Press Releases

Unconventional Diner’s Eric Eden Bringing The Ardent to Capitol Crossing

10/10/19 – Property Group Partners (PGP) announced today that Eric Eden, owner of Unconventional Diner, will bring The Ardent, a modern Mediterranean-style restaurant to Capitol Crossing. Unconventional Diner’s chef, David Deshaies, will work with Eden in opening the new restaurant. The Ardent will be located at 200 Massachusetts Avenue.

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WeWork Takes Three Floors at Capitol Crossing

05/09/19 — As part of its ever-expanding footprint in Washington, D.C., WeWork today announced its latest lease signing at Property Group Partners’ Capitol Crossing location at 200 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. WeWork will take three floors across the seventh, eighth and ninth stories and is expected to open their office space by year’s end. At 111,000-square feet, it will be one of WeWork’s largest office footprints in the District. WeWork joins the American Petroleum Institute (API), which moved in earlier this…

05/09/19 — As part of its ever-expanding footprint in Washington, D.C., WeWork today announced its latest lease signing at Property Group Partners’ Capitol Crossing location at 200 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. WeWork will take three floors across the seventh, eighth and ninth stories and is expected to open their office space by year’s end. At 111,000-square feet, it will be one of WeWork’s largest office footprints in the District. WeWork joins the American Petroleum Institute (API), which moved in earlier this year, at Capitol Crossing.

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Property Group Partners Honored with Developer of the Year Award

05/18/18 — Property Group Partners (PGP) is the recipient of the District of Columbia Building Industry Association’s (DCBIA) Developer of the Year award. PGP’s Jeffrey Sussman, Robert Braunohler and Sean Cahill represented PGP at DCBIA’s Annual Achievement Awards Dinner, which recognized PGP’s contributions to Washington D.C. through its work on Capitol Crossing and other projects in the District…

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Property Group Partners Signs Lease with American Petroleum Institute for Office Space at Capitol Crossing

10/03/17 — Property Group Partners (PGP) today announced that the American Petroleum Insitute (API) will be the first office tenant at Capitol Crossing – one of Washington, DC’s biggest and most ambitious new neighborhood destinations.

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Historic 1876 Adas Israel Synagogue Relocated for the Second Time in 140-Year History

11/03/16 — Today Washington’s oldest synagogue, the historic 1876 Adas Israel Synagogue, began a two-step relocation process to its new home at Third and F streets, NW, the second time it has moved in its 140-year history.

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Capitol Crossing Enters New Phase, Lays Foundation For Construction of New Neighborhood

02/17/16 — Capitol Crossing began installation of the project’s first steel beam Wednesday night laying the groundwork for reclaiming a neighborhood separated for over 40 years, announced developer Property Group Partners.

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Articles

Chef Behind Unconventional Diner Will Open a Wood-Burning Mediterranean Place in 2020

10/11/19 – Unconventional spinoff: Fans of David Deshaies, the French chef who specializes in stepped-up American comfort food at Central and Unconventional Diner, will be happy to hear about his involvement in a new restaurant coming to the outer reaches of Mount Vernon Triangle late next year. Washington Business Journal reports that Deshaies and Unconventional Diner partner Eric Eden have signed the first retail lease at Capitol Crossing, the two-building development going up on Massachusetts Avenue NW over I-395. The…

10/11/19 – Unconventional spinoff: Fans of David Deshaies, the French chef who specializes in stepped-up American comfort food at Central and Unconventional Diner, will be happy to hear about his involvement in a new restaurant coming to the outer reaches of Mount Vernon Triangle late next year.

Washington Business Journal reports that Deshaies and Unconventional Diner partner Eric Eden have signed the first retail lease at Capitol Crossing, the two-building development going up on Massachusetts Avenue NW over I-395. The Ardent will take on a Mediterranean theme and take up 10,000 square feet in the building on 200 Massachusetts Avenue NW. According to Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema, who broke the news in his weekly chat, the restaurant will incorporate Italian, Spanish, and Southern French flavors with a wood-burning oven and grill churning out fish dishes and thin-crust sourdough pizzas.

Unconventional Diner won a local restaurant association RAMMY award this year for Upscale Brunch of the Year. Deshaies has drawn notice there for his double cheeseburger, his fried chicken, and more (sorry) unconventional dishes like Lebanese fried rice and eggs, confit lamb quesadillas, and a “French dip” pappardelle with wagyu beef, beech mushrooms, garlic chips, and horseradish cream.

