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JM Zell Pivots From Office To Multifamily For High-Rise Alexandria Project

A rendering of the 30- and- 28-story multifamily towers planned on the northern portion of JM Zell's Carlyle Park development.

JM Zell is changing the makeup of its long-planned Eisenhower Avenue project, the latest Northern Virginia developer to pivot from office to multifamily. 

The developer filed revised plans with Alexandria for the four-tower Carlyle Park project, and it hopes to break ground on the first multifamily building next year, the Washington Business Journal reports

The northern portion of the site was previously planned to contain two office towers, but the revised plans call for a 30-story, 372-unit multifamily tower as the first phase and a 28-story, 339-unit tower as Phase 2. The buildings would be connected by a parking podium with a 32K SF green space on top of it.  

The developer secured a partnership with investor Hexagon, a group of Miami-based family offices, for the first two phases. JM Zell CEO Jeff Zell told Bisnow the first two phases are projected to cost roughly $325M. He said he switched to multifamily because of market conditions. 

"There hasn't been any office demand in years over there; it's been pretty slow," Zell said. "The only office that came there was the National Science Foundation, and that happened seven years ago. Since then, we just haven't had any traction on office, but multifamily is doing well in the corridor."

The move is at least the third pivot from office to multifamily for Northern Virginia projects in the last month, with developers in Fairfax County and Loudoun County also applying to switch their plans. 

The third and fourth phases of Zell's Carlyle Park, previously branded as Carlyle Plaza, are also planned as multifamily towers, with the full project totaling over 1,400 units. The deal with Hines for the third and tallest phase, a 34-story residential tower, fell apart following issues with a Chinese investor unable to get money out of the country. 

Miami-based Arquitectonica designed the first three phases. The project sits about a half-mile from the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station.