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Design plans for Fannie Mae’s new HQ revealed

The developer/owner, Carr Properties, envisions a 1-million-sf plus mixed-use center with a large retail pavilion.

July 29, 2015 |
Design plans for Fannie Mae’s new HQ revealed

Renderings courtesy SHoP Architects

Earlier this month, Clark Construction, on behalf of the owner Carr Properties, filed applications to raze four buildings in Washington D.C., which include the headquarters of the Washington Post, which is moving to a new location.

That demolition—of two seven-story office buildings, one 10-story building, and a 12-story office building—isn’t scheduled to occur until next year at the earliest.

But Carr—which paid $157.4 million to acquire these properties in March 2014—has already signed Fannie Mae as an anchor tenant for a new development that the developer is planning for this site.

On Monday, Carr Properties filed its plans with the city’s Board of Zoning Adjustments for an 838,480-sf 12-story metal and glass office building. Fannie Mae will lease about 85% of the building’s space and intends to occupy the property in two phases starting in late 2017.

When it relocates, Fannie Mae would be consolidating the 1 million sf its current headquarters takes up. Fannie has announced plans to put that headquarters building, as well as two other buildings, up for sale.

Carr intends to link this building to the nearby Columbia Center—which earlier this month it purchased for $120 million—using a canopy structure that could be as large as 4,000 sf. Overall, the two buildings will consist of 1,252,600 sf. Urban reports that the new building will be constructed to a height of 130 feet as measured from the elevation at the midpoint of the building along 15th Street to the top of the parapet.

The building will feature two wings, separated by a large open and landscaped courtyard. There will be a series of retail pavilions totaling 42,000 sf, and 579 parking spaces on three underground levels.

The architects listed for this project are WDG Architecture and SHoP Architects. The Washington Business Journal observes that this design is similar to the one SHoP designed for Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco.

But initial reaction to the design for D.C. building was decidedly mixed. Several readers commented on Urban Turf’s website that they thought the design was too boxy, and used words like “boring,” “cut-rate,” and “dull” to describe its look. Some readers also seemed peeved that Carr had hired out-of-town architects to design its building.


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