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WASHINGTON, DC-The Armed Forces Retirement Home has decided to use Charlotte, NC-based Crescent Resources LLC to build a mixed-use redevelopment project on the southeast corner of its Washington campus. The contract is contingent on the completion of the environmental and master plan processes and other last minute negotiations. Robert Zeiller, regional vice president of the Mid-Atlantic, tells GlobeSt.com that development costs will total about $1 billion.

The project calls for the adaptive reuse of nine historic buildings, the development of 300 units of affordable housing and transitional housing for military veterans as well as market-rate rental and condominium units, medical office space, a hotel and retail space. When fully built out, the project will take up 4.5 million sf, or 77 acres, of the AFRH’s Washington campus, which will still operate as a retirement home for US veterans.

The project will be bordered by North Capitol and Irving streets. Catholic University of America, Howard University and the Washington Hospital Center are nearby facilities.

“It is a significant project for the agency – once it is complete it is meant to generate an income stream that will meet the capital needs of the remaining retirement home,” Zeiller says. According to the AFRH, its capital needs total more than $366 million over the next ten years.

According to Zeiller, Crescent Resources’ interpretation of the AFRH’s RFP includes just over 25 acres of open space; 950,000 sf of commercial office; roughly 2.9 million sf of rental, for sale and affordable residential development; about 140,000 sf of neighborhood/convenience retail; a boutique hotel and an assisted living facility. It would be completed in approximately ten years, he says.

Assuming the contract is finalized, the next year and a half will be spent on the entitlement and approval process. Phase one will encompass the adaptive reuse of one of the historical buildings into the boutique hotel, the construction of two residential buildings and the beginning of the office development. Phase one should be complete by 2011 or 2012, he says.

Leasing strategies are part of the current negotiations. “We are not sure if we are building this on spec or pre-lease,” Zeiller says. “However, we have received a lot of interest from potential tenants so I doubt it would be totally on spec.”

Crescent Resources’ partner in this endeavor is Trijan Development, based in Washington, DC.

Crescent Resources is a joint venture of Duke Energy and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund and the company’s management.

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