The MidAtlantic region saw significant growth in residential construction in 2016, a trend that is likely to continue in 2017 as young professionals move into downtown districts.
The District of Columbia alone is seeing record residential construction rates, according to the 2016-17 DC Development Report. The report found that, as of August, more than 14,800 units were being construction or renovated, which was up from 13,294 units under construction as of the same period in 2015.
The report said 2016 marked the third-straight record-setting year for residential development, with 13.7 million sq ft of projects expected to be delivered. The report also said that “2017 is expected to see nearly 13 million sq ft.”
Renovations and Restorations
While the D.C. area’s residential market has been a solid for construction, the district’s office market is reliant on renovations because the amount of land on which to build is limited.
One of the most unusual renovation jobs completed in 2016 was D.C.’s Uline Arena. The site of the Beatles’ first U.S. concert and President Eisenhower’s first inaugural ball, the arena was abandoned for years before it was converted into 245,000 sq ft of multi-level office and retail space, including a D.C. flagship store for REI, the outdoor-gear retailer. The project was completed by ENR MidAtlantic's Contractor of the Year DAVIS Construction.
Moving to the 'Burbs
Major metropolitan city centers in the region aren’t the only areas for urban activity anymore. This year also saw a trend towards urban-type “live, work, play” developments in the suburbs of Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
For example, Tysons Corner in northern Virginia has approximately 42 million sq ft of office, residential and commercial space being developed near four new Metro stops. Tysons’ largest project is the new Capital One Bank headquarters. The 470-ft-tall building would be the second-tallest structure in the area—only the Washington Monument is higher. The complex will include residential units and a Wegmans supermarket.
The construction boom on Baltimore’s waterfront continued in 2016, as Exelon opened its new office tower at Harbor Point and the newly renovated Baltimore Visitor Center opened.
This year also saw the groundbreaking for a 44-story tower at 414 Light St. Crews also completed the exterior in December for a occupied renovation project that added nine stories to the existing 22-story Four Seasons Hotel. The team added 125,000 sq ft to the existing structure, including an entire floor for a new restaurant in the middle of the building.
Baltimore's success should continue into the New Year as ground is expected to be broken on the $5.5-billion Port Covington redevelopment, which will include a 216-acre mixed-use development and a 50-acre Under Armour corporate campus.
Under Armour CEO and Kevin Plank, the Sagamore Development Co.'s owner, also bought Harbor Boating Inc., which operates Baltimore's Water Taxi, this year. Plank plans to build nine new water-taxi stops.