The auction of the historic Cotton Annex building at 12th and C streets by the GSA was completed last month and it was revealed this week the winning bidder was Douglas Development. Due to some sleuthing by the Washington Business Journal, they figured out a new company called Jemal’s Cotton Annex LLC was filed with the District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Douglas’ bid for the property was $30.3 million.
During an interview with Bisnow, Douglas Development’s Norman Jemal did not reveal its intended use for the building. From the article:
"We loved the location," Jemal said. "It's a block away from Metro and Southwest is absolutely going through a renaissance and the tide is rising. We want to be a part of that rising tide. We have some very exciting ideas for it."
Douglas Development’s other holdings in Southwest include a block of one-story retail buildings on the 1200 block of South Capitol Street and a large office building at 1900 Half Street in Buzzard Point, the latter of which will be redeveloped as a 462-unit rental apartment building with ground floor retail. Elsewhere in the city, the company has specialized in redeveloping historic structures or incorporating them in new development, including commercial buildings near the Verizon Center in Chinatown (now retail and office space), the Hecht warehouse in Ivy City (now apartments), and the Uline Arena in NoMa (now a flagship REI store and offices).
With its location a block from the Smithsonian Metro and the National Mall, just off an exit ramp from the 12th Street Expressway, and within walking distance of the Portals and District Wharf, there is potential for the redevelopment of the Cotton Annex. What do you think Douglas Development should do with the Cotton Annex building and adjacent land? Vote in the poll on the left sidebar or leave a comment.