Kamis, 27 September 2012

Two Megabuildings Downtown in Pipeline for Gould

On the edge of Mount Vernon Square, where some of the last vacant lots in the downtown core still exist, plans for more office buildings are heating up.  One developer with a stake in the zone is Gould Property Company.  Gould has plans to build two oversized office buildings - a 380,000 s.f. office building at 600 Massachusetts Avenue and a 620,000 s.f. office building at 900 New York Avenue.  While both await tenants before construction will begin, sources say designs are done and waiting on the right tenant.

Gould Property's 600 Mass Ave. - Rendering courtesy CORE
Gould's "Z"-shaped parcel - nearly half the block at the corner of 6th Street and Massachusetts Avenue, was designed by Core Architecture + Design, also architect on the completed Gould project Market Square North.  The building's plan calls for 10 floors with ground floor retail.  In 2006, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) first gave approval to the developer's concept to move two row houses it owns, 621 and 623 Eye Street, built in 1852, next to a cluster of other row houses on the southeast corner of the lot.  It also approved Gould's plans to demolish a row house at 627 Eye St. to make way for the building, and demolition has already taken place.  After the HPRB put its stamp on the demolition, a Mayor's Agent gave a final necessary nod to the plan in 2007.

Gould Property's 600 Mass Ave. - Rendering courtesy CORE
The design has also passed the Chinatown design review process necessary for buildings in the neighborhood.  "It is a very unique building because it is unlike most of Washington, DC where you basically feel like it is a box," Ron Ngiam, senior project designer with CORE, told DCMud.  With the site shaped like a "Z", architects also worked to meet the challenge of designing a building to fit a unique site.  The zoning of the site prevented a boxy, full, 10-floor building, so architects created a series of terraces.  "We were able to carve quite a bit of light and air into the building and produced a whole series of green roofs," Ngiam said.

"Instead of filling in the property with a box, we were able to do something architecturally interesting." Ngiam also said the building's setback on Eye St. respects the scale of that streetscape.  "We are quite excited about the project," he told DCMud.

600 Mass Ave. - Eye St. Frontage - Rendering courtesy CORE
The 600 Mass Ave project is not the only building in the pipeline for Gould.  The developer is also behind plans to develop a portion of the old Convention Center Site at 900 New York Ave.  The building is part of an $850 million dollar mixed-use CityCenterDC which started construction last yearHines and Archstone are developing most of the CityCenterDC master plan, which calls for condos, office buildings, apartments, and retail, replacing the 10 acres that were left empty after demolition of the old convention center in 2004.

For CityCenterDC, Gould is planning a 12-story building designed by Pickard Chilton Architects.  The design includes a center atrium that reaches the full height of the building's 12 floors.  The atrium is covered with a "unique free standing" glass roof supported by v-shaped columns.  Renderings also call for lushly planted rooftop terraces, nine-foot ceilings, and ground floor retail.

900 New York Ave. - Rendering Pickard Chilton website
Gould, run by real estate scion Kingdon Gould, obtained the site from the city in exchange for a parcel it owned 9th Street NW, which the city needed to make room for a 1,175 room Marriott Marquis through a 99-year lease agreement.

Gould is also behind plans with Vornado Realty for a massive redevelopment of Rosslyn Plaza that would replace six buildings with four new ones to include hundreds of new residential units, as well as hotel space. 

900 New York Ave. - Rendering Pickard Chilton website

At both 900 New York Avenue and 600 Massachusetts Avenue, the developer has the approvals needed to start, according to the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID).  Now all the projects need are good tenants.

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