Art-Centric Community Debuts in Historic DC School Building
Linked to a new museum, this is the final phase of a 500,000-square-foot redevelopment.
Real estate developers Lowe and Mitsui Fudosan America have completed their Gallery 64 project, a 492-unit, 12-story arts-focused multifamily community in Southwest Washington connected to the Rubell Museum DC.
Located at 64 H St. SW, Gallery 64 is the final part of the 500,000-square-foot redevelopment of the former Randall Junior High School. The Rubell Museum DC, which houses the Rubell family’s contemporary art collection, opened to the public in October. The 31,000-square-foot museum is housed in two of the three former Randall school buildings, which have been restored and repositioned. Built in 1906, the school was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. The multifamily building is connected to the museum by a landscaped public courtyard.
The building’s interior will have a minimalist design similar to a contemporary art gallery with airy, open spaces, white walls and polished concrete floors created to showcase 44 pieces of art found throughout the common areas. The lobby features a sculptural wood wall and colorful, abstract furniture and has access to the courtyard. Residents of the apartment building will receive museum memberships.
The developers received a $126.6 million construction loan in October 2020 originated by Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, according to Yardi Matrix data. Construction on the mixed-use property began in November 2020, with Balfour Beatty Construction serving as general contractor for Gallery 64 and The Christman Co. as the general contractor for the school buildings. Architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle Architects worked on both buildings with KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group collaborating on interior design. Greystar is managing the property.
The multifamily building, which has 18,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, is close to the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood and Navy Yard. From the rooftop deck, residents will have views of the U.S. Capital, Washington Monument, Nationals Park and Audi Field. The building offers 98 units of affordable housing, representing 20 percent of apartments. The property offers studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts, as well as 19 two-story townhouses. The residences are designed with contemporary finishes, including floor-to-ceiling windows and smart thermostats. Many have private patios or balconies.
Community amenities include a rooftop pool, fire pits, grilling stations, dining niches and a dog walk. The building also features a fitness center, game lounge with shuffleboard and billiards, fireplaces and seating areas, as well as a pet spa. Residents will also have access to a music and podcast recording studio.
Gallery 64 has been awarded LEED Platinum certification for sustainability in both construction and management. It is the first privately-owned residential building in Washington, D.C., to achieve LEED Platinum certification and one of only 18 residential properties to achieve the certification in the country. Lowe incorporated green building principles in the development, including recycling 60 percent of construction site waste and use of recycled or locally sourced materials. The building features rooftop trees, a green roof and solar panels. Ground level landscaping is designed without turf and with native vegetation for minimal water usage along with permeable surfaces and rainwater capture. Use of low VOC products throughout the property helps with indoor air quality along with a whole building fresh air ventilation system.
Gallery 64 is also the only building in Washington, D.C., to achieve WiredScore Platinum certification and one of seven across the United States with the rating. Lowe completed the project with 47.5 percent of project costs, a total of $51.9 million, awarded to Certified Business Enterprises.
Other Lowe projects in the area include CityVista, a mixed-used development in the Mount Vernon Triangle Area in Washington, D.C., and conversion of an aging office building in Alexandria, Va., into the Park + Ford apartment community. In late 2015, Lowe teamed up with National Real Estate Advisors to develop The Hepburn, an ultra-luxury apartment tower on Connecticut Avenue adjacent to the Washington Hilton Hotel, which Lowe had purchased and renovated for $150 million.