DC COMMITS TO WATERSIDE MALL
A 2.5 million square foot re-development of Waterside Mall at 4th and M Streets, SW, in the planning for six years, is finally going forward.
At 2:15 this afternoon, DC Mayor Tony Williams arrived at the Mall and made a surpise announcement: DC will lease 500,000 square feet of office space for 15 years to anchor the project. DC steps into the vacuum left by Fannie Mae's cancellation two years ago of plans to build its new headquarters there.
Architect Shalom Baranes tells us this represents "an enormous financial commitment" from the city, and that his staff has already started drawings. Ownership partners Vornado Charles E. Smith, Forest City Enterprises, and Bresler & Reiner will aim for early '09 delivery of Phase I: two office buildings for the city, plus an additional 400,000 square feet of residential in two renovated buildings.
Plans eventually call for a total of 1.2 million SF for office, 1.2 million for residential, and 150k retail. Williams said it will be a good thing to move employees from downtown to another quadrant, and that this will be DC's first lease of a green building from a private developer. He said one of the big benefits of the plans will be to clear the mall out of the path of 4th Street and recreate the avenue as an important one in the city's overall grid.
No contractor has been chosen.
Charles E. Smith president Mitchell Schear and architect Shalom Baranes kept the secret about DC's plans much better than most real estate secrets are kept these days.
Mayor Williams puts on his determined business face standing with DC property management director Carol Mitten, Bresler & Reiner chairman Charles Bresler, and WDG architect Robert Sockwell (who designed the nearby Metro station).