Skanska’s Big Plans on Pennsylvania Avenue

The global construction group will be erecting a trophy asset five blocks from the White House.

By Gail Kalinoski, Contributing Editor

Skanska USA will begin development of a 250,000-square-foot speculative Class A office and retail building at 2112 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C., now that it has finalized a ground lease with George Washington University for the $126 million project.

The 11-story building, which will also have 10,000 square feet of 2112PennsylvaniaAve-exteriorground-floor retail, will be erected on a 25,000-square-foot parcel owned by GWU and known as Site 75A. In May 2014, the university selected Skanska USA from among a group of bidders to construct a new trophy office building at the site. It is located five blocks from the White House and is one block from the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metrorail station. The building, which is being designed by Gensler, is targeted for LEED Gold certification. It will have a glass curtain wall overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue to offer maximum views of the Washington Monument, Washington National Cathedral, and U.S. Capitol.

Demolition of the existing building on the site will begin soon. The project is expected to be completed by early 2018.

“We look forward to Skanska’s completion of this project, which will not only enhance the Pennsylvania Avenue edge of our campus, but will generate revenue for GW under our ground lease that we will use to support our academic and research missions,” Lou Katz, GW executive vice president & treasurer, said in a prepared statement.

Skanska has contracted with Cushman & Wakefield to market the space for leasing, according to the Washington Business Journal. Skanska Executive Vice President Rob Ward told the business publication the speculative building should appeal to a range of smaller tenants. He also noted there is a lack of new office construction in neighborhood and that Pennsylvania Avenue will still attract tenants.

It is Skanska’s fourth development in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Other projects include 99M Street, SE, an approximately 220,000-square-foot office building in the Capitol Riverfront submarket. The firm is investing about $116 million in the 11-story, Class A office building that will also have ground-floor retail. Another Class A mixed-use project, 88M at Tyber Place, will have 310,000 square feet of office and retail space at 88 M St., NE, in the NoMA neighborhood.

Skanska USA Commercial Development also invests in and develops office and multifamily properties in Boston, Houston and Seattle. The firm has invested approximately $1 billion in nearly a dozen projects in its select markets. Skanska self-finances the majority of its projects and serves as construction manager.