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Akridge Plans Extensive Renovation, Expansion Of Office Building 1 Block From White House

A rendering of Akridge's planned redevelopment at 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

An office building one block from the White House that was built during the Johnson administration has been tapped for a major renovation. 

Akridge filed plans with the Board of Zoning Adjustments last week for an extensive renovation of The Mills Building at 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, including the addition of three floors and a penthouse. 

The nine-story building, constructed in 1966, sits on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street, directly across from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the Renwick Gallery. It includes about 141K SF of office space, 13K SF of ground-level space and a 13K SF rooftop terrace on the ninth floor. 

The developer is proposing to build three new floors of offices on levels nine through 11, plus a penthouse on the 12th floor that would include 6K SF of office space and a 9K SF rooftop deck. Akridge is working with Gensler to design the project.

The existing office building at 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

The addition would increase the building's height, which currently reaches 90 feet on the street level and 110 feet on an interior portion, to the maximum allowable 130 feet on all sides, plus the 20-foot penthouse. It would increase the total office space from 141K SF to roughly 188K SF. 

The project would also renovate the ground-floor lobby and retail space, which total about 16K SF. The building's retail tenants include sandwich chain Cosi and a Wells Fargo bank branch. 

The application does not discuss the building's office occupancy, but Akridge's website says it is 100% leased to tenants including law firms King & Spaulding and Ivins, Phillips & Barker. A LoopNet listing of the property says it has one 4K SF space on the fifth floor available for sublet, with JLL's Steve Spartin managing the leasing. 

"Due to its age, the existing building requires extensive exterior and interior work in order to remain competitive in the District's office market," said the application, signed by Goulston & Storrs attorneys Paul Tummonds and Lawrence Ferris. "Accordingly, applicant proposes a comprehensive renovation of the building to update and modernize the structure to meet contemporary needs and revitalize this high-profile site for the next generation of users and visitors."