Five Big DC-Area Commercial Real Estate Projects in the Pipeline for 2021


Like elsewhere in the U.S., commercial real estate development in the Washington, D.C., area slowed dramatically in 2020 due largely to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s expected to be slow in 2021, too, compared with previous years (and even with a new administration coming to town).  

Still, there are some prominent projects in the pipeline that are on track to deliver next year. Below are five of the most notable, including a new office tower in Bethesda, Md., and a new three-building complex in Arlington, Va.

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City Homes Eckington

Grosvenor Americas is developing City Homes Eckington, a collection of 45 multi-story residences featuring distinct architecture and interior design elements across one-, two-, and three-bedroom offerings.

The development is anticipated to deliver in the spring.

“City Homes is one of the most unique boutique condominium properties to come onto the D.C. market in recent years,” Jonathan Carr, senior vice president of development at Grosvenor on City Homes, told Commercial Observer. “Each City Homes residence features at least one private outdoor space in the form of a terrace or balcony, as well as sweeping views that connect residents to their surrounding community.”

Located at 1500 Harry Thomas Way NE in D.C., the development will be part of JBG Smith (JBGS) and LCOR’s larger Quincy Lane Project, which upon completion next year, will contain four residential buildings and 80,000 square feet of curated retail.

“It was designed to fit seamlessly into the community, as well as complement its continued growth and development,” Carr said. “The project combines residential and commercial offerings, and features a ‘woonerf,’ or shared street design, in order to give residents greater access to the community. It offers a unique combination of the comforts of home and the excitement of the city.” 

City Homes is centrally located in Eckington, one of D.C.’s oldest and more historic neighborhoods. It’s also near NoMa and Union Market, which include numerous retailers, restaurants and entertainment options. 

“Residents will also have access to newly completed [Alethia] Tanner Park and the Metropolitan Branch Trail,” Carr said. “City Homes is located within minutes of Downtown D.C., and quick access to Metro and I-395 puts everything the greater region has to offer right at the owner’s fingertips.”


Crossing, an upscale apartment community at 949 First Street SE that Tishman Speyer is developing, will offer a total of 818 apartment residences across 46 unique floor plans ranging from studios to three bedrooms, plus 24 penthouses in 15 spacious layouts.

Modern architectural elements are met through the building’s inverted X-shape, creating features like Bond Alley, a mixed-use passageway connecting the two buildings. Crossing delivered its East Tower late this year, and the West Tower is scheduled for completion by December 2021. 

“The amenities at Crossing are unparalleled,” Jeffrey Chod, Tishman Speyer’s regional director for Washington D.C., told Commercial Observer. “The building doesn’t stop at must-haves like a rooftop infinity-edge pool or a podcasting recording suite, but also features a 6,000-square-foot wellness suite spa complete with lap pool, sauna and private treatment rooms. In addition to the amenities, Crossing has put together a package of exclusive services and partnerships that residents can take advantage of to improve their quality of life, including spa treatments and more.”

The property is in walking distance to The Yards, Washington Nationals Stadium, and the many restaurants and bars that the Capitol Riverfront has to offer.

“Navy Yard is one of the most exciting areas in the city and Crossing’s placement matches its energy perfectly,” Chod said. “In addition to its proximity to entertainment, Crossing is one of the largest residential offerings in Navy Yard, which gives it unmatched views of the district from its rooftop.”

The Silva 

A joint venture between EastBanc and Mitsui Fudosan America is developing The Silva, a 172-unit apartment building, which is slated to be ready next summer.

Located at 1630 Columbia Road NW in D.C., The Silva, which is Latin for “grove” or “forest,” will provide residents with outdoor amenities that offer a breath of fresh air in the middle of the city.

“Inspired by nearby Rock Creek Park, the design team sought to create a lush retreat in the dense, urban environment of Adams Morgan,” said Hope Richardson, vice president of development at EastBanc. “The Silva has a forested courtyard with several fire pits and secluded nooks to enjoy a coffee, as well as an expansive landscaped rooftop with an infinity-edge pool, areas for outdoor dining and grilling, and panoramic city views.” 

