last year-plus Gould has partnered with Oxford Properties Group for a planned 620,000 SF office development called at 900 New York Ave NW.

City Center will deliver 295,000 SF of retail, 458 apartments, 216 condominiums, 515,000 SF of office, 350 hotel rooms and 1,885 parking spaces. The Gould development will add the aforementioned office tower and more than 30,000 SF of retail space.

900 New York retail plat map

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June DNA Meeting

The Downtown Neighborhood Association is hosting a community meeting Tuesday June 14th at Calvary Baptist Church (755 8th St NW) from 6:30 to 8PM.

Howard Riker, Project Manager from Hines, will brief attendees on the City Center Project. We will have a usual activity report by the MPD on Police Service Area 101. We will be updated on crime and other issues affecting downtown residents and businesses. This is your opportunity to voice concerns, raise issues and ask questions of your MPD representative.

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Curbside Cookoff at City Center

Curbside Culture Art and Performances Announced including Music, Graffiti Art, Classes & More

Always wanted to try that street vendor your friends are always talking about but never had time? Always seem to miss the hottest new food trucks when they’re in your neighborhood? Want to see some amazing art and performances? Now is your chance.

The District’s 20 most popular street vendors will converge in downtown DC on October 7 and 8 for two full days of art, music, dance and of course the best food the vendors have to offer.

The Department of Consumer and Affairs (DCRA), in proud partnership with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Brightest Young Things, and the Downtown BID, presents the city’s first annual Curbside Cookoff.

The event is being held at CityCenterDC, the site of the old Washington Convention Center, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on October 7 and 8. Admission is free and open to everyone.

The vendors invited to participate were selected from a week-long online open voting process and the vendors chosen can satisfy anyone’s cravings including:

Attendees will be able to vote for their favorite vendor on-site via paper ballot and via American Idol-style SMS text messaging. More details on the voting process will be announced in the next few days.

Brightest Young Things (BYT) is sponsoring a happy hour beer garden sponsored by Flying Dog after work on both days. They also mentioned something about a Winnebago. More details coming from BYT.

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City Center Market

There is a festival/market at the City Center DC parking lot running from Monday September 13, 2010 – Saturday September 25, 2010 on 11am-7pm.

The City Center lot is bordered by H street to the south, 11th street to the west, New York Avenue NW to the south and a pedestrian walkway to the east.

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Street Soccer USA Cup 2010

Street Soccer USA (SSUSA) in partnership with sponsors the Leonsis Foundation, HELP USA, the Washington Kastles, Nike, and Deloitte hosts the annual Street Soccer USA Cup for the homeless this year in Washington DC. From July 30 through August 1 teams of males and females from 18 cities across the US will compete at Washington Kastles Stadium at the future site of CityCenter DC (H & 11th Streets NW).

During the Street Soccer USA Cup, over 20 teams representing a variety of agencies (grassroots, city wide, and national homeless service providers) from cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco, Charlotte and Washington, D.C., will compete for the Street Soccer USA Championship in fast-paced, 4 versus 4 street soccer action.

The event includes exhibition matches, live entertainment, and thousands of cheering fans and volunteers from the local and national communities. The festivities begin at 5PM Friday, July 30 with confirmed attendees including Mayor Fenty, Ted Leonis, Sheila Johnson, Mark Ein, and members from the Washington Freedom.

To reserve your FREE ticket, go to

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Linked up: Rita’s and Roast Beef

  • Taylor Gourmet has a new roast beef hoagie [Young & Hungry]
  • Kushi is food critic Tim Carman’s favorite new place to eat and drink [Young & Hungry]
  • Law firm Skadden Arps pulls out of the City Center Development [DCMetrocentric]
  • We’ve been hearing that Rita’s Water Ice will be coming to Chinatown for seemingly 18+ months and began to doubt. But the signage is finally up. [Prince of Petworth]
  • The 2010 Best of Washingtonian party is being held tonight (7/21) at the National Building Museum.

