Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Few Quick Items: Development Map, Arena Stage Scales Back Institute, BoA Checking Out SE, Civilian BRAC Could Involve Deptartment of Energy, Constitution Center in Search of a Tenant

- I've created a new page on the blog with a development map showing projects that are either under construction or planned in Southwest. It's not complete, so other projects will be added in the coming days. Soon, I'll add a map showing projects that have recently been completed.

- Arena Stage is scaling back its American Voices New Play Institute according to The Washington Post.  From the article:
Underlining the challenges it faces in realizing its aspirations to be a national center for research, Arena Stage announced Wednesday that major components of its 2½-year-old American Voices New Play Institute are relocating to Emerson College in Boston.
The transfer will mean a loss of some key personnel who have been deeply involved in the molding of Arena’s widely talked-about play development programs. Most notably, David Dower — Arena’s associate artistic director and one of the chief architects of Arena’s transition to its refurbished complex in Southwest Washington — will be leaving in April for a new job at Emerson. Departing, too, is the institute’s director, Polly Carl, who joined Arena only last July from Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre and will be working with Dower in Boston.
More from the article:
What will leave with Dower and Carl are the institute’s online projects, run for the industry as a whole: the New Play Map, the live-streamed New Play TV and Howlround, a journal of provocative essays on American theater edited by Carl that has become a lively and popular digital forum.
In addition, Dower and Carl will run out of Emerson the industry “convenings” that had been based at Arena, on topics such as diversity, black playwrights and developing new work, though the company will continue to be an occasional site for the symposium.
The actual institute will remain at Arena, as well as Theater 101, which allows spectators to view a production as it evolves during the rehearsal process.

- JDLand reports that Bank of America is in negotiations with Monument Realty to move from their trailer at Waterfront Station to 55 M Street, SE. The current lease at Waterfront Station ends in December 2012, but the bank may leave sooner than that.

- The Washington Business Journal (subscribers only) reported a couple weeks ago that the disposition of federal property called for in a House bill dubbed "Civilian BRAC" would save the Federal government $565M over the next five years according to the Congressional Budget Office.  The bill includes the sale of the Department of Energy headquarters (the Forrestal Building straddles 10th Street near L'Enfant Plaza) as well as the move of the Federal Trade Commission to Constitution Center. The redevelopment of the DOE campus would go a long way towards jump-starting the Southwest Ecodistrict Initiative.

- Also in the WBJ (subscribers only), there's an article about Constitution Center and the search for a tenant to replace the SEC, who backed out of their lease a few months after taking 900K SF in the summer of 2010.  Since then, the SEC has worked with the GSA to find replacement tenants. The Federal Housing Financing Agency will start moving there in January and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency should move into their space by the end of next year. About 358K SF of space is still left to lease. Besides the pending legislation in Congress to move the Federal Trade Commission to Constitution Center (see above), the SEC and GSA are close to a deal with an undisclosed federal agency.

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