2006-09-29, 15:10

By: Jonathan Groner
Mixed use is coming to D.C.'s Southwest waterfront area in a big way, but the project won't be under way until 2009. Still, this $800 million project will definitely transform the area, which is now somewhat down on its heels. Will D.C. follow in the footsteps of Baltimore's Inner Harbor, which helped make that city's downtown more livable?

Here is the story from today's Washington Business Journal.
PN Hoffman/Struever to lead $800M Southwest waterfront revitalization
By Sean Madigan

A team led by PN Hoffman/Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse will redevelop the District's 50-acre Southwest waterfront into a vibrant $800 million maritime-themed mix of housing, shopping and entertainment.
The Anacostia Waterfront Corp. on Thursday named the PN Hoffman/Struever team to partner with the quasi-public agency.
The team includes almost 40 builders, developers, consultants and nonprofit partners. PN Hoffman is one of D.C.'s most prominent high-end condominium developers, and Struever, based in Baltimore, developed several major projects on the Baltimore waterfront.
The project will involve about 1.9 million square feet of development, including about 955 condos and apartments, 360 hotel rooms, 230,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, 157,000 square feet of office space and 150,000 square feet of cultural space buffered by 14 acres of parkland and an expanded waterfront promenade.
PN Hoffman/Struever is proposing an aquarium, a replica of the former slave ship, the Pearl, and a facility for the Living Classrooms Foundation, a highly successful youth and job-training organization based in Baltimore.
Seventeen teams responded to a solicitation AWC issued in the spring. The development corporation pared the field twice, first naming five short-list candidates including Madison/KSI, Chicago's John Buck Co., Anthony Lanier's EastBanc and the JBG Cos. In mid-August, AWC cut the list to just PN Hoffman and Madison/KSI.
A group of city officials and real estate consultants assessed each proposal. They looked at each teams' qualifications, approach, strategy, financial wherewithal and commitment to local and minority participation.
While AWC has settled on a development partner, terms of the deal must still be OK'd by the AWC board and the D.C. Council, where six of the 13 members will be retiring, switching posts or losing their seats.
Aside from dealing with the political climate, AWC and its new development partner will also have to iron out a handful of other not-so-insignificant challenges, including site control.
JBG and its partners currently control about 180,000 square feet on the five key parcels that make up much of the proposed waterfront site.
It is not quite clear if JBG will be involved in the redevelopment program or if the winning developers will simply buy out the company's interests.
The AWC itself doesn't control any of the proposed land area at the moment. More than two years ago, the National Capital Revitalization Corp. reluctantly agreed to turn over its holdings along the waterfront to the AWC in exchange for the former McMillan reservoir site and about $50 million worth of cash and scattered city-owned properties.
NCRC says it's ready to go but the District CFO and attorney general and the D.C. Council need to make adjustments to the structure of the deal. Meanwhile, D.C. Councilwoman Sharon Ambrose says there is too much foot dragging, so she introduced a punitive bill last week that would strip NCRC of its $50 million in cash and property unless the deal is closed before the council acts.
The parties have some time to work out the kinks. AWC says it will take about two and a half years of planning before the construction begins, which is expected to occur in 2009. The project won't likely be finished until 2014.


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