Location
Washington, DC

Client
Potomac Development Partners, LLC and Lowe Enterprises, Inc.

Service Type

Project Type

Size
Office: 72,000 sf
Retail: 5,000 sf

Parking: 31 spaces

Completion
2008

Awards
2008 Washington Business Journal, Best Real Estate Deals, Best Rehab/Renovation

2021 L Street was an existing 8-story office building with small 7,380 sf floor plates, outdated mechanical system, toilet rooms and public spaces. Potomac Development Partners asked Hickok Cole Architects to reposition and expand the building from a traditional multi-tenant office building into an office/condo building. Hickok Cole reskinned the building with a new curtain wall which brought 2021 L Street into the 21st century. Due to project timeline constraints and cost implications, the general contractor brought in an out-of-state glazing contractor early in the process to provide design assistance, reduce the lead time and keep costs down.

Hickok Cole also reconfigured the core; replaced all MEP systems; and added two new floors. The architects captured additional area with an addition and new façade on the rear of the building facing a public alley. This approach required several variances and waivers from the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) including a waiver from the required rear yard setback. The BZA also granted certain building code exceptions.

Adding two floors presented the project team with several issues. Working without reliable construction documents regarding the footings or the bearing capacity of soils, the project team established a base line—through a combination of test pits, x-rays and pressure tests—from which structural design could proceed. The most economical solution entailed the expanding of existing foundations and joining them with a continuous strap beam.