Thursday, March 28, 2013

Federal Triangle South Meeting

There was a meeting yesterday put together by the Urban Land Institute on the newly dubbed Federal Triangle South, a swath of Southwest south of the National Mall where federal government tenants have dominance and over 12,000 employees now work in office buildings that average in age between 48 and 80 years old. The boundaries of Federal Triangle South are Independence Avenue to the north, 12th Street to the west, Maryland Avenue and D Street to the south, and 6th Street to the east. The GSA owns five properties in Federal Triangle South with the largest of those being the department of Energy’s Forrestal complex at 10th Street and Independence Avenue. Back in December, the GSA issued a Request for Information (RFI) to see what interest there was in the development community for possibly redeveloping their parcels in Federal Triangle South. It was reported earlier this month that 10 development firms responded to the RFI. The GSA is exploring different disposition scenarios for the parcels, including maintaining federal ownership, a ground lease, acquisition exchange, exchange for services, or a leaseback. Federal Triangle South is part of the Southwest Ecodistrict Initiative, a long-term vision for most of the office district between the National Mall and the Southwest Freeway spearheaded by NCPC. In addition, the DC Office of Planning conducted a Small Area Plan for Maryland Avenue, which falls within the SW Ecodistrict. Here are a few tidbits I learned at the meeting:
  • A Request for Proposals (RFP) will be released this summer for Federal Triangle South and a winner for phase one will be awarded by the spring of 2014.
  • The Department of Energy wants to remain on Independence Avenue, but it could be located elsewhere along the street within Federal Triangle South besides its current location.
  • There are approximately 4 million square feet of office space within Federal Triangle South and an additional 2 million square feet of space can be built under current zoning. More could be accommodated with PUDs.
  • Republic Properties, who developed The Portals complex at 12th Street and Maryland Avenue, is considering residential for a future phase at the project instead of office. The site was zoned industrial so residential couldn’t be done there, but with the rewrite of the Comprehensive Plan that the Office of Planning is conducting, the entire Southwest Ecodistrict area will be rezoned similar to downtown, which will be high density commercial, residential, and governmental.
  • Some components of the Maryland Avenue plan could take up to 30 years to complete.
  • NCPC will conduct a community meeting in May (perhaps May 21) to discuss plans for 10th Street.
Image courtesy of GSA

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