Back in the spring, New York restaurateur and Shake Shack mogul Danny Meyer pulled out of a deal to put an offshoot of Union Square cafe in the Capitol Crossing development. Meyer will bring Italian seafood restaurant Maialino Mare to the Thompson Hotel in Navy Yard. [WBJ; WaPo]

Washington Business Journal

New restaurant from Unconventional Diner team coming to Capitol Crossing

10/10/19 – Capitol Crossing, the massive development being built over Interstate 395 in the District, has landed its first retail tenant. The Ardent, a Mediterranean restaurant, has signed a lease for 200 Massachusetts Ave. NW. That building was the first to deliver at Capitol Crossing, which when it’s finished will include 2.2 million square feet across five buildings. The 10,000-square-foot restaurant comes from Unconventional Diner owner Eric Eden and its chef, David Deshaies. The entrance to the restaurant will be…

10/10/19 – Capitol Crossing, the massive development being built over Interstate 395 in the District, has landed its first retail tenant.

The Ardent, a Mediterranean restaurant, has signed a lease for 200 Massachusetts Ave. NW. That building was the first to deliver at Capitol Crossing, which when it’s finished will include 2.2 million square feet across five buildings.

The 10,000-square-foot restaurant comes from Unconventional Diner owner Eric Eden and its chef, David Deshaies. The entrance to the restaurant will be off the pedestrian walkway between 200 and 250 Massachusetts Ave. NW, with the restaurant having visibility to Massachusetts Avenue in its location on the northwest corner of the building.

200 Massachusetts Ave. NW is already home to the American Petroleum Institute, which leased 75,000 square feet, and a WeWork, which has 111,000 square feet.

The next building to deliver at Capitol Crossing will be 250 Massachusetts. Development of the three additional buildings to the south will proceed in phases.

The project, from New York’s Property Group Partners, is one of the largest commercial real estate developments ever undertaken in the District. It involved constructing a platform over I-395 in order to reconnect the street grid between Capitol Hill and East End.

It has had some trouble lining up tenants for its retail space, however. New York restaurateur Danny Meyer was originally slated to open a location of Union Square Cafe and another, more casual outlet in the building, but he pulled out of that deal earlier this year. Food hall operator Politan Group is also working on a deal there, but we’re told that has also fallen through.

The Mediterranean menu at The Ardent will be cooked in part over a large-scale wood-burning oven and the design will include Murano glass chandeliers and a color scheme of “Mediterranean blues and sunset pinks,” according to the release. The restaurant will open in late 2020.

Washington Post

Ask Tom: Rants, Raves, and Questions on the DC Dining Scene

10/09/19 – Tom – Love your chat and have managed to make it to quite a few of the restaurants in over the last few years. However, we haven’t always agreed with your review (appreciate and read them all though). With some many good and new places in DC, for us to go back to a restaurant, requires a transcendent dish…

WeWork Inks 111K SF Lease At Capitol Crossing

05/09/19 – Property Group Partners has just secured a big lease to help fill the nearly 1M SF of office space it is delivering in the first two buildings at Capitol Crossing. The developer Thursday signed a 111K SF lease with WeWork at 200 Massachusetts Ave. NW, the latest deal in the coworking giant’s rapid expansion across the District. WeWork will take the seventh, eighth and ninth floors of the 414K SF building, which delivered last year. The coworking provider…

05/09/19 – Property Group Partners has just secured a big lease to help fill the nearly 1M SF of office space it is delivering in the first two buildings at Capitol Crossing.

The developer Thursday signed a 111K SF lease with WeWork at 200 Massachusetts Ave. NW, the latest deal in the coworking giant’s rapid expansion across the District.

WeWork will take the seventh, eighth and ninth floors of the 414K SF building, which delivered last year. The coworking provider expects to open its space later this year.

JLL’s Evan Behr, Doug Mueller and Nathan Beach represented PGP in the deal, and JLL’s Zach Boroson, Andy O’Brien and Greg Lubar represented WeWork.

The JLL team took over the leasing at Capitol Crossing from Cushman & Wakefield in July 2018. PGP President Jeffrey Sussman told Bisnow he wanted to bring in a new team after the initial leasing was slower than he had expected.

WeWork is the second office tenant to sign on at Capitol Crossing after the American Petroleum Institute inked a 75K SF deal in October 2017. On the retail front, Capitol Crossing had reached an agreement with restaurateur Danny Meyer to open a location of his popular New York City restaurant, Union Square Cafe, but Meyer pulled out of the deal last month.

The 250 Massachusetts Ave. NW building, expected to deliver this year, will add 559K SF of new office space to the Capitol Crossing. The five-building development is ultimately planned to include 1.9M SF of office space, 62K SF of retail and a 180K SF hotel, which had previously been planned as residential.

