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Council Approves New City Center

Legislation Approves Disposition of the Former Convention Center Site to Hines/Smith


(WASHINGTION, DC) – Mayor Anthony A. Williams praised the members of the DC Council for approving legislation authorizing the disposition of the former convention center site to Hines and Archstone-Smith for the development of a world-class mixed-use project.

“I applaud the Council for approving this legislation, which assures the quick redevelopment of the site of the former convention center into a new city center for all Washingtonians,” said Mayor Williams. “It will be the crowning achievement in the rebirth of our downtown – a place to live, shop, work, celebrate, and learn – accessible to all. I commend Chairman Cropp, Councilmember Ambrose and Councilmember Evans for their leadership in moving this project forward.”

This new city center will include approximately 300,000 SF of retail, 1,372 units of housing, 550,000 SF of office, at least 1,900 parking spaces, and an active one-acre public space programmed with at least $1.5 million per year to be paid by the developer. At the District’s option, 120,000 square feet of the site are reserved for uses to be determined by the city, which could include residential, retail, a new central library and/or hotel uses.

The Land Disposition Agreement / Exclusive Rights Agreement (ERA/LDA) covers the development program, financial consideration for the site, and a timetable for construction. The ERA/LDA calls for a 99-year lease of the site to the developer for all private uses, except the for-sale housing parcels which will be sold outright. The District estimates it will receive $200 million in value for the land (in today’s dollars) over the course of the 99-year lease. In addition, the District will participate in 25 percent of profits if the project performs better than projections.

“This is a downtown project, but the benefits will be felt in every ward of the city through the creation of thousands of jobs, hundreds of units of affordable housing, and $30 million a year in new tax revenues to fund vital city services,” said Stanley Jackson, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. 

After today’s vote, Hines|Smith will immediately start master planning the site, a process which will determine the look and feel of the buildings and open space. The master planning will be a community intensive process lasting approximately nine months. Once the site is master planned, Hines|Smith will proceed forward towards construction, now scheduled to commence in 2008.  “The Hines/Smith/Georgetown team thanks the Council for its prompt attention to this legislation.  We are delighted with the affirmative vote and are ready to move forward with plans to create a truly unique place for all Washingtonians,” said Bill Alsup, Senior Vice President at Hines.

Fast Facts

Jobs. This project is projected to generate 7,584 construction period jobs and 5,217 permanent jobs. 

Fiscal Benefits. The District is receiving a projected $200 million in value for the site (in today’s dollars) plus $30 million a year in new tax revenues.

Affordable Housing. 20 percent of all housing units will be affordable at a range of incomes. 5 percent at 30 percent of HUD Area Median Income, 5 percent at 60 percent of HUD Area Median Income, and 10 percent at 80 percent of HUD Area Median Income.

LSDBE Commitment. The development will create significant local, small and disadvantaged business (LSDBE) opportunities. LSDBEs will 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.

First Source Commitment. At least 51 percent of all new jobs created will go to District residents.

Superb Architecture. Hines|Smith is committed to creating a place with superb, inviting urban design and architecture. The development team includes the world-renowned architecture firm, Foster & Partners.

Unique Retailers. There is a developer commitment that 30 percent of retail space will be devoted to merchants with six or fewer stores in the United States. Retail emphasis will focus on a broad range of restaurants and cafes, grocery/market foods, entertainment and performance venues, fashion and specialty retail, and neighborhood services.

Open Space. This will be the first major non-Federal open space controlled by the District to be used for markets, festivals, events,and educational uses. There is a developer commitment to make $1.5 million annual payment to promote the programming of the open space. A Common Area Association will be created to manage programming and maintenance of the space.





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