“transforming a seven-acre site into a cityscape that will span three blocks and reunite the East End and Capitol Hill”

I-395 at 3rd and Massachusetts Ave, NW

From a press release:

“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Property Group Partners to break ground on Capitol Crossing, a $1.3 billion project in Ward 6 that will transform a seven-acre site surrounding the I-395 Center Leg Freeway into a cityscape that will span three blocks and reunite the East End and Capitol Hill communities in the District of Columbia.

“Capitol Crossing represents a major milestone for economic and neighborhood growth in the District of Columbia,” said Mayor Bowser. “I am excited to break ground on a project that will have a positive and lasting impact on our residents, bringing good paying jobs to the District, and helping to create more pathways to the middle class.”


The development of Capitol Crossing is expected to create 4,000 construction jobs and 8,000 permanent jobs, all while dramatically improving the utility infrastructure supporting local neighborhoods. Once completed, annual new property tax revenue of $40 million is expected. Capitol Crossing will deliver almost 70,000 square feet of retail space, over 1,100 parking spaces, and 440 bicycle parking spaces. New I-395 entrance and exit ramps will improve traffic flows and make travel along Massachusetts Avenue safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Infrastructure will be upgraded for the surrounding neighborhoods.

“Residents have never seen anything like the Capitol Crossing construction project, but it will directly benefit District residents,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. “I look to today’s groundbreaking to create new jobs and investment in the District, ending with the transformation of an underutilized public asset into a brand new neighborhood for residents with commercial amenities. I look forward to working closely with the development team and to keeping District residents informed.”

The project will feature state-of-the-art office buildings punctuated by garden promenades in a new “eco-district” that will achieve a “beyond LEED Platinum” certification.

Property Group Partners’ development of Capitol Crossing is the largest private development currently underway in Washington, D.C. Once completed, the development is expected to provide a minimum of 50 affordable housing units at 80% Area Median Income (AMI). During construction, Adas Israel Synagogue will be moved and integrated into the new neighborhood adjacent to a new Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington Museum. The historic Holy Rosary Church will be fully integrated into the new community, and its rectory will be restored to its original position.

Utility relocation and site preparation commenced in 2014. Platform construction is expected to begin this coming August. Following construction of the new Massachusetts Avenue ramp to I-395, the 200 Massachusetts Avenue building will be constructed, with delivery expected in 2017. Delivery of the following four buildings and reconnection of F Street and G Street Northwest will follow through 2019.

34 Comment

  • maxwell smart

    Transforming DC, one generic glass box at a time.

    • if you lived in 1920, you’d be saying “transforming dc, one boring row house at a time.” haters gonna hate.

  • The buildings are about as boring as can be, but it really is a great project for our city.

  • I wonder how four Class-A office buildings downtown will “create more pathways to the middle class”?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      “4,000 construction jobs and 8,000 permanent jobs”?

    • I would imagine a lot of people will be working in those buildings and the retail shops that accompany them.

      • Those aren’t middle-class jobs, for the most part. Especially not here in D.C.

        • You should open a factory and solve that problem.

          • Factory jobs weren’t always middle class jobs either, and they didn’t become middle class jobs through the magic of the market.

          • Actually, they did (though magic isn’t the operative term here). Ford realized that in order to sell his cars, there must be enough folks to be able to afford them so he paid a higher wage than “necessary” at the time.

        • No, but it most certainly is a pathway to the middle class for many children of the people who will be mopping the floors and cleaning all of those windows. Their parents can try to make sure their children get a good education and have more opportunities to enter the middle class. My parents were working class who did that for me and my siblings working in jobs people would never consider middle class jobs.

        • Frankly the path to the middle class these days is tech support. DC will never have a manufacturing economy again and there aren’t that many long term reasonable paying jobs in retail or food service. There are a ton of offices that need people to set up email, plug in printers, and clean malware though. For local youth who’s prospect of college education looks slim, DC should really be training Microsoft technician certificates and SQL database administrators.

    • jobs numbers are usually red-herrings and I think its reasonable to take issue with use of the word “create” in this situation. more accurately, this building will house 8000 new jobs not create new firms that employ 8000 people.

  • Construction on that Mass Ave ramp needs to accelerate. Commuting home suuuucks now.

    • Uh, you might as well find a new way home for the next two years. And WMATA needs to seriously reconsider the bus routes that have already been moved, but are often snarled during rush hour through that general area.

      It is going to be a mess for a while, but this is probably one of the most important development projects in DC in the 15 years I have lived here.

      Now, if DC can just figure out how to fix North Capitol Street.

      • It’s too bad they can’t reconfigure the road so that a two-way protected bike lane from north Cap to 7th Street on the north side of Mass Ave would be feasible. Biking on Mass from MT Vernon to Union Station during certain times of the day is terrifying.

        • Serious question – why the heck are you biking on Mass Ave? That’s an exercise in futility.

        • Oh man! I thought that was just me. That stretch is like Death Race 2000. It is MISERABLE and dangerous to try and enjoy by bicycling on Mass. Ave any area west of the Union Station

  • Super excited about this project. NOT excited about the look of those buildings. Did the developer really PAY an architect to draw those up?

    • Here’s a drawing of a glass box that me and my team of expert architects just billed you 500 hours to draft. That’ll be 250,000 please.

      • What architecture is successful for a 12 story building? I keep hearing people rag on the uptick in glass boxes in DC, but can you point out a few examples of amazing (and realistic in that it is affordable) architecture that applies to a 12 story building? I just don’t get it. A 12 story block sized building is going to be a big box, whether it is glass or something else.

        • And a taller one will be just as boring, if not moreso (just look in any suburb here with high rises). the cost/sq ft increases with building height. DC’s track record with name architects isn’t great–the MLK library recycles themes Mies used to better effect in both smaller and taller buildings and the East Wing of the National Gallery has more in common with a shopping mall than a great museum, but there are highly skilled architects who could bring better design to DC.

      • Agree with Duponter. I’m just happy to have this project at all. We have plenty of nice looking buildings. I don’t mind filling in an open pit freeway with inoffensive glass boxes

  • I definitely think this will transform this area – though only after driving people batty because of the traffic interruption. While the architecture is pedestrian at best, making the are on one side of the highway feel connected to the other will make that particular area less dead.

  • All that for $1.3 billion – yeah, right! This project will easily go way over budget.

  • Isn’t Adas Israel in Cleveland Park?

  • Great merciful crap, those buildings are boring. Why do architects have so much trouble building within the existing look of a city? Stop trying to be avant garde and make something beautiful and appropriate. This is a historic East Coast city. It’s DC, not Dallas.

    • Well, we raised anything historic and beautiful in that area decades ago, so there’s not much historical context there now. Also, manufactured glass panels are much cheaper than a lot of manual labor to lay bricks/carve out interesting limestone facades. That’s the actual reason for so many boring glass boxes propping up across DC.

  • The drawings do not make me dream. Another new development I have less than zero desire to go to. However – yay for jobs!

  • justinbc

    Break ground? What do they call all the works that’s been happening there for months?

    • *for a year. Apparently the work started a year ago. The press release above notes that was utility work and site prep and not the actual construction. I guess the ground breaking was the actual beginning of construction.

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