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District of Columbia Office of Planning
Mount Vernon Triangle Action Agenda
March 23, 2004




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  • Negotiating a Reality-based Plan for the City’s Newest Neighborhood
  • A Public-Private Partnership to create a Neighborhood that Works: providing a brand new community of downtown residents with amenities and services – such as a retail street and grocery store; and a well defined, well landscaped system of streets and open spaces


Creating a vibrant new downtown neighborhood in Washington DC

The Mount Vernon Triangle is a rapidly emerging new neighborhood near the heart of downtown Washington. Located on 30 acres of under-built land with great redevelopment promise, the Triangle is bounded by New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey Avenues and is situated just east of the new Washington Convention Center and City Museum at Mount Vernon Square. Surrounded by new developments under construction at Mount Vernon Square and along Massachusetts Avenue, several projects are already in progress within the Triangle, and others are not far behind.

In light of this momentum, City agencies, property owners, and the community have come together in an unusual partnership to create a vision and a development framework for a vibrant new residential and mixed-use neighborhood. This is a framework of great streets, neighborhood gateways, and activity centers, such as a new park and public plaza. They have also agreed to a five-point action strategy to ensure that this vision can be achieved quickly and with lasting benefit to all City residents.

The Mount Vernon Triangle has the potential to be lively and diverse, to contain a mixture of housing, workplaces, shopping, culture, and unique public spaces. This could include 4,000-5,000 new housing units, 1-2 million square feet of office space, 500-800 hotel rooms, 50,000 to 1000,000 square feet of cultural uses, 80,000-120,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, and 50,000 to 100,000 square feet of open space.

The Triangle has the potential to benefit from a confluence of new urban housing demand, arts, and institutions to create a competitive advantage attracting new residents and businesses to the District of Columbia. As a largely unbuilt area, it also presents a rare opportunity to create a landmark neighborhood for the City, with the innovative and exceptional design of its architecture and public spaces.

Consensus goals and guiding principles

Together, District officials, area property owners, and the community have established target objectives for the Mount Vernon Triangle’s development. These are to:

  • Recognize the importance of residential development and retail to foster a "living downtown"
  • Respond to current downtown housing market demands of empty-nesters, young professionals and non-traditional families, while still providing options for parents with children
  • Create a flexible urban design framework which accommodates a mixture of residential and commercial development
  • Promote affordable housing and neighborhood amenities; protect existing communities and their institutions
  • Provide locations for nonprofit institutions and non-traditional, innovative businesses
  • Welcome smaller-scale performing arts, museum and gallery spaces
  • Connect to adjoining residential neighborhoods and to the growing downtown
  • Focus public and private actions to accelerate the Triangle’s development, expand the District’s tax base, create jobs, and enhance values

A framework of great places

The Mount Vernon Triangle is envisioned as a distinctive urban neighborhood containing:

  • A diverse population of residents, workers, and visitors
  • A core of arts, retail, and cultural activities
  • Active building ground floors and street life
  • A generous public realm of streetscapes, parks and plazas
  • Innovative contemporary architecture and landscape design

A flexible urban design framework accommodates mixed-use development and is composed of great streets, activity centers, and gateways:

5th Street:
This is the Triangle’s shopping street, connecting to the Mount Vernon neighborhood and the downtown. It is the location of a plaza at the 5th and K intersection and Park Reserve "gateways" at Massachusetts and New York Avenues.

K Street:
K Street’s wide sidewalks accommodate a gracious linear park linking Mount Vernon Square to the Triangle’s new neighborhood park and community facility.

Residential Streets:
Quieter streets in the eastern portion of the Triangle are good locations for green residential streets with individual stoops and sidewalk gardens.

The Avenues:
The Avenues offer institutions and other uses a great Washington address. With a rhythm of grand entries and generous landscaping, these great formal streets traverse the City from east to west and anchor the Triangle in the L’Enfant plan.

Coordinating public and private actions to implement the vision

1st Actions in progress:
1. Placemaking Design Recommendations  [MVT Action Agenda Document]
2. Overlay Zoning for Active Streets [Task Force & OP Drafting Overlay Zoning]
3. Coordination of Capital Improvements  [RFPs for Street/Open Space Design & Transport Study]
4. Development of Public Priority Sites [Wax Museum Site Developer Selection]
5. Creating a Management Entity  [CID]

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Fact Sheet for Mount Vernon Triangle

