The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) selected Stonebridge and Rockefeller Group to redevelop its downtown D.C. headquarters site, the Jackson Graham Building (JGB), in the heart of the District’s Gallery Place commercial and entertainment area.

The developer will reposition the building — keeping the current Jackson Graham Building (JGB) structure — and reimagine it as a mixed-use commercial development, including the addition of three floors to the structure. The deal will generate long-term revenue for WMATA through annual payments over the term of the 99-year ground lease agreement.

Stonebridge and Rockefeller were chosen out of 14 highly competitive proposals, exceeding the initial valuation range of $75 million to $125 million for the site. The joint development will be presented to WMATA’s board for their approval.

New Carrollton development plans expanded

Also this week, WMATA will share an updated master plan proposed by Urban Atlantic for an urbanized town center that includes the agency’s future office building at New Carrollton. The plan would add two new building sites in front of the station creating a more attractive, walkable community connected by one of the region’s largest transit hubs with access to WMATA, Amtrak, MARC, Greyhound, and the MTA Purple Line.

The planned changes will maximize development on the site, providing increased revenue potential and an expanded tax base for Prince George’s County, while generating new riders for WMATA.

To accommodate the expansion, the agency would demolish the existing county garage and relocate the bus bays and surface parking lots on the south side of the station into a new 1,900 space parking garage and bus facility. Construction is currently underway on a new multi-family building and the area is home to Kaiser-Permanente, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, 2U, and the Maryland Department of House and Community Development.

Construction of WMATA’s office building is expected to begin at New Carrollton in Fall 2020, with completion by early 2023.

The New Carrollton office is part of the agency’s office consolidation plan that will save $130 million over the next 20 years by reducing the number of office buildings from 10 to four, including a new D.C. Headquarters at L’Enfant Plaza and a new office building near Eisenhower Ave Metro Station.

WMATA put its D.C. headquarters site on the market for a long-term ground lease last year. The building, which is more than 45 years old, has never undergone a major renovation, lacks fire suppression systems, and does not meet current ADA standards. Some critical components of the plumbing, electrical, heat, and air conditioning systems date back to the building’s original construction and cannot remain in service much longer.

The agreement with Stonebridge and Rockefeller to redevelop the JGB site is expected to close in early 2023 after WMATA relocates to its new L’Enfant Plaza headquarters and regional offices.

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