Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Few Quick Sunday Afternoon Items: Stadium Update, Wharf Planner Awarded, New Businesses to SW?

Now that the DC Council has received legislation on the DC United stadium deal in Buzzard Point, more voices are making themselves heard regarding their position on the pending deal. An editorial in this week’s Washington Business Journal (subscribers only) gave its support for the stadium deal, starting with this statement, “We have never been closer. If the D.C. Council does not approve the deal for a new D.C. United soccer stadium, the deal will die. D.C. United will leave. And Buzzard Point will languish for another decade.” Ward 7 Council member Yvette Alexander recently tweeted her support for the stadium (since deleted), while Ward 6 Council member Tommy Wells has expressed reservations about the deal, according to a City Paper article, because the Council recently cut streetcar funding (two streetcar lines are planned to terminate in Buzzard Point near the stadium). Council Chair Phil Mendelson was quoted on WJLA that he doubts the stadium deal will be voted on by the Council before the fall, so the next mayor will have the final say whether the deal goes through. The first DC Council hearing on the stadium deal will be on June 26 at 10am.

Rendering courtesy of Gensler

Perkins-Eastman, master planner of The Wharf, received a 2014 Charter Award by the Congress of New Urbanism in the category of Best Neighborhood Plan. From the Digital Journal article: 
Washington, DC's mixed-use Southwest Waterfront development, aka The Wharf, is designed on the premise of reconnecting the city with its waterfront and creating a place that residents can be proud to call their own. Stretched across 27 land acres and 24 water acres, with 1.9 million gsf of building area comprising the first of three phases alone, this neighborhood revival has long been a glimmer in DC residents' eyes and now construction is underway, with a projected completion date of 2017 for Phase 1. The entire development is targeted for LEED-ND Gold, with all new buildings planned to achieve a minimum of LEED Silver. 
Rendering courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront

It was reported over the past week that two new businesses may be considering Southwest for their headquarters. First up is Pigmental, a newly formed digital animation studio that is relocating from California to the District. The Washington Post reports that the company is considering moving to either Georgetown or the Southwest Waterfront. The article didn’t state where in Southwest they are looking, but I imagine one of those places isn’t The Wharf, since the first phase isn’t scheduled to open until 2017. Pigmental is planning to begin operations with about 24 employees, with the possibility of expanding to 60 people. Another firm looking to move to the Washington metro area is McCormick & Co., the Baltimore-based company known for making Old Bay Seasoning. In a WBJ article, the author speculates that if McCormick chooses to relocate to the District, a logical place would be The Wharf, although the company is looking for over 300,000 square feet of space and the first office buildings at The Wharf are under 300,000 SF.

Rendering courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront 

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