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WASHINGTON, DC-Constitution Square, a planned 2.4-million-square-foot mixed-use project in the NoMa neighborhood is rapidly hitting milestone after milestone. Its next big announcement? Some 20,000 square feet of retail transactions will be announced soon, according to Cassidy & Pinkard Colliers’ broker Darian LeBlanc. Retailers are interested in the project because of the large presence of Department of Justice employees, he tells GlobeSt.com.

Indeed, retailers–specifically day restaurants–have been targeting the submarket precisely because of its growing government presence. Pound Coffee, for instance, was one of the first retailers to ink a deal in the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives headquarters located at New York and Florida avenues in NoMA.

The Justice Department is serving a similar role in the Constitution Square project– essentially anchoring the development and attracting additional tenants–with its full building lease of Two Constitution, a 590,000-square-foot building that topped out last week. Originally, the DoJ was planning to occupy only 521,000 square feet in the building–but it was enough for the StonebridgeCarras to move forward with ground breaking last year.

One Constitution, which topped out in March, has not signed any office pre-leases yet–but it has inked a 50,000-square-foot Harris Teeter lease, NoMa’s first grocery store. All together, phase one of the Constitution Square development will include the two office buildings, 440 apartment units and a stand-alone hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn. The final phases of Constitution Square will include an additional 400,000-square-foot office building and another residential building with approximately 500 units. The seven-acre complex will cover an entire city block bounded by M Street, N Street, 1st Street, and the New York Avenue Metro Station. Both office buildings are being designed by HOK Architects. Clark Construction Group is the general contractor.

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