  • 15 blocks (between New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts Avenues, NW)
  • 30 acres of land and 4 acres of air rights
  • 1.4 million square feet of land and air rights
  • 800,000 square feet of land to build on
  • Large owners of undeveloped property
  Land Owned Commercial Build Out (Est) Residential Build Out (Est)
DC Government 168,000 50,000 SF (retail) 1,200 units
Lowe Team 139,000 109,000 SF (retail) 623
Steuart Investments 135,000 600,000 SF (office/hotel)
30,000 SF (retail)
Wilkes Company 74,000 440,000 (office)
40,000 (retail)
Trammell Crow 63,000 250,000 SF (office)
10,000 SF (retail)
Douglas Development 57,000 230,000 SF (office/hotel) 350
Quadrangle Development 54,000 225,000 SF (office) 330
Miscellaneous Smaller Owners 110,000 660,000 SF (office/hotel) 650
TOTAL 800,000 2,345,000 SF (office or hotel)
239,000 SF (retail)
4,713 units
  • Developed property
  Land Owned Commercial Build Out Residential Build Out
Bush Construction 230,000 10,000 SF (retail) 450 (Low Income Primarily)
Bible Way Church 80,000 NA NA
Golden Rule Apartments 67,000 NA 119 (Senior Apartments)
Dweck Properties 55,000 384,000 (office) 0
Douglas Development 35,000 216,000 (office) 0
JBGCos/CG Investments 33,000 220 hotel rooms 246
2nd Baptist Church 10,000 NA NA
Miscellaneous 58,000 NA NA
TOTAL 600,000 600,000 (off8ce) 815

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Mount Vernon Triangle Stakeholders

Office of Planning

Andy Altman
Lara Belkind
Toni Griffin
Ellen McCarthy
Patricia Zingsheim


Ted Carter
Jim Noteware
Ruth Uchiyama

MVT Alliance

CG Investments
Greg Fazakerley

Dweck Properties
Dan Schneider

Douglas Development
Douglas Jemal

The JBG Companies
Stewart Bartley
Matt Blocher

Quadrangle Development Corporation
Bob Gladstone

Steuart Investment Company
Guy Steuart III

The Wilkes Company
Sandy Wilkes

Trammell Crow Company
Bob Murphy
Ryan Wade

Other Significant Property Owners in the Triangle

Bible Way Church
Yvonne Williams, Chair of Board of Trustees

Bush Construction (Museum Square, Carmel Place Apts.)
Andy Viola

Lowe Team for Wax Museum Site
Marc Dubick, Lowe

Pam Bundy, Bundy Development
Adrian Washington, Neighborhood Development Company

Mount Carmel Baptist Church
Pastor Joseph Norman Evans

National Public Radio (member of the Downtown BID)
Maury Schlesinger

Properties That Border the Triangle

Meridian at Gallery Place (Paradigm Development)
Stan Sloter

400 Mass Condominiums (Faison Development/Douglas Development)
Don Deutsch

Mass Court (Pritzker Realty)
Richard Boales

Alliance Staff

From Downtown BID
Rich Bradley
Gerry Widdicombe
Karen Sibert

Marketing Team
Carol Felix
Susan Morris

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Momentum in the Triangle

  1. Development is happening NOW!
    • JBG/CG Investments’ Sovereign House Apartments---246 units opening July, 2004
    • JBG/CG Investments’ Hampton Court Hotel---220 rooms opening December, 2004
    • South side of Massachusetts Avenue has three new residential buildings
      • Meridian at Gallery Place—462 apartments opened October 2003 (Paradigm)
      • Mass Court---371 apartments opened March 2004 (Pritzker)
      • 400 Mass---257 condominiums now selling and opening July 2003 (Faison)
  2. NCRC is using the Wax Museum site to develop a catalytic project
    • Grocery store—55,000 SF
    • 54,000 of other neighborhood retail
    • 623 residential units (476 condos and 202 apartments)
    • 821 parking spaces
    • Plan to break ground within 12 months of finalizing transaction
  3. Formation of the Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District to manage the Triangle’s public spaces and promote the Triangle’s development.
    • Services to start in late April or early May
    • Initial focus on Safety, Homelessness, Marketing, Planning and Cleaning
    • Budget to grow from initial $150,000 per year to $600,000 as Triangle develops
  4. Finalizing a Retail Zoning Overlay that focuses on the intersection of 5th and K Streets:
    • 14 foot clear spaces
    • Frequent street level building entrances
    • No curb cuts along 5th and K Streets
    • Large window requirements
    • Include an occupancy grace period so retail can come in when demand is there
  5. Beginning transportation and streetscape design studies using $4.7 million in District appropriated capital funds.
  6. More development is coming SOON!
    • Wilkes/Quadrangle partnership to break ground in 2004 on 90-unit condo project at 4th and Massachusetts Avenue
    • Trammell Crow is finalizing its land assemblage for I Street/4th Street/Mass Avenue block
    • Steuart Investments is heading to the Zoning Commission proposing more commercial space AND more residential space
    • 5th and Eye Street RFP should go out within 12 months

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