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AAMC Begins Move into 655 K Street NW

The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) is set to begin the move into their new building at 655 K Street NW. The AAMC offices will be closed for business Friday, May 16, through Tuesday, May 20. They will reopen in their new headquarters in the Mount Vernon Triangle by Wednesday, May 21 bringing over 600 office workers into our community.

655 K Street NW

655 K Street NW

The historic buildings being integrated into this development had an unfortunate setback with a crumbling facade last month. Those buildings are slated for retail use and managed by Douglas Development not AAMC.
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Historic Facade at AAMC Site Collapses

The brick facade of one of the four historic buildings at the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Headquarters development appears to have collapsed.

Picture of 655K historic buildings on April 21, 2014

Picture of 655K historic buildings on April 21, 2014

While the front brick facade has crumbled down the structural integrity of the building is suspected to be fine. Structural engineers will be evaluating over the next 36 hours or so. AAMC does not expect this to delay their mid-May move-in into the new construction glass and steel high rise office building portion of the project. The historic buildings are slated for retail uses.

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Final WOD at District Crossfit NW

District Crossfit NW at 635 New York Ave NW will close its doors after its final WOD (workout of the day) tonight. Their landlord, Douglas Development, is intent on moving forward with redeveloping the block.

Please join us on the evening of Tuesday, November 26 for the final WOD at District CrossFit NW. As you all know DCFNW will unfortunately be closing in November, but we can’t send the ole’ girl out without a bang. Join us for a workout (and of course some refreshments) to celebrate the best damn gym this city has ever seen. ’The Final WOD’ will actually be any of the regularly scheduled Tuesday evening classes (5:30, 6:30 & 7:30), so pick the class of your liking and stick around to have a drink and trade a few stories.

District Crossfit opened in 2010 at 624 New York Ave NW. One year later they were displaced by the AAMC headquarters development and choose to relocate across the street to a much bigger space at 635 New York Ave. The membership of the gym rapidly grew and they responded by adding a second 10,000SF location at 1525 Half Street SW.

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NPR Highlights ambitious MVT preservation efforts

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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District Crossfit location on NY Ave to be displaced by development

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.

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Walgreens at 7th & H to go Upscale

In early January Capital Business shared the list of prospective retailers Douglas Development had lined up for their 7th and H development. At tonight’s MVSNA meeting Paul Millstein (from Douglas) confirmed that Walgreens and Yo! Sushi were on board but did not confirm Panera Bread.

Perhaps more insightful was Millstein’s explanation of how this would not be a typical Walgreens. This Walgreens will be modeled after a ‘super store’ concept launched in Chicago at State and Randolph this January. The 25,000 sqft operation will occupy three floors including a basement level and aims to be as much a health and daily living store as a pharmacy. Expect upmarket fresh and pre-packaged foods, wine, a bakery, coffee shop and services including an on-site doctor and a nail salon on the second floor.

The embedded video showcases a tour of the new Chicago store. The ETA for this new Walgreens is the Nov/Dec timeframe.

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WCP: Douglas Proposing Massive Spec Office Building for New York Avenue

According to Lydia DePillis of the Washington City Paper’s Housing Complex column, Douglas Development has submitted a proposal to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for design approval of a massive office building on the north side of the 600 Block of New York Avenue NW.

DePillis summarized the plan as:

The proposed development, designed by Shalom Baranes and shooting for LEED Silver, is 380,000 square feet of top-of-the-line office space. Most of the 32,000 square feet of ground-floor retail will be in the site’s old brick buildings, which will be consolidated on 7th Street (by the time they finish the project across the street, Douglas will be experts in moving buildings). In order to not build on top of them, they’re asking for permission to transfer density towards the east end of the site, which would be built up to 130 feet. One side would have wavy fins with rooftop gardens.

When visiting her posting you may browse a Scribd embedded 35 page document with more details and illustrations.

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Hodges building relocated

Demolition for the construction of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) new headquarters building (rendering) is well underway. Several buildings have been razed completely and two buildings have been relocated. Next up will likely be rear demolition and coupled with facade preservation (and off-site storage) of selected historic properties on the site.

I have a picture I snapped yesterday of the Hodges building at it’s relocated site. But the Citypaper’s Lydia DePillis posting features the move in-progress photos from Saturday which is more fascinating. I’ve elected to share the best photo of the photos Shaw Main Streets provided her below.

Hodges Sandwich Shop being wheeled across NY Ave (Alexander M Padro)

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