“The addition of WeWork to Capitol Crossing is a testament to the exceptional environment we are creating here,” PGP Senior Vice President David Happ said in a release.

The deal continues a string of major D.C. leases for WeWork as the coworking giant quickly expands its footprint in the region. Last month, WeWork signed on for 25K SF at 660 North Capitol St. NW, just three blocks from Capitol Crossing. It also signed a 110K SF lease last month at Midtown Center. In February, WeWork leased over 100K SF at 1701 Rhode Island Ave. NW, and it signed two deals in December for spaces in Mount Vernon Triangle and Dupont Circle.

“200 Massachusetts Avenue is a prime location to add to our growing portfolio in D.C.,” WeWork Mid-Atlantic General Manager Lex Miller said. “As our second-largest building and with such close proximity to Capitol Hill, we have a strong vision for how we will continue to build our unique amenities and product offerings that are attracting members in government affairs, trade associations and lobbying to WeWork.”

Urban Turf

From Luxury Hotels to Affordable Housing: The Development on Tap for Mount Vernon Triangle/Chinatown

05/23/18 — In our updated look at the status of the residential development pipeline in neighborhoods around the DC area, UrbanTurf heads to the Mount Vernon Triangle and Chinatown neighborhoods this week. In case you missed them, here are the other neighborhoods we have covered thus far: The 3,350 Residential Units Planned for Downtown Bethesda The 1,076 Units Delivering in NoMa This Year (And the Other 4,000 On the Boards) The 1,822 Units Planned for Tenleytown and AU Park The…

05/23/18 — In our updated look at the status of the residential development pipeline in neighborhoods around the DC area, UrbanTurf heads to the Mount Vernon Triangle and Chinatown neighborhoods this week.

In case you missed them, here are the other neighborhoods we have covered thus far:

The 3,350 Residential Units Planned for Downtown Bethesda
The 1,076 Units Delivering in NoMa This Year (And the Other 4,000 On the Boards)
The 1,822 Units Planned for Tenleytown and AU Park
The Over 4,700 Units On the Boards for Union Market
The 974 Units Slated for Shaw
437 Units and Creative Office Space: The Adams Morgan Development Rundown
The 825 Units Coming to the 14th Street Corridor
The 650 Units Headed for the H Street Corridor
The 2,480 Units in the Navy Yard Pipeline
The 3,120 Units Slated for South Capitol Street
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SLS Lux Hotel & Residences

Having secured zoning approvals and developed a plan to follow through on the affordable housing units required by that approval, construction is expected to begin on the SLS Lux Hotel & Residences in the coming months. Along with the Peebles Corporation, the development team includes SBE subsidiary Dakota Development, Walker Group and MacFarlane Partners; WDG Architecture is the designer.

Once completed at 901 5th Street NW (map), the project will deliver 175 hotel rooms across 7 floors and 48 condos on the top four floors. A José Andres restaurant is expected to be located on the ground floor, and amenities including a gym, spa and a 5,000 square-foot ballroom will be located on the cellar and mezzanine levels. There will also be a pool and terrace on the roof. A below-grade parking garage will accommodate 28 bicycles and 92 cars stacked over 46 spaces via a mechanized lift system.

Hotel guests will be provided with free Bikeshare passes and all condo buyers will receive a complimentary three-year membership to either a car- or bike-share program. Developer Peebles Corporation has agreed to build 31 affordable units on a site it owns in Anacostia; 30 additional units will also be required elsewhere. SLS Lux is anticipated to deliver in 2020.

WMATA Headquarters Redevelopment

WMATA’s headquarters at 600 5th Street NW (map) could potentially be up for a residential redevelopment once it is rezoned and (likely) sold. The agency has applied to rezone the site from D-2 to D-5-R to permit by-right residential or mixed-use development up to 120 feet tall (plus penthouse) and to subject any future development to inclusionary zoning regulations.

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The Canterbury

Developer Renaissance Centro was granted Historic Preservation Review Board approval last December for a new plan to retrofit The Harrison, one of DC’s oldest apartment buildings, into a larger hotel-apartment hybrid dubbed The Canterbury.

The project has been in the works at 704 3rd Street NW (map) for at least seven years and now is envisioned as a by-right project that would deliver nearly 200 hotel rooms and 65 apartments. The Gensler design appends a seven-story addition to a reconstructed version of the historic façades. A restaurant and bar fronting G Street will sit on the ground floor with patio space.

The rooftop will include a pool, bar/lounge, hotel terrace and a residential lounge and terrace. There will also be 39 parking spaces across two below-grade parking levels. Jonathan Nehmer and Associates handling the interior architecture.

