We’re getting to the point in winter where, every once in a while, out of the blue, will come a sunny day that almost coerces you into believing that the worst is over; Spring has sprung. And while we’re not there yet (curse that little groundhog), there’s still enough construction happening around the District to give us all hope that it won’t be all February-ish forever. And, for now, I’ll take that (though I must admit I prefer chirping birds to jackhammers). While there are many projects that are trudging full-force through winter, there are definitely some especially monstrous ones making strides in the midst of the coldest months. One of those projects is Midtown Center.
Midtown Center is destined to be a public space mecca for Washington. The project is coming together at the hands of Carr Properties, alongside SHoP Architects and Clark Construction. First and most excitingly, the 90,000 square-foot site is going to be a center point in the middle of DC’s workday – a place where the public can enjoy roughly 44,000 square feet of retail space, along with space where a substantial portion of the workforce will be able to hunker down and get stuff done. Retail will anchor the building on the main floor, and office space will exist above –– plus a 5,000 square foot rooftop terrace and shared conference spaces.
The vision, as described to Business Wire over a year ago, is for this project to “transform the area surrounding 15th and L Streets into a vibrant 24/7 location. Midtown Center will be a new hub of activity in the center of the City that will offer a great work environment and a tremendous street level dining experience.” The area is already rich with buzzing historical energy, thanks to the fact that the project is taking place on location of The Washington Post’s former home ( the Post is now located at One Franklin Square).
In the future, those who shop at Midtown Center will surely love the experience, but for those who work there, the amenity list is truly something else. Within the midst of cubicles and conference rooms will be a 8,3000 Square foot fitness center, large bike room, rooftop with views across downtown, and plenty of formal and informal dining experiences available for a convenient lunch break.
Like many developments taking place around the district, Midtown’s Center battle for existence has not been quick and painless. The first inkling of this project occurred as far back as 2015, when Fannie Mae (the company that will be filling a majority of the office space built) first proposed the idea. Fannie Mae’s relocation to this new building will mean that around 2.2 million square feet of office space within the new development is spoken for long term, since the company signed a 15-year lease (with option to renew).
If the project stays on track, Midtown Center will hopefully be a buzzing hotspot within the city by June of this year. On the Center’s already active website, the description is enough to get anybody who might happen to pass through its walls excited:
“Boasting a beautifully landscaped public plaza and stunning architecture, including a unique copper clad façade, this central corner location transforms the neighborhood and city. Located at 15th and L Streets, Midtown Center is the nexus of where Washington works and lives. Trophy office buildings, first-class hotels and proximity to the White House define Midtown Center by day. By night, Midtown Center comes to life with its proximity to Logan Circle, Shaw, and the 14th Street Corridor.”
For those who buy into the hype and are eager to keep track of Midtown Center’s progress, Carr Properties has a time lapse construction cam. In the mean time, I’ll be chasing down that groundhog and counting down the days until summer…