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WASHINGTON, DC-It is hard to top a week like NoMa had last week. The submarket landed two very big leases that essentially gave the green light to two multimillion-dollar building projects.

These are, of course, the Department of Justice’s decision to lease 521,000 sf at Two Constitution Square–a 12-story, 625,000-sf Gold LEED building that will be developed by Bethesda, MD-based StonebridgeCarras for $250 million, now that it has secured the DoJ lease. The day prior to Thursday’s DoJ announcement, National Public Radio revealed it was under contract to buy 1111 N. Capitol St. from J Street Development. The media company’s decision to opt for a NoMa location–the Ballpark District and Silver Spring, MD were also on the short list–will kick off a huge development project as NPR plans to build convert the historic 174,058-sf flex-industrial building into a 10-story office building that is more than 400,000 sf. Some 78,000 sf of the original building will be incorporated into the new building.

NoMa, it should be pointed out now, was hardly on the mental map of most DC developers a few short years ago. This past week has, if it hadn’t already, clinched its status as an up-and-coming area for the District. Most of its wins thus far have been in the office category. The next wave of announcements though–many of which are expected to be during the spring–will likely be in the retail category.

For instance, there are signs that one of the submarket’s best kept secrets–now that the DoJ lease is out of the bag–will be revealed soon; namely which “high-end” grocery store will be setting up operations at the Constitution Square development.

Besides Two Constitution Square, the first phase of the project also includes One Constitution Square, which will offer 340,000 sf of office, a residential building with 440 apartment units, and 80,000 sf of retail–including a planned 50,000-sf high-end grocery store. “It will be the first grocery store in NoMa,” NoMa BID president Liz Price tells GlobeSt.com.

There is also another 4,000 sf of retail available to lease at the ancillary 8,000-sf building just outside the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters. In January the first tenant there was revealed; Price says that Capitol Retail Group and LeDroit Park Development Co. will be announcing at least one more within a month. Also, at One NoMa Station, brokerage firm Rappaport is talking to national retailers as well as local quick service food operators and expects to announce something by the summer, according to Price.

Then there is the Marriott Courtyard under development. Also represented by Rappaport, it has 10,000 sf of retail. “It is actively targeting a sit down restaurant–which will be another first for NoMa,” Price says.

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