Riverfront on the Anacostia — Paradigm Contractors LLC
The Anacostia River flows from Prince George’s County in Maryland into Washington, D.C., where it joins the Washington Channel and empties into the Potomac River. New developments are few and far between along the banks of the Anacostia, but a new 5.8 acre site has been approved for more than 1 million square feet of mixed-used residential-retail-office-hotel space.
The project, known as “Riverfront on the Anacostia,” spans 900-plus feet of frontage and connects to the Anacostia Riverwalk and Nationals Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals. Phase I of the project, Dock 79 at RiverFront, broke ground in October 2014 and totals 300,000 square feet. This phase includes 305 apartment units and 19,000 square feet of ground floor retail, slated for fall 2016 completion.
Phases II through IV of the larger development include more than 900,000 square feet of residential space, offices, hotel and retail components. “This impeccable location, right on the banks of the Anacostia is unique within the city for this type of development,” says Steve Griffin, senior project manager of Phase I for Paradigm Contractors LLC.
The greater D.C. housing expert
Paradigm is tackling the $65 million Phase I as general contractor. The company had been operating in greater D.C. for more than two decades and is known for transforming neighborhoods with multifamily properties that focus on smart growth, access to public transit and shared community space.
The company has built a solid reputation with its Meridian brand of luxury apartment communities at Metrorail stations and has also worked on a range of high-rise condominium towers and affordable housing units. Paradigm is well-versed in all areas of project development, from the design and budgeting of a new property, through construction, leasing, sales and ongoing oversight. Paradigm’s goal is to deliver maximum return on investment and lifestyle amenities.
“The principals of Paradigm have worked together for more than 25 years and are invested in the quality of work we produce and the reputation we’ve earned and continue to uphold,” says Griffin, who has been with Paradigm for over 10 years and has worked on many multifamily projects in the D.C. area.
Abundant open space and lifestyle amenities
Lifestyle amenities are front and center at Riverfront on the Anacostia. “This project includes a lot of community space,” says Griffin. “Recreational areas include chess and ping pong tables, park benches and a beautiful water fountain system.”
Along with numerous publicly accessible open spaces is a waterfront esplanade along the Anacostia. “Part of the project is an extension of the Anacostia Riverwalk and improvements to the Diamond Teague Park,” details Griffin. “Paradigm has been involved in all aspects, including the Riverwalk addition and park improvements.”
The focal point of Phase I is a nine-story, concrete frame apartment building with 300-plus units and two levels of underground parking. “This building also offers some really nice amenities with a rooftop pool deck, clubhouse and fitness and yoga room, as well as outdoor communal areas complete with audio visual and grilling areas” says Griffin. “In terms of the individual units, they are competitive with today’s market and include Italian cabinets, granite countertops, laminate floors, high-end tile and finishes.”
The exterior of the apartment building incorporates less traditional masonry and more composite materials and panels. “Between the mass amount of site work and the unique façade, our critical path has been more focused on finalizing the exterior than the interior; interiors are going smoothly,” says Griffin.
Anacostia site challenges
A major issue for Paradigm’s team was tackling water table issues in the early stages of Riverfront on the Anacostia. “The location is attractive to occupants, but presented a challenge with the groundwater for our construction crew,” says Griffin. “The groundwater had to be diverted with an elaborate dewatering system that was in place until the concrete frame was completed. The foundation waterproofing system used is very similar to the techniques they use in Manhattan.”
Due to an above-average wet winter, the Paradigm team and subcontractors have incorporated 58 inclement weather days into the schedule. “We burned through quite a few weather days, but we’re still tracking to deliver on schedule,” says Griffin. The Riverfront project was slated to open to residents by late summer 2016, with retail space to fall by early fall.
Riverfront on the Anacostia is currently targeted for LEED certification. Certain items such as brownfield development, recycled materials and indoor air quality are contributing to the project’s LEED scorecard.
MRP Reality, in joint venture with Florida Rock Properties, owns the 5.8-acre parcel and has been in close communication with Paradigm to assure the project comes in on-time and on-budget. Once complete, Riverfront on the Anacostia will add a great deal of publicly accessible open space and riverside views with a mixed-use component that’s a unique addition to the D.C. waterfront.
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