New 365,000SF Office Building to Be DC’s Greenest

Plans have been unveiled for the development of PNC Place, a 365,000-square-foot office building just blocks from the White House, which the builder says will be Washington, D.C.’s greenest office.The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and Vornado/Charles E. Smith have formed a joint venture, PNC/Vornado L.L.C., to build the property, which will adhere to LEED Platinum standards. “PNC expects this to be the greenest office building in Washington, D.C., with the added benefit of being in one of Downtown’s most desirable locations,” a PNC spokesperson told CPN today. PNC Place (pictured) will sit at 800 17th Street NW in the city’s Central Business District and will become home to PNC’s regional headquarters. The company will occupy a portion of the 12-story structure, leaving approximately 300,000 square feet of Class A office space available for lease; the financial services firm may expand its presence in the building, so the exact amount of space that will be available for lease has not been written in stone. PNC Place will also feature an underground parking facility and 15,000 square feet of retail, a portion of which will be dedicated to a signature PNC Bank Green Branch. Washington, D.C.’s tight office and retail market bode well for the leasing up of the building, as does the green factor. The average office vacancy rate in the District is 6.5 percent, according to a first quarter report by real estate services firm GVA Advantis, and green components are turning tenants’ heads. “Law firm Baker & Daniels has just leased 37,000 square feet at 1050 K Street, and one of the main reasons why they chose to relocate and expand there is the fact that the building will be LEED Gold,” Tonya Ginter, director of research and marketing with GVA Advantis, told CPN today. ” Architecture firm Gensler and green building consultant Paladino & Co. are on board the PNC Place project to direct the incorporation of environmentally friendly features for the pursuit of LEED Platinum certification, the U.S. Green Building Council’s top level of recognition for environmentally sustainable building design. The structure’s list of green elements will include the Eco Lobby, featuring a three-story climate wall for radiant cooling through flowing water; a green roof for the filtering of storm water and the enhancement of energy efficiency; and showers and cycle storage will be provided to encourage tenants’ use of walking and cycling as alternative means of transportation. “We’re starting to see more and more green projects this quarter than ever before, particularly in the District,” Ginter said. She cites a recently completed 200,000-square-foot LEED Gold office property in the Southeast submarket as an example. “The new building at 20 M Street is in one of those new emerging markets; it’s not a market where you typically see green buildings, so it’s a telling sign that there’s going to be more LEED construction.”The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. is overseeing construction of PNC Place and Vornado/PLC expects to open the doors of the building during the second quarter of 2010. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PNC is a diversified financial services firm that provides retail and business banking, as well as a host of specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking; real estate finance and asset-based lending; and wealth and asset management. In the real estate sector, the company carries the distinction of having more LEED-certified buildings than any other company in the world. PNC’s stock opened today at $59. Arlington, Va.-based Vornado/Charles E. Smith, a division of Vornado Realty Trust, is a leading commercial real estate provider in the Washington, D.C., area, with a portfolio of 15.9 million square feet of office space. The company also manages an additional 8 million square feet of office and commercial space on behalf of third parties. Parent company Vornado Realty Trust’s stock opened at $89.91 today.