Complex to rise above Washington’s tracks
District of Columbia developer Akridge last Thursday got the air rights over the tracks at Union Station to build a 15-acre mixed-use complex, to be called Burnham Place at Union Station.
The U.S. General Services Administration and Akridge inked the deal on Thursday, but financial terms were not disclosed, according to the Washington Business Journal of September 29.
The D.C. Office of Planning envisions this project as a “regional draw,” said Patricia Zingsheim, associate director of revitalization and design for the office.
She expects that the shops and restaurants at Union Station to be linked to Akridge’s development and that street access will be provided from the main thoroughfares on K, H and First streets.
Burnham Place honors Daniel Hudson Burnham, a turn-of-the-century Chicago architect who designed Union Station.
Akridge plans to build offices, a retail center including a medium-sized box store, residential towers and a hotel. In addition, the developer will work on public improvements such as intermodal transportation at Union Station.
Real estate developers and planners believe the Akridge project will capitalize on the 18.1 million passengers who use the Union Station Metro annually and provide an entryway to the North of Massachusetts Avenue developments.
“Akridge will start working on the entitlement process right away,” said company spokeswoman Mary Margaret Hiller.
That is expected to take 18 months, followed by a year for design. Then work could get started on the major component of the project – the construction of the platform above the tracks, which would serve as the ground for the rest of the development. This is expected to take three years. Afterward, Akridge will start construction of residences, retail and offices.
Several authorities were involved in this negotiation including Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, AEW (the asset manager at Union Station), the D.C. Department of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration and Union Station Redevelopment.