An imminent oversupply of office space in the Washington area may force area developers into a healthy improvement of building design and development planning in the city, Washington developer Oliver T. Carr Jr. told the Washington Building Congress this week.

"There is an oversupply of commercial space , and if all the space planned is built the oversupply will be dramatic," Carr said.

"But this is not meant to be a cry of alarm," he added. "Now we have an opportunity to do things we should have done a long time ago."

Carr said developers already are paying more attention to improving space around buildings, as well as to architectural detail.

"That's the good thing about the pause we are experiencing now," he told the luncheon group. "We can think more about design and planning now, before we explode lemming-like into a new surge of development."

Asked for his predictions on the next major areas of development, Carr said Chinatown should see a resurgence as a result of its nearness to the convention center, that an enormous amount of development will be seen north of the Capitol, and that there will be an "infilling" at the old shopping district around F and G streets NW.