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The Boldest Re-use For an Office Building: The WeWork Residences

by UrbanTurf Staff

The Boldest Re-use For an Office Building: The WeWork Residences: Figure 1

UrbanTurf usually stays away from publishing rankings or lists…except at the end of the year when we look back at the best that DC’s residential real estate scene had to offer during the previous 12 months. So, this week, we are looking at not only the best, but the most intriguing and peculiar things that came across our radar over the course of the past year.

Back in July, one of the more ambitious plans for residential living was unveiled in the DC area without much fanfare.

The Arlington County Board approved plans to convert Crystal Plaza 6, a vacant office building in Crystal City into a 252-unit, micro apartment project from Vornado and communal office developer WeWork. The new project, WeWork’s first foray into the residential world, promised “innovative residential apartments that will offer shared amenities and a unique floor-by-floor ‘neighborhood’ culture.” The units will be retrofitted into the vacant office building at 2221 S. Clark Street (map).

The Boldest Re-use For an Office Building: The WeWork Residences: Figure 2
A floor plan in the building. The 12th floor will have larger units.

Most of the 252 apartments in the planned project will be 360 square feet or less. There will be several “neighborhoods” scattered throughout the building, which will consist of expansive common areas, commercial-grade kitchens, and dining areas. Each floor will have shared living and kitchen spaces, because the units will not have an oven or a stove.

The Boldest Re-use For an Office Building: The WeWork Residences: Figure 3
The layout of a communal kitchen in the proposed development.

Representatives from Vornado and WeWork did not respond to UrbanTurf’s requests for comment on the project, but Vornado’s Mitchell Shear spoke briefly about the residences on an earnings call in February.

“These apartments are designed for today’s mobile and collaborative workers. They will combine small, furnished units, a full technology package and dynamic social spaces like shared dining and lounge areas.”

By “mobile and collaborative workers”, Schear is referring to younger, creative adults who likely wouldn’t spend a great deal of time in their apartments, and who are the primary focus of developers who are buying into the micro-unit trend.

Whatever level of success the project has, it will be a true test for the proposed living arrangement. Crystal Plaza 6 is eventually slated to be torn down as part of a long-term development plan for the area, so the experimental use is a way to utilize the building for the next 20 years or so.

See other articles related to: wework, vornado, crystal city, best of 2014

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_boldest_re-use_for_an_office_building_the_wework_residences/9323

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