As of now, it is unclear whether any zoning relief would be required; previous design iterations were approved by the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) as early as 2012. Building permits to begin work on the site have not yet been applied for; previous extension requests for the site cited the ongoing construction of Capitol Crossing as determining the expected work schedule.

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The Cantata

Wilkes Company and Quadrangle have partnered with Mount Carmel Baptist Church to develop The Cantata at 801 3rd Street NW (map). The two-phase project, designed by SmithGroup JJR, will deliver a total of 351 residential units along with space for the church’s use. Twenty percent of the units will be set aside as affordable; amenities will include a gym and rooftop pool. It is unclear when construction will begin.

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Plaza West

Henson Development Company, Golden Rule Plaza and Mission First Housing Development Corporation have teamed up with the city to deliver an all-affordable development at 307 K Street NW (map).

Fifty of the units will be in a designated section of the building tailored to inter-generational “grandfamilies”, led by low-income grandparents raising their grandchildren. Amenities here will include a library, playroom and fitness room. Households earning less than 30 percent of AMI will occupy the remainder of the building. Additional amenities will include 9,500 square feet of outdoor space with a basketball court and garden; there will also be 51 below-grade parking spaces.

Lima Hotel

Developer Habte Sequar received zoning approval in February 2016 to develop a hotel/residential project on the former Henry’s Soul Cafe site at 317 K Street NW (map). Lima Hotel will be a 14-story building with 200 hotel rooms below 30 apartments. There will also be a 2,040 square-foot bar and 46 below-grade valet parking spaces. PGN Architects is the project architect.

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Capitol Vista

Groundbreaking is eminent for the Capitol Vista development on the 9,648 square-foot city-owned parking deck at New Jersey Avenue and Second and H Streets NW (map). The project will deliver 104 affordable units above 3,200 square feet of retail.

The unit mix will include 20 studios, 52 one-bedrooms and 32 two-bedrooms; 16 of the units will be for households earning up to 30 and 50 percent AMI and the remaining units will be for households earning up to 60 percent AMI. Amenities will include a game room, gym and rooftop terrace.

The triangular, Flatiron-inspired building is designed by Grimm + Parker Architects and is expected to deliver in 2020. Voltron Community Partners is the development team, comprised of Dantes Partners, Menkiti Group, Spectrum Management, and Bailey Real Estate Holdings.

Capitol Crossing

Property Group Partners is still at work on Capitol Crossing, the two million square-foot development slated for the air rights above the I-395 on-ramp at the intersections of Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Street and E Street NW (map). While two of the office/retail buildings (and Danny Meyer’s first Union Square Cafe location outside of New York) are expected to deliver this year and next year, the residential portion is still on the horizon.

The whole development is expected to deliver in 2021 and the residential building will be designed by Beyer Blinder Belle and David Childs of SOM LLP. More detailed plans for the 180,000 square feet of residences are forthcoming.

U.S. Cities Can Save Billions with Green, Resilient Design, Says Report

02/18/18 — A financial case for green roofs, solar panels, and permeable pavement. Sustainability has become a buzzword for urban designers and environmental advocates. A new report released yesterday stresses that making it a de facto policy for U.S. cities would be a cost-effective design solution that could save millions, and even billions, of dollars. Co-authored by Greg Kats and Keith Glassbrook, Delivering Urban Resilience looked at the ecological and financial advantages that would come from promoting co-called “smart surfaces,”…

02/18/18 — A financial case for green roofs, solar panels, and permeable pavement.

Sustainability has become a buzzword for urban designers and environmental advocates. A new report released yesterday stresses that making it a de facto policy for U.S. cities would be a cost-effective design solution that could save millions, and even billions, of dollars.

Co-authored by Greg Kats and Keith Glassbrook, Delivering Urban Resilience looked at the ecological and financial advantages that would come from promoting co-called “smart surfaces,” such as as green roofs, solar panels, and permeable and porous pavement, in urban areas.

Using three different cities as case studies—El Paso, Texas, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.—the researchers examined how adding these features can lower excess heat and improve water quality and stormwater management, all costly environmental issues exacerbated by climate change. For the first time, researchers assembled an integrated cost-benefit analysis for these strategies using insight from city partners, epidemiologists, and tech and energy experts.

The results were promising, and suggest these adaptations should be seen less as a good idea and more as a necessary, and prudent, investment. The analysis showed that each of the cities studied would realize significant savings if they embraced these changes: El Paso would save $540 million, Washington, D.C., would save $1.8 billion, and Philadelphia would save $3.5 billion. These figures already factor in the cost of making significant adjustments and investments to add new, green infrastructure (the report puts the cost of a smart surface program in D.C. at $838 million, for example).

