WASHINGTON, DC-Real estate investment firms Kaempfer Co. and Forest City Ent. are partnering with local city officials on the redevelopment of the Waterside Mall as part of the District’s waterfront revitalization project. The 1.1-million-sf building’s revitalization is expected to attract both businesses and tourism traffic to the underutilized area.

In an announcement on the partnership, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Eric Price says “the redevelopment of Waterside Mall by this caliber of development team sends an important signal to the business community that the market believes that the waterfront is a growth area.” It was Kaempfer’s and Forest City’s idea to team with District officials to redevelop the waterfront property. The 30-year old urban renewal era structure is a mixed-use facility with ample accommodations for office and retail tenants. There are two 130-foot towers on the site, as well as a three-story platform of multi-use space.

The public sector/private sector partnership also paves the way for the reopening of 4th Street, SW, a corridor vital to attracting traffic to the area. “The reintroduction of this road is really key,” explains District Office of Planning Project Manager Arthur Jemison. “In a city like ours that is a big grid, circulation is key and the urban renewal design cut circulation at that area, and we need to reintroduce it.”

Part of the revitalization effort includes creating a more inviting atmosphere in the area for both businesses and visitors. Recently, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the District grants to redevelop neighboring affordable housing communities. Jemison notes that “people come here and they know about the National Mall but they don’t know about a lot of things that are great in DC, and one of those things is the waterfront.” A river-walk, among other waterfront attractions, is currently under consideration. The city will push to attract tenants and fill the facility to capacity over the next five years. That push is expected to involve a special focus on government-related businesses.

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