By C.N. Staff Writer
On April 30th Mayor Gray along with the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development held a phase one, pre-response conference and site tour of St. Elizabeth’s East Campus, that is to be redeveloped into a mixed-use development of technology, housing and retail. The project, which is slated to be the largest redevelopment opportunity in the District, is seeking a master developer to develop the site keeping in mid the historic structure and incorporating the anchor tenants who have agreed to come aboard. It is located next to the new U.S. Coast Guard headquarters, scheduled to open later this year, and the future site of the consolidated DHS headquarters.
During his remarks to a standing room only crowd, Mayor Gray said the project is, “an opportunity to change the face of the East End of the District of Columbia.” He commented on a few other large development projects taking place in the city like, City Center, Walter Reed, The Wharf and Capitol Crossing, but noted that St. Elizabeth’s East is larger in square footage with 1.6 million square feet that will be redeveloped in phase one.
The project, which has $113 million dollars, invested, spans 183 acres and is located at 2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. The District issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking a master developer for the first phase, which covers 1.6 million square feet and is in close proximity to Congress Heights Metro Station. The project offers an opportunity to create a technology-focused, transit-oriented community that includes business, research, higher education and residential uses in a collaborative environment. This development phase is in addition to the Mayor’s commitment to propose the move of United Medical Center to provide a full-scale medical facility on the East Campus.
Gray said that he is excited about the anchor tenants who have already committed to bringing their services to the campus. Microsoft, French lighting firm Citelum (Citelum US), architectural modeling firm SmartBIM and Treasury Advisory Services have all signed non-binding letters of intent to anchor the St. E’s east innovation hub. VIMtreck, a company that utilizes visual information modeling, has also signed on as a major anchor tenant and hopes to make the site its headquarters. According to the RFP, Microsoft will have an ‘innovation center’ and it is expected to occupy 10,000 to 12,000 square feet in St. E’s Building 100.
During the pre-response meeting, Executive Director of the project Catherine Buell reiterated that the principal objective is to foster innovation and generate talent and research to help expand the District’s economy beyond its traditional sectors. Parcels 8 and 9 have been identified as an ideal location for the St. Elizabeth’s East Innovation
Hub and completion of the hub is the District’s first priority.
Continuing Treatment,” or CT Campus, forms the core of the southern section of St. Elizabeth’s East. Buildings 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, and 112, all constructed between 1933 and 1940, are each two-story masonry buildings with basements that have a floor-to-floor height of 10’7”. Each of these buildings has a prominent central entrance and lobby area and is symmetrical in elevation and plan. Phase 1 will include a 174,561-square-foot Innovation Hub, roughly 200 residential units in CT Village, 603,688 square feet of office and retail at Congress Heights Center, interim spaces totaling 490,051 square feet, and the 41,000-square-foot Gateway DC pavilion.
Ideally, Innovation Hub facilities at Buildings 100 and 102 will be flexibly designed and programmed to accommodate a range of uses, including office, classroom, assembly, dry laboratory and meeting and gathering spaces. Microsoft will occupy building 100 and VIMtrek will occupy building 102. The innovation hub also hopes to attract academic tenants. It will offers universities an exceptional opportunity for co-location and collaboration with government and technology-related industries that are slated to open facilities at the site.
Buell further spoke about how the Gateway Pavilion, in the short time it’s been open, has attracted thousands of city residents for various events. Most recently the site hosted the Broccoli City music festival and final festivities for the annual Congress Heights Day, where the parade culminated. She said, “Gateway Pavilion has provided opportunities for the community to experience the campus.”
Proposals for the RFP are due on June 27th, 2014 by 3pm. Questions relating to the RFP are due by May 30th and Buell said she hopes that a master developer is selected by November.
To find out more information about the project please visit http://www.stelizabethseast.com.