Adopting the entire suite of smart, resilient solutions would save cities significant money on energy, water, and infrastructure repairs, due to increased resilience. Cooling technologies and adaptions would cut regional energy bills and reduce smog, and the benefits to health and livability would compound over time.

The findings underlined the threat that climate change poses to urban areas, which, due to the heat island effect and rising temperatures, will suffer increasingly uncomfortable summers. The report notes that these changes, if adopted, would also prevent an expected loss of significant summer tourism revenue for the cities studies. Factoring in the tourism revenue that could be saved by these smart surfaces would revise the total savings estimates for both D.C. and Philadelphia to $4.9 billion and $8.4 billion, respectively.

“Climate change is already causing problems in communities in every region of our nation.”

The changes that come from city-wide adoption would also provide more proportional benefits to citizens living in low-income areas. Due to lack of trees and greenery, and the higher likelihood of living in or near areas covered in dark, impervious surfaces, these residents suffer more from summer heat, air pollution, respiratory illness, heat stress, and high health costs than the population at large. A previous study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that, in U.S. cities, African Americans and Hispanics are 51 percent and 21 percent more likely, respectively, to live in high heat risk urban areas than non-Hispanic white Americans.

While energy savings are often seen as a significant benefit, mitigating rising temperatures can have a profound impact on health care costs. A 2017 report by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health, representing 11 major medical societies such as the American Medical Association, found that “climate change is already causing problems in communities in every region of our nation.”

The report was released yesterday in Washington D.C. at Capitol Crossing, a new development seeking LEED certification. The researchers collaborated with 15 organizations, including the U.S. Green Building Council, American Institute of Architects, the National League of Cities, the National Housing Trust, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and The JPB Foundation.

USGBC: REPORT SAYS CITIES CAN SAVE BILLIONS WITH SUSTAINABLE SURFACES

02/07/18 — Smart surface technologies would also cut greenhouse gasses while achieving transformative benefits like making cities cooler, more resilient, healthier and more equitable. A new report released Tuesday, Delivering Urban Resilience, authored by Capital-E, quantifies the range of costs and benefits for the adoption of citywide smart surface technologies in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and El Paso. “Cities are increasingly at risk from hurricanes and severe summer heat,” said lead author Greg Kats. “This report shows how citywide adoption of…

02/07/18 — Smart surface technologies would also cut greenhouse gasses while achieving transformative benefits like making cities cooler, more resilient, healthier and more equitable.
A new report released Tuesday, Delivering Urban Resilience, authored by Capital-E, quantifies the range of costs and benefits for the adoption of citywide smart surface technologies in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and El Paso.

“Cities are increasingly at risk from hurricanes and severe summer heat,” said lead author Greg Kats. “This report shows how citywide adoption of these smart surface technologies would save cities billions of dollars and cut greenhouse gasses while achieving transformative benefits like making cities cooler, more resilient, healthier and more equitable.”

The report documents that an investment in these technologies would result in net present values of $1.8 billion in Washington, D.C., $3.6 billion in Philadelphia and $540 million El Paso over a 40 year period. The work is built on more than two years of data collection and research in collaboration with 15 organizations, including U.S. Green Building Council,American Institute of Architects, the National League of Cities, the National Housing Trust, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and The JPB Foundation.

“Delivering Urban Resilience is so critical because it is the first rigorous analysis of citywide surfacing options to manage sun and water at scale,” according to Mark Chambers, New York City’s Director of Sustainability.

Smart surface technologies include surfaces that help manage sunlight and rain, including solar PV roofs, cool roofs, green roofs, porous and high albedo pavements, trees or a combination of these features. This study demonstrates that these technologies can effectively address the severe cost of worse air quality, higher pollution and excess heat in urban low-income areas.

“The Delivering Urban Resilience report gives the green building movement the momentum needed to widen sustainable building perspectives past walls and into environments and the lives of the people who occupy them,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Not only do the smart surface technologies in this report provide tangible cost benefits, but they promote the needed equity in quality of life for all city residents.”

This is the beginning of the Smart Surfaces revolution,” says former two-term Austin mayor, Will Wynn. “Delivering Urban Resilience provides an entirely convincing case that city-wide adoption of ‘smart surfaces’ like green and cool roofs and porous pavements are both cost-effective and essential to ensuring that our cities remain livable in a warming world.”

This report was launched at an event today with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at Capitol Crossing, one of the largest developments in the Washington metro area, which is pursuing LEED Platinum certification.

