Massive Real Estate Project Breaking Ground in Downtown D.C.

By Tim Persinko
|  Monday, Apr 4, 2011  |  Updated 7:29 PM EDT
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News4's Tom Sherwood shows us what is being built on the site of the old DC Convention Center.  It is one of the largest urban projects on the entire east coast.

News4's Tom Sherwood shows us what is being built on the site of the old DC Convention Center. It is one of the largest urban projects on the entire east coast.

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Developers of a massive real estate project in the heart of D.C.'s downtown will break ground on Monday, in a project bankrolled by a Middle Eastern real estate company.

Ten acres just northeast of Metro Center is slated to be transformed into a mixed use commercial and residential city-within-a-city.  The CityCenter DC project has been billed as one of the biggest urban real-estate developments on the East Coast.  Hines/Archstone, the project's developers, say in the first phase, they'll be putting in 520,000 square feet of office space, 185,000 square feet of retail space, and nearly 700 new apartments and condominiums.  A hotel, more retail, and more office space would follow later, according to the proposed plan.

The site, located between New York Avenue, H Street, Ninth, and 11 Street in the Northwest, had until been very recently been a big parking lot.  Boltbus and Metrobus had used a portion of the lot as an operating hub.  Before that, the space had been the location of the former Washington Convention Center.

Funding to kick-start the project has come from a Middle Eastern investment company, Quatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co.  The group just pushed in $700 million, Washington Business Journal reported, and will be providing all of the project's equity.

Free office space in the nation's capital is on the rise, with ten percent now vacant, according to a recent report by C.B. Richard Ellis.

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