I attended last night's development forum and was excited to hear that a lot of projects seem to be truly, finally nearing starting. Below are some of my notes from the meeting.
1. Developers Not in Attendance - Developers of the new convention center hotel did not attend on advice of counsel due to the pending lawsuit (discussed yesterday). Developers of the Jazz at Florida Avenue also did not attend due to pending negotiations with WMATA regarding the parcels. Developers of CityCenter DC (the old convention center site) also did not attend due to scheduling. Developers of Parcel 42 did not attend, and the SMS Executive Director informed the group that the project -- like many -- is working on financing. Marriott, which is developing two smaller hotels on L Street across from the proposed new convention center hotel, also did not attend. SMS Executive Director informed the group that the two smaller Marriott hotels will likely open before the convention center headquarters hotel opens.
2. Douglas Development -
a. Ninth Street Properties - Douglas Development has several projects pending throughout Shaw. Douglas sees the Ninth Street corridor developing most quickly. The building housing the new Long View Gallery -- 1234 Ninth Street -- has a retail space adjacent to the gallery that has garnered a lot of interest from restaurant groups. The company owns several row homes a few row homes also in the 1200 block of Ninth on which the company will begin renovations in the next few months. Restaurant groups have also expressed interest in these spaces. The Exchange boasts the headquarters of Independence Bank and a completely leased residential component.
b. The Wonder Bread Building - this office development is on hold due to the current economy. In order to finance the project, they need a tenant committed to leasing sixty to seventy percent of the building in order to get the project financed.
c. Seventh Street Properties - Douglas Development plans to bring its historic properties in the 1100 block of Seventh Street online for lease very soon. Expect to see boards to come off windows and restorations of the facades shortly. This is a viable stretch of retail opportunity.
d. Seventh and Florida Avenue - The renovation of this building -- formerly home to a Popeyes franchies -- is almost complete. Douglas is trying to lease it now and wants a high quality tenant. Nike, for example, almost signed a lease for the building and represents the type tenant they desire. Do not expect to see a cell-phone store, a liquor store, a fast food chain, or even another drug store in this highly visible spot.
2- Inle Development - Inle is the developer behind 1501 Ninth Street at the corner of Ninth and P Streets. The property is a vacant lot and was long time home of shady car lot Wings Motors. The property will be developed into a four story building. The building is already fully sold out (!!!!!). A popular Burmese restaurant from Silver Spring, Maryland known as Mandalay will occupy the basement and the first two floors of the building. It will feature outdoor seating along P Street. The restaurant owner and executive chef will occupy the condominium above the restaurant. The development should break ground this quarter or next, and the restaurant should be open by the holidays of 2010.
3. Metropolitan Development - Metropolitan is the developer of Addison Square at Kelsey Gardens (the west side of the fifteen hundred block of Seventh Street and the seven hundred block of P Street). The development has its final PUD and zoning approved and is working on getting financing. Expect to see the current apartment complex demolished in late spring 2010, with construction starting immediately thereafter.
4. Ellis Development -
a. Media Center One (formerly Broadcast Center One) - Ellis hopes to break ground by the end of the year (2009) on this office, retail and residential project on Seventh Street between S and T Streets. Construction of Media Center One will take 24 months to complete. Despite the stock values of the lead office tenant, the media company is strong, with a lot of cash, and is a solid, good tenant.
b. The Howard Theatre - Renovation and expansion of the Howard Theatre, located in the seven hundred block of T Street, will take 13-14 months to complete. The goal is to start construction later this year. The theater itself will house a completely new sound stage and restaurant, featuring flexible, cabaret style seating. Negotiations are underway with a major internation operator, interested in a twenty year lease, for the theater/restaurant. The back of the building will feature a new addition and will house the Washington Jazz Arts Institute.
5. Roadside Development - Roadside is developing City Market at O Street, which will occupy the parcels of land between Seventh and Ninth, O and P Streets. The start date for the proejct is September 3, 2010, at which time underpinning of the historic market will commence. The current Giant will close on January 15, 2011, and its demolition will occur in February 2010. The new Giant grocery store (which be located in the old O Street Market and will occupy almost the entire ground floor of the block on which the market sits), will open no more than twenty four months later. months (they are planning for 18 mos).