Aria Sculpture Finally Arrives

During the final week of June the public art installation commissioned for the 300 block of I Street NW as part of the Mount Vernon Place masterplan finally arrived after years of delays. The stainless steel sculpture stands 16 feet high and was crafted by Baltimore artist Rodney Carroll. It is placed on a pedestal amongst the elevated landscaping along the Eye street edge of the Madrigal Lofts condominiums.

Aria, by Rodney Carroll

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440 K Street Apartments

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?

[Read more...]

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Renderings for 400 K Street NW

The new Mount Vernon Place Master Plan outlines more specific details on the proposed office buildings along K Street.

Rendering of 400 K Street; Click to enlarge.

The specifications for 400 K Street conform closely with those of 300 K Street. The building will have 11’6″ ceiling heights slab to slab with floor to ceiling glass.

First floor plate for 400 K Street; Click to enlarge.

A notable difference is that the building is dual core and can be built in two phases of approximately 210,839 rentable SF each. Separate lobby entrances and service facilities will exist for each section. Spanning the entire project, approximately 23,165 rentable SF ground floor will be available for retail space.

Renderings courtesy of

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Renderings for 300 K Street NW

The new Mount Vernon Place Master Plan outlines more specific details on the proposed office buildings along K Street. The most drastic shift in the new master plan is the facade change for the 300 K Street from a office building. Originally depicted with masonry that complemented the styles of the adjacent condominiums of the new plans show a floor-to-ceiling glass look.

New rendering of 300 K Street; Click to enlarge.

Original rendering of 300 K Street; Click to enlarge.

The building will have approximately 10,141 SF of ground floor retail space with 11’6″ ceiling heights slab to slab.

First floor plate for 300 K Street; Click to enlarge.

As you can see from the drawing above a lobby entrance is planned at the center of the K Street frontage with retail space on either side flowing back along the 3rd and 4th street frontages.

Up Next: A closer look at 400 K Street

Renderings courtesy of

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Mount Vernon Place rendering update

News regarding future phases of Mount Vernon Place, a master planned mixed-use development totaling over two million square feet within the Triangle, has been few and far between. Construction on the project has ceased since the Mitchell Mayer building and the Sonata and Madrigal Lofts condominiums delivered over 2 years ago.

This past August, according to the Washington Business Journal, Mount Vernon Place developer Sandy Wilkes tested the waters in the sweepstakes for a proposed MSG theatre. Such a concept was a long shot for this site. Given the creation of a September 2009 update of the Mount Vernon Place Master Plan focus appears to have been restored to building 12 story LEED certified Class A office space along K Street.

New Mount Vernon Place masterplan rendering; Click to enlarge.

In the above rendering the color blue represents office space while the creamsicle/tan color represents residential buildings.

Interesting is that the U-Shaped blue massing below 300 K Street (#1) was not labeled with a number nor assigned a name in this new masterplan. This suggests that the developer still has not decided the future for this parcel which was also the case in the original master plan published years ago. The rendering does continue to indicate a plan to build over the edges of the alley that will run from 3rd Street to 4th Street. If that is the intention then the rear frontage of 300 K office building would have ghastly blank walls much like the west edge of the Mitchell Mayer building.

Up Next: A closer look at 300 K Street

Renderings courtesy of

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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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Updated site plan for Mount Vernon Place

In early November I attended a PQNA breakfast meeting in which Sandy Wilkes and David Mayhood discussed the Mount Vernon Place project. From Wilkes we learned more details about the K Street office buildings while Mayhood profiled the typical MVT condo buyer.

At tonight’s MVT CID Marketing Committee meeting the Mount Vernon Place commercial leasing agent Meany & Oliver company should be in attendance. Their website has two marketing materials: a Mount Vernon Place overview and a document focused on the 300 and 400 K Street NW office buildings.

Click to Enlarge; image from Meany & Oliver flyer-mvp1.pdf

In this economy I don’t think anyone can answer when these projects will begin. What I find interesting is that this rendering does have changes from the masterplan on the Mount Vernon Place website. It reflects that 301 Eye Street will remain intact and that the current site of the Madrigal Lofts sales trailer will not be built on (will it eventually be a Church Square plaza?). I also notice that Mount Vernon Place contains one less site on K Street. Previously the lot immediately left of the 150,000 s.f. planned office was part of Mount Vernon Place. Lastly, we get another baroque inspired name, the Cantata, for the planned residential project on 3rd Street.

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Mount Vernon Place office building update

As I reported a little over a week ago, the recent demolitions on 3rd Street do not signify movement on the Mount Vernon Place project. The vacant buildings were razed because they were attracting vagrants and prostitutes.

However after attending the PQNA Breakfast meeting I have learned more detail about Mount Vernon Place from the presentations from Sandy Wilkes and David Mayhood. Wilkes presentation began by listing his architectual partners and unveiling an overview of Mount Vernon Place master plan complete with renderings. This information is readily available on

Rendering of 300 K Street

After that introduction Wilkes painted a deeper picture of what we can expect with the Mount Vernon Place office buildings on K Street.

  • They don’t plan to build any of the K Street office buildings until a lead tenant is identified
  • They believe the location will attract non-profits and associations rather than law firms or GSA government
  • Considering target tenants are non-profits they believe the buildings will have some of the highest LEED green building standards in the city
  • They are committed to significant retail on all their K Street offices and integration of public art

Rendering of offices on 400 block of K Street

It was interesting to hear that Non-Profits and Associations are considered to be the target tenant. Recent news items show that non-profits like NPR and the Sierra Club planning to move to NoMA for lower costs. Does targeting non-profits mean we can infer that price/sqft lease rates at Mount Vernon Place will be a little closer to NoMA than the Downtown BID? I was encouraged to hear that GSA was not considered a probable client. With GSA buildings comes sidewalk barricades and armed guards.

The 100 million dollar question is: When will they break ground on these buildings? Considering a lead tenant has not been identified and the credit markets are locked up I don’t think *anyone* can answer this question. I can speculate that unless a lead tenant is identified in the next 3-4 months that 2009 may be unlikely.

Renderings courtesy of

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Triangle related events on Nov 6th

Pennsylvania Quarter Neighborhood Association

The next Pennsylvania Quarter Neighborhood Association breakfast meeting will be held on November 6 at 8:30am at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre (641 D St NW). This meeting is focused on Mount Vernon Triangle development, the current state and future plans. Guest speakers include MVTCID Executive director Bill McLeod as well as a representative from the Wilkes Company. Wilkes is associated with Mount Vernon Place, an eleven building mixed use development spanning 5 blocks of the Mount Vernon Triangle.

RSVP via email to joann (at) PennQuarter (dot) org. When responding, please include the first and last names and affiliations of all people attending.

Additionally, as we announced a month ago, Thursday is also the day for:

Mount Vernon Triangle Community Walk with Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells

D.C. Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells will join Mount Vernon Triangle residents for a Community Walk through at 6pm on Thursday November 6th. The walk starts at the 555 Mass condominium. This is a followup to last year’s walk which is recapped on Tommy’s blog.

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