Big Plans Underway for Former Convention Center Site

The DC City Council recently approved legislation authorizing the disposition of the former convention center site to Hines and Archstone-Smith for development of a world-class mixed-use project.

The new development will include approximately 300,000 square feet of retail, 1,372 units of housing, 550,000 square feet of office space, 1,900 parking spaces and an active one-acre public space.

The one-acre public space will be the first major non-federal open space controlled by the city that can be used for markets, festivals, events and educational uses. Hines/Smith have committed to making a $1.5 million annual payment to promote open space programming. The space will be managed and maintained by a Common Area Association. The District also has the option to use 120,000 square feet of reserved space on the site to use for residential, retail, a new central library and/or hotel.

The development is expected to create 7,584 construction jobs during the building phase and more than 5,000 permanent jobs. It is expected that at least 51 percent of all new jobs created will go to District residents. In addition to job creation, the development will provide affordable housing, with 20 percent of the units priced at affordable ranges.

The new development will also generate considerable opportunities for local, small and disadvantaged business enterprises (LSDBE). LSDBEs will potentially own 20 percent of developer equity and will invest at least $20 million in equity. A minimum 35 percent of eligible pre-construction/construction and operational costs will go to LSDBE contractors.

Hines/Smith will immediately start the master planning process for the site, which, will determine the look and feel of the buildings and open space. The master planning will be a community intensive process that will last for approximately nine months. Once the planning is completed, Hines/Smith will proceed with construction, scheduled to begin in 2008.

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