Gallaudet University narrows options for campus development partner

Gallaudet University is neighbors with the foodie destination Union Market, but the university has decided against signing the developer behind that project, Edens, to build a mixed-use hub along the western edge of the school’s campus.

The nation’s only university entirely tailored for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, Gallaudet has been watching as other D.C. universities teamed with developers on real estate deals to dramatically expand amenities and bring the schools new revenues.

George Washington University hired Boston Properties to build Square 54 in Foggy Bottom, a $360 million project that includes a Whole Foods grocery store, office space for law firms and some of the most expensive apartments in the city.

Catholic University, looking to expand offerings for its students in the Northeast neighborhood of Brookland, teamed with Abdo Development on Monroe Street Market, which will bring the university a college main street, Barnes & Noble and Busboys and Poets.

Gallaudet is looking for a partner to turn land the university owns along Sixth Street NE, part of the wholesale district known as Capital City Market or Florida Avenue Market, into a mixed-use strip that could integrate the school with the neighborhood in an accessible way for deaf or hearing-impaired students.

On Thursday Fred Weiner, Gallaudet assistant vice president, said the school had pruned its list of possible partners to four and Edens is not among them. They are:

• Akridge, the D.C. developer behind Gallery Place and the planned D.C. United stadium on Buzzard Point.

• The JBG Cos., one of the area’s largest private developers, with holdings throughout the region.

• PN Hoffman, which made its name with high-end condos and is leading an overhaul of the Southwest Waterfront.

• Urban Atlantic, one of the developers selected for the District’s Walter Reed project, along with Portland-based Gerding Edlen.

Weiner said the school plans to make a selection next year.

Edens, meanwhile, is already planning more development nearby, including apartments and an eight-screen Angelika movie theater,

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.
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