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July 2, 2008

Next Bisnow event! Trends in Regional Development. Lunch panel with four star developers: Tower Companies' Jeffrey Abramson, Bozzuto's Tom Bozzuto, JM Zell's Jeff Zell, and Duball's Marc Dubick, Duball. Thurs, July 17th, the Tower Club. Special thanks to HITTSign up now at early bird price.


Until recently, Arlington's Columbia Pike was the street that time forgot: The 3.5 mile stretch from the Pentagon to Bailey's Crossroads looked pretty much the same for 20 years. Suddenly there are three major developments in progress, holes, cranes, and plans for more. The other day we met with Jim Whittaker of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization to get details.


Jim shows us the giant hole Ashburn-based Woodfield Investments is digging for the $88M mixed-use Siena Park, where an old Safeway grocery store once stood at the intersection of the Pike and Adams St. The WDG-designed 188 unit complex, delivering next summer, will have 32k SF of ground floor retail, 15k SF of office, and 408 below grade parking spaces. Jim says developments like this are springing up thanks to  a code Arlington approved in 2003 which focuses redevelopment into four revitalization zones along the Pike. To deter big box stores, buildings must have entrances 60 feet apart, which encourages mid-size shops and restaurants, giving the area a walkable, urban feel. Since the Pike doesn't have Metro (but the busiest bus route in Virginia), the county is pursuing an electric streetcar system for 2012.


Is Jim giving a thumbs up to the neighborhood, or trying to hitchhike away from us? A few blocks up from Siena Park, across from the famed Arlington Cinema 'N' Drafthouse, Boston's DSF Advisors is nearing completion of the 8-story Halstead (also designed by WDG). The 269 apartments include 30k SF of retail and 450 parking spaces. At Greenbrier Street, Fairfield Residential's Columbia Village is under construction. The 10-story mixed use project will have 234 residential units, 7k SF of retail, and 308 parking spaces.


The Pike's fourth (and largest) project will begin demolition at the end of the summer adjacent to Siena Park. Developers Carbon Thompson and B.M. Smith's Penrose Square will replace the run down Adams Square strip mall and Giant grocery store with a 7-story mixed use development that includes 97k SF of ground floor retail (including a more upscale Giant), 299 residential apartments, 700 below grade parking spaces, and a public square. Finally, Davis Carter Scott Architects and Edgemoor Real Estate Services (a branch of Clark) have entered into a public-private partnership with Arlington County to redevelop Arlington Mill Community Center at S. Dinwiddie St. in a project that will bring 192 residential units and a new public plaza there by the end of 2010.



We swung by Mancini Duffy's K Street offices to hear from top guys Anik Jhaveri and Yves Springuel about the 130k SF rehab their 30 person DC office is doing for Morrison & Foerster at 2000 Penn. Together with HITT they've been working with the law firm for the last nine months rehabbing floors 4 and 5, and doing new construction on expansion floors 3 and 6. One highlight: a two-floor conference center that can house 250 and has separate entrance and security. The duo likens their work on interiors to the MTV show Pimp My Ride, except they work on cars, not buildings.


The guys show us plans for a stairwell that will connect the practice support four floors, with a four story wall made of glass and stone. They use zebrano wood (in the mahogany family) and have tried to blend the previous 80s style with modern to remain evocative of the original space. Other recent Mancini projects include the Wisconsin Place Bloomingdale's, Ritz corporate HQ in Chevy Chase, the Capital One lecture hall in Tysons, and Council on Foreign Relations offices at 1777 F. When they're not in the office, you'll find Yves (a Belgium-native and self-styled "World Bank brat") piloting his S2 7.9 sailboat on the Chesapeake, and Anik, a New Yorker by way of India and California, watching his two kids play soccer.

Story ideas?  Contact Stacey Pfarr: Stacey@Bisnow.com.


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