12 PROJECTS TO WATCH IN 2018

01/31/18 — 12 Projects to Watch in 2018 Design that‘s making an impact around the world. SOMJan 30 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. For more, visit www.som.com. This year, architecture and urban design projects will revitalize neighborhoods, realize innovative ideas for mixed-use development, and blend technology with education. Here are a dozen works in progress that we’ll be celebrating in 2018. Residential, Remixed New housing…

01/31/18 — 12 Projects to Watch in 2018
Design that‘s making an impact around the world.

SOMJan 30
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. For more, visit www.som.com.

This year, architecture and urban design projects will revitalize neighborhoods, realize innovative ideas for mixed-use development, and blend technology with education. Here are a dozen works in progress that we’ll be celebrating in 2018.

Residential, Remixed

New housing developments provide an opportunity to reconsider how urban neighborhoods grow and thrive.

Manhattan Loft Gardens

London, United Kingdom

Part 150-room luxury hotel and part 34-floor residential high-rise, Manhattan Loft Gardens in London’s Olympic Park is designed to foster a vertical community. The double-cantilevered tower features three sky gardens that bring outdoor space to residents, while shared amenities including meeting spaces, a spa, and a swimming pool will bring neighbors together. The 248 living spaces include single-story and loft-style apartments, interwoven together. Each flat can be customized to maximize space, daylight, and views. The project is set for completion in 2018.

Taylor Street Apartments and Roosevelt Branch Library

Chicago, Illinois

The Taylor Street Apartments and Roosevelt Branch Library will be one of the first co-located Chicago Housing Authority and Public Library branches. Image © SOM
Working with the City of Chicago, SOM is designing one of the city’s first co-located Chicago Housing Authority and Public Library branches. Having broken ground in 2018, the mixed-income apartment and library complex is designed to create a synergy between the two distinct programs. Set back and staggered on the site along West Taylor and Ada Streets, the building will provide rooftop green space, communal areas, and floor-to-ceiling windows for residential units. The library will offer soaring open spaces designed for kids, teenagers, and adults, bringing vital public space to the city’s Near West Side.

Retrofitting the City

Urban-scale projects are refocusing the center of attention — and in one case, creating new land — to bring people to revitalized neighborhoods.

Capitol Crossing

Washington, D.C.

Capitol Crossing is one of the biggest city design efforts undertaken in the nation’s capital in decades. Photo © SOM
Thanks to a feat of structural engineering, a new neighborhood is taking shape above an urban expressway. For decades, an open portion of Interstate 395 ran through three city blocks in northwest Washington, D.C. In 2015, ground broke on Capitol Crossing, a project to cover the sunken stretch of highway, restore the street grid, and create a walkable mixed-use development. SOM’s master plan included engineering the platform built at street level above the highway.

“There was both an art and a science to calibrating the plan,” said Kristopher Takács, director of SOM’s D.C. office. With one building set to top out this year, and another due for completion, 2018 brings significant progress for the restored and revitalized district.

Moscone Convention Center Expansion and Improvement

San Francisco, California

The expansion and improvement to San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center is on pace for completion in August 2018. The project knits together disparate buildings, underutilized public streets, and open areas to create new indoor and outdoor amenities, including 8,000 square feet of new public space. The use of transparent and translucent materials will bring natural light to interior public spaces, while revealing the activity within. Beyond enhancing the public realm of San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, the project upgrades Moscone’s environmental credentials: when complete, it will create fewer carbon emissions per visitor than any other major North American convention center.

Tanjong Pagar Centre

Singapore

The Tanjong Pagar Centre includes two towers and a six-story podium. Images © Digital Mirage Pte. Ltd.
The mixed-use Tanjong Pagar Centre will become a new landmark in Singapore’s historic central business district. Due for completion this year, the complex will include multiple levels of retail space, along with parking, restaurants, and entertainment areas. Offices and a hotel will occupy the upper floors. An underground pedestrian network, connected to an existing transit station, will make the tower easily accessible. More than just a high-rise, the project brings major improvements at ground level — a redesigned Tanjong Pagar City Park will enhance the public realm, along with a “city room” venue for art and outdoor performances.

Ripe for Reinvention

Creative commercial spaces are bringing new life to old buildings, historic areas, and formerly industrial zones from Chicago to Guadalajara.

Bio-Esfera

Guadalajara, Mexico

Bio-Esfera comprises two building blocks that offer flexible office spaces oriented toward technology and creative companies. Image © SOM
The Bio-Esfera office complex will transform an underutilized area in Guadalajara, Mexico, where a dormant Kodak manufacturing facility once stood. As the first parcel of the Distrito La Perla Master Plan to be developed, the complex is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018. The building provides richly varied open spaces, including a central courtyard evocative of the public plazas prevalent throughout Guadalajara, along with gardens, balconies, terraces, roof decks, and an outdoor amphitheater.