Image from Prince of Petworth

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Streetcar to be showcased at 9th & H

DDOT to Host DC Streetcar Showcase May 5-8
First Opportunity for Public to Board One of DC’s Modern Vehicles

District residents, workers and visitors will soon get their first opportunity to step aboard one of the District’s new modern streetcars. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host the DC Streetcar Showcase from Wednesday, May 5 through Saturday, May 8, 2010 at City Center DC, the site of the old convention center.

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City Center DC Brochure

Our neighbors at PQLiving shared news of zoning adjustments at the City Center DC site yesterday. That led me to visit for the first time since August. Hines Archstone has revamped the site adding more details including a video and a 38 page brochure. Below are a few screen prints from the materials.

Aerial view rendering of CityCenterDC; Click to visit brochure

Retail visioning at CityCenterDC; Click to visit brochure

The plans call for 458 apartments, 216 condos, 458,000 SF of office space and between 250,000 and 400,000 SF of retail. 10th and Eye Streets will be restored to the street grid. An interior courtyard is placed between the four residential buildings and pedestrian alleyways paved with cobblestone cut through mid-block. All parking and loading is underground so that retail lines all streets and alley ways, 20% of the housing is affordable and there is a new park at NY Ave and 11th.

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Triangle under consideration for new 6,000 seat theatre venue?

On Wednesday the Washington Business Journal created enormous buzz with news that the Madison Square Garden LP is aggressively scouring D.C. to identify a site for a new theatre venue. The article suggested MSG would open a venue of a 6,000 seats or more, requiring up to 100,000 square feet near shopping and public transit.

A day later, WBJ reporter Jonathan O’Connell unveiled more specifics on the locations under consideration. Two locations are in the immediate vicinity of the Nationals ballpark. The other three strike much closer to home:

  • The Wilkes CompanyMount Vernon Place. Sandy Wilkes apparently met with the MSG team and he is planning 2.2 million square feet of development two blocks east of Mount Vernon Square. Not much further from the action.
  • Douglas Development – Mount Vernon Triangle. Ever since assembling 1.2 million square feet across from the convention center, Douglas Jemal has been pursuing an entertainment attraction.
  • HinesCityCenter DC. The old convention center site will be the city’s most high-end major development and has 111,460 square feet along New York Avenue between 9th and 11th Streets. Close to downtown, subway stations and dining options, it may be the most New York City-esque part of D.C.

How big would a 100,000sf venue be? Nearly double the size of the 59,000sf City Vista Safeway. From a capacity standpoint it would be 6X that of the 930 club, 3X the previously proposed House of Blues, and 1.5X the size of DAR Constitution Hall.

DAR Constitution Hall

Proposed MSG venue would have 1.5 times the capacity of DAR Constitution Hall

What are reactions to this? I can’t believe Mount Vernon Place is a serious contender. By my rough math neither of MVP’s two largest remaining continuous assemblages of land on K Street is > 45000sf. City Center could definitely accomodate this project if desired. Douglas Development might have problems because of all the holdouts (Marrakesh, Rupperts) and historical properties they have to work around.

Where ever this project lands I hope MSG has a commitment to producing an architecturally beautiful building befitting a grand theatre rather than a value engineered blank box like the Convention Center or the 6th Street frontage of the Verizon Center.

UPDATE (8/18/09 7:10PM) – I’ve talked to an industry insider and while MSG needs 100,000 sf for the venue the required land footprint would be 50,000sf. Mount Vernon Place still is a non-starter as their largest land assemblage is 45,000sf which falls shy even before you have to carve a few thousand square feet out on the ground level for supporting infrastructure like parking garage egress, loading docks, etc…

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Just two months left in the trapeze season

Two months ago we highlighted the arrival of the Washington Trapeze School at City Center (9th & H). With just two months left in the “semester” I was wondering who has tried getting their high flying acrobat on?

Yelp does presently have 3 reviews for the local incarnation of the Trapeze School – each of which grades the class as a five star experience. Juliana from Chevy Chase writes: “I feel like a limp noodle, my hands are blistered and my arms are all scratched up, but damn if that wasn’t one of the most fun evenings I’ve had in a while.

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that these classes are cheaper than you might think – roughly ~$50 for two hours.

Photo credit: Oddlittlebird

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