Correction to This Article
The From the Ground Up column in the Aug. 21 Washington Business section incorrectly described part of a project in Southwest Washington that is being built by developer Monty Hoffman. The project includes a park on the waterfront, not a water park.

In Southwest, the Competition Thins

By Dana Hedgpeth and Chris Kirkham
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, August 21, 2006

Plans for redevelopment of the District's worn-looking Southwest waterfront have been winnowed to two competing visions, one distinguished by a health club and grocery store, the other by a cultural zone with a water park and Cirque du Soleil.

Last week, the Anacostia Waterfront Corp., a quasi-public group charged with revitalizing the Southwest and Southeast waterfronts, chose two teams as finalists for the project, which had originally drawn 17 proposals. The two were selected from the five that survived an earlier cut in the process.

One team is District retail developer Madison Marquette, paired with housing developer KSI Services of Vienna. They have financing help from Earvin "Magic" Johnson's investment fund and want to bring in a health club and a grocery store such as Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. Their plans also call for putting in a river walk with cafes and stores, a "market hall" that would sell produce, and two hotels -- one, a boutique type for a younger, hip crowd; the other a "Washington version" of the luxury Charles Hotel in Boston.

"We're thrilled and honored to have been selected from such a fine group of competitors," said David Brainerd, a managing director at Madison Marquette.

The other team is PN Hoffman, a District housing developer, and Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, a Baltimore developer that has worked on revitalization projects throughout that city. Their plans involve a cultural zone with a water park, piers, an aquarium and a space for Cirque du Soleil. "It's a great opportunity for the District to transform the Southwest neighborhood and bring the community to the water," said Monty Hoffman, founder and chief executive of PN Hoffman.

"The area will be primarily residential with cultural and retail venues, along with the marinas," Hoffman said. "The stakeholders will have a say in how this is all developed."

The two teams will be asked to provide details about financing, the inclusion of affordable housing and the employment of minority contractors. A final selection is expected in the fall, and construction would probably start in 2008.

The plans to redo Southwest's waterfront date to 2001, when community opinion about what should be built was solicited. In general, plans call for 2 million square feet of development on land that is now mostly parking lots and concrete buildings, although some businesses operate there, including the Channel Inn Hotel, nightclubs and the Phillips Seafood restaurant.

The redevelopment would bring in 850 residential units, with 30 percent of them marked as affordable; 250,000 square feet of retail; 2,000 parking spaces; 180,000 square feet of cultural attractions; and 250,000 square feet for a hotel.

The five finalists competing to be master developer were selected in June, and they presented their experience and ideas for the Southwest waterfront at a packed public meeting a few weeks ago to community leaders, city planners and area residents.

The three other finalists were EastBanc Inc., a retail developer in Georgetown that did Cady's Alley, a row of upscale shops; office and housing developer JBG Cos. of Chevy Chase; and the John Buck Co., a major developer in Chicago.

"They're all great developers," Adrian Washington, president and chief executive of the Anacostia group, said of the applicants. "They're all qualified. But these two [Hoffman and Madison Marquette] demonstrated the capability to develop a first-class waterfront. They showed in their experience and their vision that they were the creme de la creme."

Closings

· ProLogis, an industrial real estate group, has purchased a 109,000-square-foot building in Glen Burnie near Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport for $9.5 million.

· Washington Real Estate Investment Trust has purchased a five-story, 140,000-square-foot office building in Falls Church for $30 million. The property, at 6565 Arlington Blvd., has four tenants occupying about 80 percent of the space.

· Trizec Properties has begun construction on Two Reston Crescent, a six-story, 185,000-square foot office building along the Dulles Toll Road. The property will be available in late 2007.

Appointments

· Gretchen M. Dudney has joined the board of Bresler & Reiner Inc., a Rockville-based real estate investment firm. From 1995 until 2005, Dudney worked for the Kaempfer Co. of Washington. Before leaving Kaempfer, she oversaw the redevelopment of Waterside Mall at Fourth and M streets in Southwest, where Fannie Mae had plans to open an office but later backed out.

· Laura Westervelt will serve as vice president for brokerage at Trammel Crow Co.'s Baltimore office. She will focus on the Route 50 corridor and Anne Arundel and Howard counties. Westervelt previously served as vice president at Manekin LLC, a commercial real estate firm based in Columbia.


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