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D.C. Building Offers Tenants The Opportunity To Visit The Mall. The National Mall, That Is

America's Square consists of 300 New Jersey (on right), which shares an atrium with 51 Louisiana Ave. (center).

After more than two years of corporate America’s unplanned experiment with working from home, certain consequences are now clear. Many people who are able to work remotely report that while they feel more productive and satisfied with their jobs, they also feel isolated.

In a 2021 Atlantic article, Harvard Business School professor Arthur C. Brooks noted the benefits of remote work while also calling it a “recipe for loneliness.” Brooks wrote that continuing to work from home five days a week could “exacerbate” the unhappiness of many remote workers.

His observations are in line with a Stanford University study that found remote workers with China’s largest travel agency said they appreciated the perks of working at home, but more than half of them also missed the office environment. 

Those findings come as no surprise to Mark Witschorik, director of asset management and digital asset strategy for Jamestown, a real estate investment and management company.

“The reason the office environment is so important is that it creates a sense of community and provides unique opportunities for team building,” he said. “You can't get those things from your home office.”

Witschorik said a key to keeping returning employees motivated is to provide buildings that encourage interaction and collaboration and feature access to open space.

“In the context of the past couple of years, people want to come back to collaborative environments that give them opportunities to connect with others and focus on their wellness,” he said.

Witschorik said Jamestown has office space opening soon at the America's Square complex, a mix of old and new buildings in Washington, D.C., within walking distance of the National Mall that his firm believes can deliver on today's expectations.

The space will be available at 300 New Jersey Ave. NW, which he described as a "bold and innovative" building boasting a unique design with steel and glass components throughout. Constituting half of the America’s Square office complex in the capital, it was designed by internationally acclaimed architect Lord Richard Rogers and completed in 2009, long before anyone had ever joined a Zoom call.

It is joined via a dramatic glass atrium to 51 Louisiana Ave., a historic building constructed in 1935 that features a classic limestone facade, its own two-story marble lobby with Greek columns and finished ceiling heights of nearly 12 feet.

Witschorik added that the layout of 300 New Jersey — the first building Rogers designed in the U.S. — encourages collaboration, in addition to being mindful of tenants’ wellness concerns that have grown in importance in recent years.

“This building has always been above-standard and leading the commercial office market in D.C.,” Witschorik said. “Even today, it's almost like new construction because it was built to the absolute highest standards to maintain indoor air quality and meet other wellness criteria.”

For the first time since 300 New Jersey was built, its top three floors, totaling 90K SF, will be available for lease beginning in late 2023. 

“We're targeting a larger tenant for those top three floors,” Witschorik said. “We've been approached numerous times to break up this space, but we are convinced that packaging those floors together creates a pretty special offering.”

What will tenants in this environment gain that they don’t have easy access to back home? Witschorik said it is the ability to interact with other people, both in and out of the America’s Square complex. 

Location is a big part of America’s Square’s appeal, he said. One block from the U.S. Capitol and steps away from multiple transportation options, America’s Square boasts unobstructed views of the Capitol dome and other Washington landmarks.

The LEED Gold property is within walking distance of Union Station and restaurants. It also features a recently updated on-site fitness center and its neighborhood has a generous amount of green space for workers who want to get outdoors.

In addition, Witschorik said Jamestown is focused on hosting community events, such as symposiums on important topics, that will allow people to exchange ideas in a way that they cannot do as easily via remote video meetings. He noted that the 5K SF outdoor terrace on the roof of 300 New Jersey is an ideal space for social gatherings. 

“We spend so much of our days engaged in work, and a lot of feedback we get from our tenants is that work from home has great advantages, but also can become monotonous,” Witschorik said. “Humans are social and they like to be inspired, too. To be able to work in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol and to overlook the National Mall I think is a pretty motivating factor for people to come to the office every day.”

This article was produced in collaboration between Studio B and Jamestown. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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Related Topics: America’s Square