Friday, January 13, 2012

City Center Rising

DC's largest active real estate project lies in the heart of downtown, on the site of the old convention center. (The new convention center is he low slung glass building, second from the left in this photo.) City Center, as planned, will include 330,000 sf of retail space, up to 400 hotel rooms, 1M(!) sf of office space and almost 700 housing units. Not all at once mind you. But, in three phases. 

Construction will last years and include the reopening of 10th St NW. Obviously this is a multi-use project and that's great. As far as the architecture, I'm not so sure. I don't expect any daring or even mildly interesting buildings. A shame really. We have a chance to spice up the east end and break away from glass and prefab concrete boxes, but the renderings are headed in that general direction. Plans do call for 30,000 sf of open space, including a park on the New York Ave side and a central east-west pedestrian plaza from 9th to 11th Sts. So, that's good. Very exciting project for downtown DC!