Howard and its partners will transform the 1.85-acre site, currently used as parking lots for the university, into a 10-story building with up to 500 residential units, 27,000 sq. ft. of retail and 246 below-grade parking spaces, including amenities for Howard’s community members. (Photo courtesy of The Dig)
Howard University in Washington, D.C., announced Sept. 20 that it is partnering with three development companies to construct a sparkling mixed-use building next to its main campus in Washington, D.C.'s historic Shaw neighborhood.
The plan is the latest real estate initiative in the university's Campus Master Plan, according to The Dig, Howard's news service.
The college is working in cooperation with Lowe, a leading national real estate investment, development and management firm in Los Angeles; FLGA, a Washington-area minority developer; and D.C.-based firm Davenport Group.
Howard and its partners will transform the 1.85-acre site, currently used as parking lots for the university, into a 10-story building with up to 500 residential units, 27,000 sq. ft. of retail and 246 below-grade parking spaces, including amenities for Howard's community members.
"We are thrilled to partner with another best-in-class team that will build on the momentum of our Campus Master Plan," said university President Wayne A. I. Frederick. "This project will deliver much-needed housing and retail space that will serve Howard students, faculty, staff and visitors, as well as our neighbors in the community. Through this initiative, we are proud to support the district's goal of building 36,000 new homes by 2025 to combat rising housing costs."
In a statement, Lowe's Executive Vice President Mark Rivers added, "Our team is working closely with Howard University to develop and execute plans and programs for the parcel that are consistent with the university's mission to be a supportive resource for and contributor to the surrounding community, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusivity. This includes a robust set of mission-oriented objectives to provide exposure and opportunities for Howard students to careers in real estate, architecture, engineering and hospitality management as well as opportunities for minority-owned firms to participate in the development of the project."
Project One of Several to Restore Duke District
This mixed-use project — along with others Howard is delivering with its development partners in the vicinity — fulfills and expands on the vision for the Howard Town Center Area Sub-District outlined in the District of Columbia's DUKE Framework, a plan to restore the historic community as a cultural destination, The Dig noted Sept. 20.
Howard is currently referring to this area as the Duke District, a nod to the framework and the neighborhood's past as the heart of an important economic, cultural, social and institutional center of a proud and accomplished African American community, most of which was affiliated with Howard University and its hospital.
In addition, the new effort will build on Howard's reintegration of the historic street grid by featuring a public plaza along the future extension of W Street.
"This project is another example of Howard's strategy to utilize long-term ground lease structures that preserve the institution's real estate portfolio while allowing it to reinvest in its academic facilities," explained Anthony Freeman, a real estate executive and head of Real Estate Development and Capital Asset Management (REDCAM) at Howard.
Freeman noted that per the Howard Forward strategic plan, the institution is planning to deliver over three million square feet of development in the Duke District and create "a vibrant, connected neighborhood" while building on the momentum of Howard's other nearby projects.
The transaction is part of a strategic initiative by Howard to maximize the value of the school's real estate portfolio. The Dig reported that the university has assembled a dedicated team of industry leaders in real estate, finance and law to further the initiative, including Hayat Brown and Lerch Early & Brewer.
The Lowe-led team is undertaking the development in collaboration with USAA Real Estate, with which Lowe also developed the recently completed Park + Ford apartment and office property, and the National Science Foundation, both in Alexandria, Va.
Construction on Howard's new mixed-use facility is projected to commence in the fall of 2023.
Howard a Prestigious College
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university made up of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The university has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients.
It also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States.
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