Designed with the region’s abundant summer rainfalls in mind, the building incorporates ample roof gardens and terraces to capture and re-use rainwater and minimize stormwater discharge.

1515 West Webster Avenue

Chicago, Illinois

The design of 1515 West Webster accommodates open, flexible workspaces across four stories. Image © SOM
Located where the North Branch of the Chicago River meets one of the city’s vital east-west corridors, 1515 West Webster Avenue is the first development to emerge on the former site of Chicago’s historic Finkl Steel mill. The office building will house open, flexible, and daylit workspaces across four stories, anchored by a skylit central atrium featuring a two-story staircase for circulation, gathering, and informal meetings. Targeting LEED® Gold certification, 1515 West Webster incorporates low-cost, high-efficiency materials to achieve significant improvements in performance and to reduce construction materials. When completed in 2018, the building will house the Midwest headquarters of C.H. Robinson.

Optimo Hat Factory

Chicago, Illinois

The adaptive reuse of a decommissioned firehouse on Chicago’s south side accommodates Optimo Hat Factory’s continued growth. Photos © Tom Rossiter
Optimo is one of the leading makers of bespoke, handcrafted hats, serving a diverse and global clientele. For more than 25 years, the company has based its operations in a small storefront-turned-factory in Beverly, a historic neighborhood in southwest Chicago. When Optimo decided to bring its headquarters and production facility under one roof, it purchased a decommissioned firehouse, built circa 1915 and formerly owned by the City of Chicago. SOM developed an adaptive reuse scheme for the building that will accommodate the company’s continued growth and reaffirm its commitment to the community.

Towering Achievement

Working together, architects and engineers can make breakthroughs in sustainable design. Tianjin’s newest supertall is a case in point.

Tianjin CTF Finance Centre

Tianjin, China

Tianjin CTF Finance Centre topped out in 2017. Photo © SOM
Soaring 530 meters, the 96-story Tianjin CTF Finance Centre will bring office space, serviced apartments, and a five-star hotel to the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area. The tower’s striking design serves a dual purpose: its curved corners, tapering form, and porous crown mitigate wind loads, while maximizing structural efficiency. A high-performance facade system saves energy by reducing heating and cooling requirements, while providing daylight and views. All of these features contribute to the project’s anticipated LEED® Gold certification. Already an icon on the skyline, the supertall tower is on pace to be completed in 2018.

Designing the Future of Education

How will learning spaces evolve for the 21st century? This year, three projects across the United States are embracing technology to support new approaches to academic exploration.

UConn Innovation Partnership Building

Storrs, Connecticut

The Innovation Partnership Building is the centerpiece of our master plan for UConn’s Technology Park. Photo © Magda Biernat
The Innovation Partnership Building is the first to be completed at the University of Connecticut’s new Technology Park. Envisioned as a bridge between academia and industry, as well as between science and engineering, it will be a collaborative hub for advanced product development, biomedical engineering, and advanced information systems.

The building is organized in three primary parts: a flexible tenant laboratory and incubator space, an advanced manufacturing and additive materials wing, and an advanced characterization laboratory wing that will be among the country’s most sophisticated microscopy centers when it opens in 2018.

The Milstein Center, Barnard College

New York, New York

The Cheryl and Philip Milstein Teaching and Learning Center is located at the heart of Barnard College’s New York City campus. Construction photo (left) and rendering (right) © SOM
Due to open for the fall 2018 semester, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Teaching and Learning Center will become a new hub of academic and intellectual life at Barnard College. Designed to foster collaboration and dialogue, The Milstein Center will provide a range of innovative and essential resources that reflect the connections at the core of Barnard’s educational philosophy. Much more than a traditional library, the facility will include centers for pedagogy, empirical reasoning, digital humanities, design, and media, as well as a movement lab. It will also house the Vagelos Computational Science Center, supporting students and faculty in pioneering research .

“It’s a very high-tech, very 21st-century, very forward-looking space,” Roger Duffy, a design partner working on the project, said.

Loyola Marymount University, School of Film and Television

Los Angeles, California

The School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University is due for completion in the summer of 2018. Image © SOM
Loyola Marymount University (LMU) will soon open its Playa Vista campus, designed to house graduate programs for the School of Film and Television. Along with classrooms, production and post-production facilities, and administrative offices, the campus will provide spaces for other academic programs and creative activities and events. Located in The Brickyard development, the new campus will place LMU students and faculty members in the heart of Silicon Beach, L.A.’s tech innovation and creativity hub.

