Mixed-Use CityMarket at O Breaks Ground

Work has started on the CityMarket at O in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The development was selected by the Obama administration to be expedited through the permitting and environmental review process.

Washington, D.C.—Work has started on the CityMarket at O in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C., by the locally based Roadside Development. The mixed-used property will include 635 residential units, 84 of which are set aside for seniors and which will also be affordable, in addition to 401 market-rate apartment and 150 high-end condominiums.

The CityMarket at O will include the restoration of the historic 1881 O Street Market Building. Like Eastern Market in Capitol Hill, the building was one of the five original brick market buildings in Washington. Once restored, 1881 O Street will house a flagship 72,000-square-foot Giant Food supermarket. The development will also include other retail and restaurants, a 182-room Cambria Suites hotel, over 500 vehicle parking spaces, 300-plus indoor bike parking stalls and a 270-linear-foot rooftop dog park.

The development has the distinction of being one of 14 projects around the country selected by the Obama administration to be expedited through the permitting and environmental review process. It is, in fact, the only mixed-use development (and non-infrastructure project) to be fast-tracked as the result of a presidential memorandum issued in August at the recommendation of the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Through the presidential memorandum, the relevant federal agencies have been directed to expedite environmental reviews and permit decisions for a selection of high-priority infrastructure projects that already have the necessary funding, and where the significant steps remaining before construction are within the control and jurisdiction of the federal government.

The fast-tracking is an important consideration in completing CityMarket at O, Richard Lake, a Roadside Development partner, tells MHN, but not absolutely essential. “It would not be impossible” to do the project without fast-tracking, he says. “However, fast track has really sped up the closing.”

Financing for the project will be under the Federal Housing Administration Section 220 insured mortgage program. Roadside Development has teamed up with the District of Columbia, Giant Good and DC Regional Center, and EB5 Capital, all of which have made a significant financial contribution to the development. The city of Washington, D.C., will invest $37.5 million through a grant and TIF proceeds.

Construction on the Giant Food supermarket is slated to be complete by the summer of 2013, while the hotel and 401 units of market-rate rental housing will open in early fall 2013.  The affordable senior housing building and condominiums will be delivered in late 2014, according to Roadside Development.