- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 13, 2004

District planners are seeking companies to build a development of retail and restaurants attached to the planned New York Avenue Metro station.

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development said it will sell a 30,000-square-foot plot of land at Florida Avenue and Second Street NE that is undeveloped but would surround the Metro station, expected to open by the end of this year.

Planners said they are looking for an array of restaurants and stores to cater to commuters using Metro, as well as area residents.

The development is part of a broader redevelopment effort known as “NoMa,” for “north of Massachusetts Avenue,” which includes Mount Vernon Triangle to the west, the new headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives at New York Avenue and First Street NE, and other retail and office buildings spread over more than 10 city blocks.

More than 2 million square feet of commercial space are planned south of the Florida Avenue and Second Street site, and the area is also being considered for a baseball stadium if Major League Baseball chooses to relocate the Montreal Expos to the District.

The District said it prefers ground-floor retail and restaurants for the site, because it complements office and residential development already under way nearby. Planners also said they would accept live/work units, office space for small start-up companies, or a cultural component, such as a small museum or theater.

The chosen development team would be expected to work with Metro on the plan. Ideally, planners are hoping for retail or restaurant space that serves as part of the entrance to the Metro station.

Development teams will be graded on a 100-point scale, with points awarded for experience and financial backing, the quality of the overall plan, the proposed architecture and the amount of the bid for the project. Teams will also score points if they work with minority and female-owned businesses, and would be expected to hire D.C. residents as at least 50 percent of its project work force.

A meeting to discuss the proposed development will be hosted by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development on May 21.

In other news …

• The Senate voted to keep the “rehab credit” portion of the Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, which is designed to provide incentives for developers to revitalize rather than demolish older buildings. The rehab credit applies to Main Street-type commercial buildings that are not officially designated as historic. The Senate had considered sunsetting that portion of the program, but decided to keep it after strong lobbying by preservationists.

• BBI Biotech Research Laboratories signed an 11-year lease with MIE Properties Inc. for 65,160 square feet in the Riverside Technology Park in Frederick. Cushman and Wakefield helped broker the sale on behalf of BBI. Terms were not disclosed.

• Trizec Properties announced three new leases totaling 50,000 square feet at its Sunrise Technology Park in Reston. The largest lease was for 10 years and 36,585 square feet by Government Scientific Source Inc., a distributor of scientific laboratory equipment.

Property Lines runs Fridays. Tim Lemke can be reached at [email protected] or 202/636-4836.

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