The 50,000-square-foot facility, due for completion in the summer of 2018, will offer film and TV students dynamic creator spaces — small and large, efficient and flexible, and, most importantly, focused and collaborative.

Nations Restaurant News

THE POWER LIST 2018: DANNY MEYER

01/24/18 — The Maverick Since opening Union Square Cafe in 1985, Danny Meyer and his team have redefined hospitality, combining warmth and professionalism in restaurants ranging from fine dining at Gramercy Tavern to better-burger chain Shake Shack, as well as jazz clubs, cocktail bars, museum cafes and barbecue restaurants. His book, “Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business,” is required reading for operators across the country. Known for: As CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group LLC, Meyer…

01/24/18 —
The Maverick
Since opening Union Square Cafe in 1985, Danny Meyer and his team have redefined hospitality, combining warmth and professionalism in restaurants ranging from fine dining at Gramercy Tavern to better-burger chain Shake Shack, as well as jazz clubs, cocktail bars, museum cafes and barbecue restaurants. His book, “Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business,” is required reading for operators across the country.

Known for: As CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group LLC, Meyer has been a leader on promoting positive work cultures in the restaurant industry.

In order to increase salaries of back-of-the-house workers, Meyer vowed to eliminate tipping at all of his restaurants in 2015, sending shockwaves across the industry. It’s still a work in progress as he implements his “Hospitality Included” system at his operations one restaurant at a time. USHG also offers strong benefits like parental leave, 401(k) matches and insurance.

Power move: Meyer continues to expand his reach. He invests in emerging concepts like Tender Greens, Joe Coffee and Salt & Straw, and last year launched Roman-style concepts in New York — Vini e Fritti, an aperitivi bar; Martina, a pizzeria; and Marchio, a coffee bar. He remains outspoken on the elimination of tipping, and most recently promoted it on 60 Minutes.

What’s next: Meyer is planning the opening of his first full-service restaurant outside of New York with a Union Square Cafe slated to debut at the Capitol Crossing mixed-use development project in Washington, D.C., where USHG will also curate other food-and-drink outlets.­

WHAT D.C.’S ADAS ISRAEL SYNAGOGUE WILL LOOK LIKE IN ITS NEW LOCATION

01/17/18 — What D.C.’s Adas Israel Synagogue will look like in its new location Beside the historic house of worship will be a plaza and courtyard Michelle GoldchainJan 17, 2018, 11:53am EST All renderings courtesy of Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum In November 2016, Washington, D.C.’s oldest synagogue, Adas Israel Synagogue, began a two-phase relocation. UrbanTurf recently reported that the project is seeking further zoning approvals in order to relocate the 1876-built property at Third and G streets NW…

01/17/18 — What D.C.’s Adas Israel Synagogue will look like in its new location
Beside the historic house of worship will be a plaza and courtyard

Michelle GoldchainJan 17, 2018, 11:53am EST
All renderings courtesy of Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum
In November 2016, Washington, D.C.’s oldest synagogue, Adas Israel Synagogue, began a two-phase relocation. UrbanTurf recently reported that the project is seeking further zoning approvals in order to relocate the 1876-built property at Third and G streets NW to 575 Third Street NW. Curbed DC has also received new renderings of the project with an inside look at how the museum will be redeveloped.

UrbanTurf reports:

“… the more-detailed plans propose a four-story museum alongside the 4,165 square-foot Adas Israel Synagogue, which will sit on an elevated plinth. Along F Street, an entrance plaza and courtyard will separate the two buildings, which will have an interior walkway connecting them.”

This is the second time it has ever been relocated. DCist reported that Ulysses S. Grant went to its dedication ceremony, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to attend a Jewish service. In 1908, the congregation outgrew the space and moved to a newer synagogue nearby.

61 years later, the Washington Metro Transit Authority planned to construct a new headquarters on the site and threatened to demolish the building if it wasn’t moved. From 6th and G streets NW, it was relocated to Third and G streets NW. Over the years, the property has had a variety of uses, from a barber shop to a dentist’s office to a real estate agency to a grocery to a bicycle shop. It is now home to the Lillian and Albert Small Jewish Museum.

Property Group Partners with Wolfe House and Building Movers are behind the relocation with the intent to create more room to build the 2.2 million-square-foot project, known as Capitol Crossing. The project will feature five LEED Platinum-certified buildings on seven acres of land in Downtown.

• A New Home for Historic Synagogue Near Capitol Crossing [UrbanTurf]

• Capitol Crossing: What to Expect from One of D.C.’s Largest Revitalization Projects [Curbed DC]

• Watch D.C.’s oldest synagogue move with these 10 photos [Curbed DC]