The 3 Proposals for WMATA’s Navy Yard Site

by Lark Turner

The 3 Proposals for WMATA's Navy Yard Site: Figure 1

Three developers are vying for a site owned by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) near the Navy Yard Metro (map), and the competing proposals were presented at the ANC 6D meeting on Monday night.

Currently, the site is occupied by a WMATA chiller facility for the Metro, which the selected developer would integrate into the development. WMATA is requesting that developers provide ground-floor retail to “activate” the street. The mixed-use and office proposals would all come in at over 120,000 square feet, and WMATA has mandated that the buildings be built to a minimum of LEED Silver standards. Here’s a quick rundown of what the three teams are proposing.

An 11-Story, 126-Unit Project With Ground-Floor Retail

MRP Realty and CAS Riegler are proposing an 11-story, 126-unit project with 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. At 163,000 square feet, it is the largest of the three proposed projects. The project would be built to LEED Silver standards.

A 126,000 Square-Foot Office Building

Akridge is proposing an office building with 126,000 square feet, including 3,000 square feet of retail on the first floor. The office building would rise 10 stories high and built to LEED Gold standards.

127,000 Square Feet, with a Bit Less Retail Space and Slightly More Units

Trammel Crow proposes a similar building to the MRP/CAS Riegler option, just with fewer square feet. The 127,000 square foot proposal would also rise to 11 stories with 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail. It would be built to LEED Silver standards and have about 135 units.

Because two of the buildings are very similar — 11 stories of residences and retail — WMATA said if it narrowed the proposals down to those two, its decision would ultimately depend on other factors, namely one. “Price is very important to us,” WMATA’s Stan Wall, who heads up real estate and station planning for the agency, said. “We want to maximize revenue from this project.”

But he added that the developer’s capability to provide financing and get started on the project as soon as possible would also factor into WMATA’s decision, as would the chosen developer’s ability to engage with the community, though that will come later.

“During the entitlement process” — about a year down the road for the “fairly straightforward” project — “there will be time for community engagement,” Wall told the ANC.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_3_proposals_for_wmatas_navy_yard_chiller_site/8361


  1. JES said at 7:38 pm on Tuesday April 15, 2014:
    I’d like to propose a moratorium on selling ANY land to Akridge in our neighborhood until they start actually building on the land they already own.
  1. Skidrowe said at 7:50 pm on Tuesday April 15, 2014:
    Is the office proposal actually shorter, or are you just looking at quantity of stories? Office stories ("floor to floor") are a good notch higher than residential. In fact I would expect a 10-story office building to be taller than an 11-story residential building. This is probably also the main reason the office project has fewer square feet: it fits fewer floors into the same height limit.
  1. Fabrisse said at 8:04 pm on Tuesday April 15, 2014:
    I'm with JES. Akridge has been a poor steward of the land it already controls.
  1. Mike said at 10:18 pm on Tuesday April 15, 2014:
    If I understand the article correctly, the Akridge proposal is no longer valid since it proposes an office building and the article reported that WMATA limited their choice to the 2 residential buildings ("Because two of the buildings are very similar — 11 stories of residences and retail — WMATA said if it narrowed the proposals down to those two,..."). Is it known if the proposed buildings are rentals or sales (condos/co-ops)?
  1. Anon said at 10:26 pm on Tuesday April 15, 2014:
    Akridge primarily does commercial office. Presently, however, that development sector is rather cool in DC, so a lot of projects have been placed on the backburner. For the Capital Riverfront area to truly transition to a lively neighborhood, more office development is necessary. Eventually the office sector will pick up and Akridge will build.
  1. Lark Turner said at 12:08 am on Wednesday April 16, 2014:
    To Mike: The Akridge proposal is still on the table. If the District ends up choosing between the two residential choices, which look similar on paper, WMATA said the price and the developer's ability to begin construction sooner rather than later would help determine who gets the project. It's safe to assume these are also criteria being applied to the Akridge project. And to Skidrowe: Good point. We don't have the exact heights, and you're right that they could be similar. We'll update. Lark
  1. Aelcee said at 2:16 pm on Wednesday April 16, 2014:
    Do you have a sense of the approximate timeline for development? I have a dog in this fight, as my office is relocating directly across the street (to the NW corner of Half and L SE). I've been a little underwhelmed by the surroundings, considering that the property is currently bordered by in-progress development, vacant lots, and game-day parking. Thanks!
  1. 11luke said at 5:11 pm on Wednesday April 16, 2014:
    Agreed- don't sell to baddies who just sit on the land and don't develop it. Boo Akridge!
  1. BTA said at 6:55 pm on Wednesday April 16, 2014:
    An office building in this market? Are you kidding me? Build residential plus commercial, office shouldn't even be on the table.

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