Woodward & Lothrop is negotiating with Quadrangle Development Corp. to build a $150 million retail, office and hotel complex on the block north of Woodies' downtown Washington store.
The project will include replacement of Woodward & Lothrop's north store, which already occupies part of the block, and construction of a new complex on the rest of the block bounded by 10th and 11th, G and H streets NW.
Woodward and Lothrop has long talked of redeveloping the block and now for the first time has chosen a developer to handle the project, said Robert Mulligan, vice chairman and chief administrative officer of the Washington-based department store chain.
The Woodies/Quadrangle venture is the second major development in the works for the blocks along the north side of G Street in the old downtown.
The D.C. Fine Arts Commission gave preliminary approval last week to a $160 million project stretching east from 11th Street almost to 14th Street. The Oliver T. Carr Co. and Hagans Development Co. plan to build a new Hecht's department store, a 450-room Hilton Hotel and other shops and offices on the property, atop the Metro Center subway station.
The city's Redevelopment Land Agency, which owns that site, earlier picked Carr and Hagans to develop the site and is expected to approve their plans next summer.
Mulligan gave no schedule for work on the neighborhood Woodward & Lothrop site but said the company does not plan to wait for interest rates to come down before moving ahead.
Woodward & Lothrop already owns about three-quarters of the block and Quadrangle is negotiating to buy the rest of the land, Mulligan said.
Existing zoning will permit construction of 10-story buildings with about 1.2 million square feet of space on the block.
Before construction can begin, Woodies will have to move out several of its "back room" operations now occupying offices above the north store retailing annex. The chain's advertising, display, financial services, data processing and buying offices are in that building. Mulligan said they will probably be shifted permanently to some other location.
The north side of Woodies' "north block," as the site is called, faces the site of the new city convention center now being built on land bounded by 9th, 11th and H steets NW and New York Avenue.
Quadrangle is a rapidly growing development firm that already has two major projects underway downtown. The company put up the new National League of Cities building on 13th Street NW facing Pennsylvania Avenue. On the remainder of the block between 13th and 14th streets, Quadrangle plans to build an office and hotel project in partnership with Marriott Corp.