A Washington real estate planning, development and management firm, the Oliver T. Carr Co., has asked the District government for exclusive rights to develop major property atop the Metro Center subway complex at 12th and G Streets NW.
If the Carr bid is successful, the local company would succeed the Gerald D. Hines Interest of Houston, which recently gave up its exclusive rights to the sites involved.
Carr Co. President Oliver T. Carr Jr., said in an interview yesterday that his firm's formal request to develop the land was filed with the Redevelopment Land Agency Board, which must dispose of the property. The agency is expected to respond by mid-April, he stated.
But unlike the pessimistic assessment of the 12th & G land by the Houston developer, Carr said yesterday his firm is "most interested," even though there have been no indications to date of desire by potential tenants to lacate at the downtown location.
"I feel confident the market is there for good-quality property" with a mixture of commercial office and retail facilities, Carr said. He said a "natural kind of growth" has started to build in the federal city's old downtown business core, "Before, it had to be forced."
Few Washingtonians can speak with the authority of Carr on the subject of a rejuvenated city because his company has become the most active District developer with projects now under way valued at more than half a billion dollars.
Virtually overnight, Oliver T. Carr Co's name has become associated with projects from Friendship Heights to Georgetown, the so-called West End between Georgetown and Washington Circle, the "new" downtown north of the White House, the "old" downtown, Capitol Hil and suburban Silver Spring.
The main force propelling his company into all these neighborhood sectors, as Carr calls them, is what the developer described as a "latent desire" by residents in all urban and dense suburban centers for a better living, working and shopping environment.
To meet the growing demand for mixed-use, residential-office-retail communities, the Carr Co. today is engaged in planning or directing the development of the following projects, a catalogue that touches nearly all key sections of the city that are experiecing rejuvenation:
Creation of a residential and commercial in a Georgetown joint venture with W. T. Galliher & Bro. Inc., which owns a lumberyard at 30th and K Streets NW that will be the development's site.
Development of Westbridge, a $25 million office, retail and condominium complex at 26th and M Streets and Pennysylvania Avenue NW. The first phase, containing offices, is a joint venture with Equitable Life Assurance Society in which 40 percent of the 175,000 square feet available has been leased for occupancy starting about three months.
The residential buildind, also under construction, will be completed in about 14 months Marketing for the building's 157 units begins later this week; the units range in price from the mid-$60,000s for one bedroom to $175,000 for two bedrooms and a den.
Other West End buildings, including a new 200,000-square-foot headquarters tower for the Arnold & Porter law firm (which will take half the space) on the site of the fomer Goodwill Industries building, with construction to start in about 30 days; a condominium site on 23rd Street, to be developed in about three years; a site between 24th and 25th Streets being assembled for mixed-use development, land owned by Capital Cadilac, for which mixed use is being planned; and landowned by U. S. News & World Report, which is planning a new headquarters for the magazine and development of surplus property.
International Square, a three-phase, $50 million complex between 18th, 19th, K and I Streets NW, to be tied together under a 10,000-square-foot covered atrium; the first building, with 350,000 square feet of office space is open and 100 percent leased, the second building is under construction, and a third building will started in less than three years.
A new headquarters for the American Association of Association Executives (the trade association for trade associations) at 1575 I St. NW, in a joint venture with ASAE and the Southern Railway, which owned the land. Construction is scheduled to begin shortly.
A combination of offices and retail outlets downtown in the block that includes the flagship of the Garfinckel's specially chain, which will become the anchor of a proposed mall. Carr said the Hilton Hotels chain is interested in noperating a hotel on the block, bounded by 14th, 15th, F and G streets. His firm has proposed maintaining the facades of two older buildings across from Treasury Building as part of the project, still subject to approval from government planners.
The Metro Center parcels at 12th and G streets, which Carr said would tie in with the Garfinckel's block as part of an overall downtown sector rebirth.
The Willar Hotel building on which Carr will bid for development rights to the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corp., in a joint venture with the hotel subsidiary of Pan American World Airways (Intercontinental Hotels), which contemplates a 450-room luxury hotel; and adjacent office building site along Pennsylvania Avenue, which Carr owns with the Roosevelt family and would like to develop as a complex that would connect the new Willard and existing Washington hotels.
A proposed office building site on Capitol Hill, near the House office buildings subway stop, which Carr would like to develop in an architectural style "sensitive" to the neighborhood.
Land on east side of Wisconsin Avenue NW, across from the new Neiman-Marcus store, which may be developed as a combination residential, office and small retail complex.
Parcels near the new subway station in Silver Spring.
In addition to these Washington area projects or proposed developments, the Carr Co. is directing construction of a residential and waterfront rebuilding in Norfolk and is planning a mixed-used project near an old railroad station near Baltimore's harbor - both in joint ventures with Chessie System, a rail holding company.
The Carr Co., still family-owned, began in the 1920s as a single-familly residential construction firm. Carr joined his father in the firm some 25 years ago and then set up his own homebuilding company in Montgomery County until about 15 years ago, when he rejoined the older firm and helped change the character of its business toward its status today as planner, developer and manager.
About 255 persons now are employed by the Carr Co., which attracts insurance companies and private individuals to invest in its sector developments. Carr said his firm is studying other metropolitan markets for expansion of his company's growing expertise in attaching board planning to specific building development.