It's been a big week for The Wharf, the redevelopment of the Southwest Waterfront by Hoffman-Madison Waterfront. Besides launching a slightly redesigned website with a new color scheme similar to the Baltimore Orioles, there was a press conference on Monday announcing the Washington Kastles would relocate to the development in a new stadium at the former Hogates site. Now, ahead of Mayor Gray's planned press conference tomorrow at the Southwest Waterfront, the Washington Business Journal broke the news that the Mayor will announce that the Graduate School will be moving to The Wharf. From the article:
The Graduate School currently owns Southeastern University's campus building at 6th & I Street (pictured here), which shuttered in 2009 after losing its accreditation with the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. At one point, it was thought that the Graduate School would renovate or tear down the SEU building to relocate its school there, but now is in the process of trying to sell the campus building. One of the organizations looking to bid on the building is AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School, which came before ANC 6D in December to express their interest in expanding their presence in Southwest. At that meeting, the ANC voted 5-0-1 to support AppleTree's bid.D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray is expected to announce Thursday that the Graduate School, currently headquartered at 600 Maryland Ave. SW, will build upward of 200,000 square feet at the Wharf, what Hoffman-Madison Waterfront is now calling its waterfront project. A press conference is scheduled for noon at 700 Water St. SW. "The Graduate School will be a significant anchor for The Wharf development on the Southwest DC waterfront," Linda Wharton Boyd, Gray's spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. "In keeping with the Gray administration agenda for education reform, fiscal stability and job creation, this development hits all three priorities. We are excited that they decided to expand their mission right here in this landmark waterfront development."
Phase one of development at The Wharf (from 7th to 9th Street) will get underway next year and should be ready by 2015.
Update #3: The WBJ has another article about the Graduate School USA, stating that the school will take up all of the office component of phase one of development. Back in September, the Hoffman-Madison Waterfront team mentioned at their community presentation at Arena Stage that they were in talks with an office tenant for phase one, so I'm assuming that potential tenant was the Graduate School USA. The article also quotes a representative from the Graduate School USA speaking about the fate of the SEU campus building it owns: "All options are on the table for the property, including a sale."
Update: The Washington Post also has a story on the Graduate School, including a rendering of the building, which will be located at the corner of Maine Avenue & 9th Street. The Post also describes how the school will function. From the article:
[Graduate School President and Chief Executive Jerry] Ice said Graduate School USA will begin tailoring new programs to meet the needs of city government. "We have not been that kind of provider . . . and we think we are in a good position in a number of key issue areas to provide that locally," he said. The school also plans to open the doors of its new educational center to other colleges, universities and nonprofit groups offering programs that would help D.C. residents acquire skills needed to compete for local jobs.
Update #2: Here is a link to the press release from the Graduate School USA.