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Akridge Breaks Ground On YMCA Redevelopment at 1701 Rhode Island

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1701 Rhode Island Groundbreaking Akridge
Ron Paul (left), Mayor Muriel Bowser (center), and the Akridge development team at the groundbreaking of 1701 Rhode Island

The rain did not stop Akridge from celebrating its groundbreaking Friday morning at 1701 Rhode Island, a former YMCA building it is turning into a 102K SF trophy office. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser and Council member Jack Evans joined the developer; its financing partner, EagleBank; architect Hickok Cole; and general contractor Whiting Turner to mark the start of construction on the downtown development. 

Akridge acquired the YMCA, in partnership with Alcion Ventures, in late 2015 for $28M. Two blocks south of Dupont Circle, the building sits across the street from another Akridge trophy office at 1200 17th St. NW that delivered in 2014

1701 Rhode Island Akridge Rendering
A rendering of Akridge's 1701 Rhode Island development

The developer is transforming the old YMCA into a trophy office building with floor-to-ceiling glass on all four sides, a two-story lobby, a fitness facility and a rooftop courtyard. 

The seven-story building will have 6,400 SF of rentable space on the ground floor, plus a fitness facility, 13,250 SF on the second floor and 15,450 SF floor plates on floors three to seven. The covered rooftop penthouse will have 5,861 SF of office space, a conference center, an amenity lounge and outdoor terraces on all sides. 

Matt Klein Akridge

Akridge president Matt Klein said the challenge was to maintain a certain amount of the existing structure in order to get the density approved.

"That’s why we're so excited about the design," Klein said. "We're able to transform this building that’s not known for its architectural contributions to the streetscape of Washington, and what we’ve designed now is a building that will really be iconic for Washington." 

Klein said the building has already attracted interest from prospective tenants ranging from 16K SF to 80K SF anchors. He expects the occupant will be a lobbying firm or corporate public affairs office, what he calls the bread and butter of CBD office tenants. 

"Once people see this building, it clicks, it feels like a place people want to be," Klein said. "I think it’s going to hit the bull's-eye of what people are looking for."