A new joint venture between Chicago-based Origami Capital Partners and an affiliate of Westport, CT-based Greenfield Partners has launched development of an 85-acre site on Metrorail’s Silver Line less than one mile from Washington Dulles International Airport. The Hub, formerly known as Dulles World Center (DWC), is slated for a billion-dollar buildout to become an iconic, 24-hour mixed-use gateway combining retail, entertainment, multi-family residential, office, and hotel uses.
The Hub is strategically located at the intersection of the Dulles Toll Road and the Route 28 Technology Corridor, adjacent to the future Innovation Center Metro station, which is scheduled to open in 2019-2020. The property is approved for up to 5.5 million square feet of density including 400,000 SF of retail space, 1,265 multifamily residential units, 3.5 million SF of office space, and 350 hotel rooms. The Hub is the largest approved contiguous development site on Metro’s Silver Line.
Aspiring to build on the success of nearby Reston Town Center, The Hub’s new ownership will provide developers the opportunity to purchase land bays approved for office, retail, multifamily and hotel development. Candidates for office space range from high-tech firms located throughout the corridor to GSA (Federal government) tenants. A partially protected 20-acre land bay on The Hub’s western border is suitable for a secured, contained Federal campus with up to one million SF of office space. For hotel guests, the airport will be just one Metro stop or a nine-minute shuttle ride away.
“This is a phenomenal location, just minutes to the airport, which will be visible from The Hub’s new buildings,” said David Bennion, ownership representative. “We envision taller buildings, with spectacular architecture, that will create an exciting environment of innovation, culture, community, and activity.” Within a ten-mile radius of The Hub’s site is a population of over 660,000 people with an average annual household income of $159,000; $17 billion is spent annually in the area on apparel, entertainment, and services.
With over 250,000 cars traveling on Routes 267 and 28 each day, The Hub will provide tremendous branding opportunities for growing companies. “Highly visible signage, walkable amenities, access to Metro, and LEED certification will be appealing to companies looking to attract and retain talented employees,” said office leasing consultant Andy Klaff, Executive Managing Director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF).
The Hub’s focal point will be a central promenade including outdoor recreation, retail, and entertainment space. One level of retail will open to a landscaped outdoor plaza with water features, while a lower level will face the commercial buildings’ street-level stores. The Hub’s lead retail consultant, NGKF Executive Vice President Mitchell Friedel, said that The Hub’s retail amenities will be anchored by up to a dozen full-service restaurants, along with at least one significant entertainment venue that will drive customer traffic during both day and evening hours.
“The Hub’s dynamic mixed-use environment and great public spaces will help attract a variety of first-class retailers and restaurant operators appealing to a broad range of people,” remarked Friedel, who has handled retail leasing for some of the nation’s most successful shopping destinations including New York City’s Time Warner Center and Grand Central Terminal.
The ownership group has invested significant capital in two nearly completed transportation improvements that will open The Hub to development: realignment of Innovation Avenue to provide for a town center-style grid within the site, and a new Innovation Avenue interchange at Route 28. The Hub’s site plan calls for high-rise office and/or hotel construction closest to Dulles Toll Road, transitioning northward to the central promenade, with mid-rise residential structures closest to the northern perimeter along Innovation Avenue.
“With the first phase of Metro’s Silver Line completed and the second phase under construction, The Hub’s time has come,” says Colleen Gillis, a Partner at Cooley, LLP. Gillis recently facilitated County approval for mixed-use development of the 335-acre Loudoun Quarry site, to be renamed Waterside, adjacent to The Hub. “Loudoun County, one of the fastest growing and most affluent counties in the US, is growing in new directions – from a bedroom suburb to a more urbanized live-work-play environment – while preserving its traditional rural character in the western area,” she commented. “The Hub epitomizes this modern evolution, with the highest density, unique architectural features, and convenient multi-modal transportation options for residents, visitors, and workers.”