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JBG Smith Starts Construction On 300-Foot-Tall Apartment Towers Near HQ2

A rendering of the two-building, 808-unit project at 1900 Crystal Drive.

JBG Smith has broken ground on the next development in the growing National Landing neighborhood around Amazon HQ2.

The developer announced Friday it began construction on 1900 Crystal Drive, a pair of high-rise apartment towers totaling 808 units and 40K SF of ground-floor retail. 

The project reaches 300 feet in height, with the 471-unit southern tower spanning 27 stories and the 337-unit northern tower having 26 stories. New York-based architect COOKFOX and D.C.-based Torti Gallas + Partners are designing the development. 

The buildings will have rooftop amenities for residents, and the project will create a new retail-lined street breaking up the Crystal Drive superblock between 18th and 20th streets.  

“The introduction of new residences, restaurants and shops at 1900 Crystal Drive, combined with our recently delivered retail and entertainment district just about a block away, will more than double the concentration of street-facing retail amenities on Crystal Drive," JBG Smith Executive Vice President of Development Anthony Greenberg said in a release. 

The developer said it secured a construction contract for the project with pricing 7.5% below pre-pandemic levels. JBG Smith Chief Development Officer Kai Reynolds told Bisnow in January the REIT was waiting to time its groundbreaking with an expected decline in construction costs. 

The groundbreaking comes 14 months after Amazon, in partnership with JBG Smith, broke ground on the first two office towers at its second headquarters. The tech giant already has over 1,600 workers in spaces it is leasing from JBG Smith, and it expects the new buildings to deliver in 2023. 

In December, JBG Smith delivered the 108K SF Central District Retail project, and in January it began work on the $1B Virginia Tech campus in the Potomac Yard section of National Landing. 

The developer has a host of additional development planned in National Landing, including two more multifamily projects that could break ground soon. The developer said in its Q4 earnings release it could potentially start construction this year on the 365-unit project at 2000 South Bell St. and the 420-unit project at 2001 South Bell St, both of which also include retail.