Ground Broken for Mixed-Use CityCenterDC in Heart of D.C.

Washington, DC--Hines and Archstone broke ground this week on the CityCenterDC development, a mixed-use project on 10 acres in downtown Washington.

Washington, DC–Hines and Archstone broke ground last week on the CityCenterDC development, a mixed-use project on 10 acres in downtown Washington. The District’s old convention center formerly occupied the site.

The first phase of the project will be a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with more than 185,000 square feet of retail at the base of six buildings that include 458 rental apartment units and 216 condo units. The project will also feature 520,000 square feet of office space; 1,555 below-grade parking spaces; a new street grid reinstated throughout the site; and nearly an acre of public open spaces. A second phase of the project is planned to include a 350-room hotel, along with 110,000 additional square feet of retail.

“Initial occupancy for the apartments and condominiums is expected during the fourth quarter of 2013,” Howard J. Riker, vice president at Hines, tells MHN. “Substantial completion will be achieved during the first quarter of 2014.”

The development has been in the works since 2003, when Hines and Archstone were selected as redevelopers of the site. From the beginning, the objective was to create a new neighborhood.

Getting all of the project’s financial ducks in a row has taken a number of years. Eventually, however, 100 percent equity financing was secured for the $700 million project, with Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. (Qatari Diar), the real estate investment arm of the Qatari Investment Authority, as the anchor investor. Financing was put in place by Barwa Bank’s investment banking subsidiary the First Investor (TFI). TFI will co-invest in and manage the dedicated TFI U.S. Real Estate Fund.

London-based Foster + Partners is master planning CityCenterDC, as well as designing the office and condo buildings. D.C.-based Shalom Baranes Associates is associate master-plan architect, project architect of record, and lead designer of the rental apartment buildings. Gustafson Guthrie Nichol of Seattle is the lead landscape architect for the property, working with Washington, D.C.-based Lee and Associates.

The entire development has been accepted into the U.S. Green Building Council’s pilot program for LEED Neighborhood Development and is expected to receive Gold certification in that program. The office buildings have achieved LEED pre-certification at the Gold level, and the residential buildings are targeting a LEED silver rating.

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