February 20, 2006


Known as the heart of the DC lobbying machine, "K Street" has a reputation as a lifeless 8-to-6 corridor. But redevelopment is coming and the effort is intended to bring some excitement to the area anchored by the busy Farragut North, Farragut West and Mcpherson Square metro stations. Name architects, retail, steel and glass are in the offing.

Similar to the way the Southwest corner of K St. and Connecticut Ave. was transformed other properties on the street will be upgraded. But there are limits to what can be achieved, though, because DC height restrictions mean developers must maximize the developable space, rather than use innovative designs. Like 1700 K expect something snazzy, but not moving beyond the cliche.

Another slight disappointment about 1700 K was the retail that took the space. A Chevy Chase bank, a coffee shop and a jeweler. Nothing all that unusual for K St. and certainly nothing that will add vitality to the area at night or on weekends.

On the drawing board:

  • At the northwest corner of Connecticut and K Bernie Gewirz, Ed Kaplan and Albert Small plan to tear down the existing buildings and put up a 395,000 SF office. The new building was designed by renowned architect James Freed of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Freed was the primary architect behind the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  • Charles E. Smith has tapped German architect Helmut Jahn of Chicago-based Murphy/Jahn to design the new 1925 K St. Jahn has designed the Sony Center in Berlin.

    Anonymous said...

    Are we over building? Do all these new buildings have enough tenants?

    Anonymous said...

    K Street will also benefit--hopefully--from the city's redevelopment the infrastructure (http://www.wmata.com/about/expansion/kst_busway.pdf). I believe the plan entails doing away with the service lanes and adding two landscaped medians containing 2 cross-town bus lanes.

    Anonymous said...

    This is nothing but forced development as I see it. When DC's population actually starts increasing signficantly (when you can actually send your kids to public school there and when you can actually walk around at night), development will naturally follow. Otherwise, this is all phony as DC's population is still decreasing. It seems like they are fixing up an OK area into a "kind of good area". What about K st nw from North Capitol st or actually all the way east to 7th st nw? I bet that hasn't changed for 20 years nor will it change for another twenty.