A new two-level shopping mall between K and I Sts. at 20th St. NW is scheduled to be completed by September, with space for 27 shops and at least two restaurants.
Called The Esplanade, the mall will have an entrance to its upper-level on I St. and a lower-level entrance on K St. There will be a split-level entrance on 20th St.
The unique two-level arrangement, topped by nine floors of office space, was designed by Vlastimil Koubek. Shannon & Luchs are leasors for the project.
Escalators connect the two levels, which have 58,000 square feet of retail space, of which 12,000 has been rented, according to Tom Owens, director of commercial leasing for Shannon & Luchs. All 200,000 square feet of office space has been rented, he said.
Like suburban shopping areas, all the stores will open onto the interior mall, although the two restaurants also will have direct outside access.
Among the retail leasees are Vie de France (restaurant), DiPandi (men's and women's clothing), Needle in a Haystack (stereo equipment), and Malamut Opticians, according to Owens.
Most of the office space will be occupied by Peat, Marwick and Mitchell (accounting), the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and Slesnick and Blum, owners of the building.
Some of the office tenants will be moving in next month, and Owens hopes to have the retailers moved in before the fall business season.
Parking for 220 cars will be located under the mall. There will separate delivery areas for the offices, for the restaurants and for the stores, to solve the delivery problem which, Owens said, usually makes marketing retail space in downtown difficult.