Residents of The Silva will benefit from the area’s myriad dining and entertainment options, including the LINE Hotel, multiple grocery stores and popular retail stores. 

“Adams Morgan is an eclectic neighborhood with historic architecture, vibrant nightlife, and standout restaurants and retail offerings representing a broad diversity of cultures,” Richardson said. “It has an active, organized community and a walkable village feel. The Silva is positioned between Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park and Rock Creek Park, the urban gathering place and the wild retreat, making for a nice balance between city living and access to nature.” 

The Highlands

Penzance is developing The Highlands, a three-tower luxury project located at 1555 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Va., expected to be completed by summer.

The towers are comprised of the Pierce, offering upscale condominiums; the Aubrey, consisting of first-rate apartments; and Evo, which features versatile living spaces.

“Taking its name from its geographic location as the highest point in Rosslyn, The Highlands offers an unmatched level of luxury living in Northern Virginia,” John E. Kusturiss III, senior vice president of development at Penzance, told CO. “Its three-tower design and distinctive position make it a true standout addition to the Rosslyn neighborhood. We wanted to take advantage of the impeccable views that you can only get in Rosslyn.” 

Residents can look out on views of the Potomac River, Northern Virginia countryside, and D.C. skyline.

Sitting alongside the three towers will be a reimagined 26,000-square-foot public park with community programming and the revitalized Arlington County Fire Station No. 10. 

“Poised to be pillars of neighborhood activity, these projects were funded by a public-private partnership with Penzance and Arlington County to create a close-knit community in the midst of a busy urban environment,” Kusturiss said. “Penzance has been committed to providing elevated spaces that can bring The Highlands community together in elegant and inspiring ways.” 

The Highlands offers direct access to major highways, the Rosslyn and Courthouse Metro stops, and is a quick walk across the bridge to historic Georgetown. Rosslyn is also home to a diverse range of companies from Fortune 500s to small businesses, and an array of popular restaurants and shops.

“We’re also confident that with the upcoming delivery of Amazon (AMZN)’s HQ2, the area’s growth has only just begun,” Kusturiss said.

Avocet Tower 

In Bethesda, Md., Stonebridge is developing Avocet Tower, a 22-story trophy office building at 7373 Wisconsin Avenue, set to deliver in late 2021. 

“We are creating an office environment that is sophisticated, accessible, and thoughtfully designed to be a future-forward workspace that also enhances the health and wellness of its tenants,” Doug Firstenberg, Stonebridge’s founding principal, told CO. “We firmly believe that the workplace is the central component to creating culture at a company, and we look forward to bringing in tenants who can utilize our state-of-the-art amenities, enjoy the surrounding restaurants and retailers, and benefit from the wellness-oriented technologies that are so desired as a result of the pandemic.”

The property will offer sweeping city views, a rooftop terrace, efficient office space, pristine finishes, and LEED Platinum and Wired Certified Platinum ratings.

“We’re seeing that tenants are eager to find the next-generation office environment that meets the highest standards available in building systems, technologies, and amenities to provide the best overall quality of work-life and contribute to the mental and physical wellness of their employees,” Firstenberg said. “Avocet Tower’s trophy office development is a rare find in Bethesda, making it a desirable option for those looking for a sophisticated office environment in a post-pandemic world.” 

Additionally, Avocet Tower’s fully landscaped 10,000-square-foot park at the main entry to the office lobby will bring much-needed green space to downtown Bethesda for both tenants and the general public.

Amy Bowser, executive managing director for Avocet Tower’s leasing agency, JLL (JLL), noted Downtown Bethesda continues to be an appealing location for office in the greater D.C. area, due to its close proximity to an abundant and eclectic mix of destination retail, dynamic living options, and easy access to major roadways and public transit. 

“Avocet Tower is within steps of everything tenants need in order to ease their commute, seamlessly accomplish daily errands, fulfill their dining needs with options ranging from fast casual to fine dining, and balance their work and personal lives,” she said. “In addition, Avocet Tower is conveniently located in close proximity to two Metro lines, Red and future Purple, and major arterial roadways [that] provide convenient transportation options for tenants.”