Mayor Bowser and Events DC Break Ground on Streetscape Project at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                           
December 12, 2019
Project will Reenergize the Exterior of the Convention Center in Shaw
Washington, DC – Thursday, December 12 – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by Events DC, the District’s convention and sports authority, to break ground on the Walter E. Washington Convention Center streetscape project.  The streetscape project will feature lighting, art, new retail kiosks, digital signage, planters and furnishings to reactivate the exterior of the Convention Center and Shaw neighborhood.
“It’s now been more than fifteen years since our community worked together to build this world-class convention center. Since then, we have worked hard to attract businesses and amenities that can be enjoyed by both residents in the neighborhood as well as the millions of visitors who come to our city from around the world every year,” said Mayor Bowser. “With the support of Events DC, this project is going to bring in more of what our residents, visitors, and businesses like – jobs, opportunity, and places to enjoy DC.”
The groundbreaking marks the beginning of the Convention Center enhancement project that will transform the exterior of the 2.3 million square-foot building.  This project is just another step forward that reinforces the Shaw neighborhood as a convention and entertainment district, full of new retail and restaurants and an Apple flagship store, located at Mt. Vernon Square. 
“As the convention and sports authority for DC, it is critical for us to make strategic investments in our venues to differentiate our facilities and city from competitors across the globe – and the Convention Center streetscape project is a prime example of this.  We are creating an experience for our customers and residents that is more than a building—we are creating a vibrant space with retail, world-class art, lighting and public space that is connected with and a part of the Shaw community.” said Max Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Events DC. “Over the past several years, we have worked closely with the community and our clients on the planning of the streetscape project, to ensure it would help serve our neighbors and customers’ needs.  And importantly, position our building and our city for years to come.”
The final design for the comprehensive streetscape project will include public art featuring signature pieces and local artists, improvements to the building’s façade, street furniture and an improved retail storefront presence, all of which will incorporate a design emphasis of enhanced lighting and a more pedestrian-friendly experience. 
“More than just a meeting facility, over time, we have created a convention and entertainment district outside of the walls of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center with local restaurants, retail and diverse businesses.  When visitors go to other cities, they want to experience authenticity and through this project and much more, we want to provide that DC experience to our visitors,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC.  “As the convention and sports authority for the District, it remains our top priority to make strategic investments for the betterment of our city and residents – as well as to be forward-thinking and through this project we strive to continue to do just that.”
Alongside Events DC, OMA is the design architect on the project with Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners (BBB) as the architect of record, responsible for the construction drawings. Rand* construction is the construction management team, accountable for the planning, installation and construction of the project. 
Phase 1 of the project will be completed by the end of 2020 and will include the following:

  • 3 New Retail Kiosks on the 9th street side of South building
  • 4 new retail kiosks on 9th street side of Middle building
  • Rooftop Terrace – approx.  3,477 sq. ft. along the North building
  • Increased paving, planting and seating around the perimeter of the Convention Center
  • Heightened sitewide lighting – entrance pylons, rooftop, perimeter-scape and M street tunnel
A phase two of the project will include better wayfare signage, public art installations and working with WMATA on a new Metro entrance. These streetscape improvements are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.  The estimated total cost for the streetscape project is $41M.  Last spring (2019), Events DC completed an interior redesign of the Convention Center grand lobby and all public spaces throughout the Center to be inclusive of more flexible seating, interactive kiosks and communal spaces.
Renderings of the streetscape project can be downloaded here.  
About Events DC
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District’s hospitality and tourism economy that hosts more than 1.7 million visitors and generates more than $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus (RFK Campus), including Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Festival Grounds at RFK Campus, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and the Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Stay current on the 190-acre RFK Campus Redevelopment Project at www.RFKCampus.com. Events DC also built and serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. Events DC manages Gateway DC, R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and the Entertainment and Sports Arena (www.ESAontheRise.com), all conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. For more information, please visit www.eventsdc.com and find us on social media – Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (Events DC), and Twitter (@TheEventsDC).
About OMA
Established in 2001, OMA New York is responsible for OMA’s operations in the Americas and has since overseen the successful completion of several buildings, including Milstein Hall at Cornell University; the Wyly Theater in Dallas; the Seattle Central Library; the IIT Campus Center in Chicago; and Prada’s Epicenter in New York.
The office has seen the successful completion of the Faena Forum, a multi-purpose cultural venue in Miami Beach; the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, an extension to the Quebec National Museum; Manus x Machina: Fashion in the age of Technology, an exhibition for the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the galleries and workspaces of Sotheby’s headquarters in New York. The office also recently completed two residential buildings: the Avery, the firm’s first tower in San Francisco; and 121 East 22nd Street, the firm’s first ground-up project in New York. OMA New York is currently engaged in a diverse range of cultural projects: the New Museum expansion in New York City, the extension to the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, and a new arts center for University of Illinois in Chicago.
Ongoing projects in development in the New York office include workspace and mixed-use projects such as Post Houston, the transformation of a historic post-office warehouse facility into a mixed-use amenity for Houston’s downtown, an office in Boston’s Seaport Innovation District and a mixed-use development in Santa Monica. Projects in the public realm currently in progress include the 11th Street Bridge Park and Walter E. Washington Streetscape in Washington D.C., and First and Broadway Park in Los Angeles. The office’s masterplan projects include a sports and recreation masterplan for RFK-Stadium Campus in Washington, D.C., and resiliency strategies for Hoboken, New Jersey.
About Rand* Construction
Rand* Construction is an award-winning, woman-owned national commercial general contractor that specializes in tenant interiors, building renovations, base building, retail, restaurant and ground-up construction.
About Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners (BBB)
Founded in 1968, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners is an award-winning architecture, planning, and interiors practice comprised of 190 professionals in Washington, DC, New York City, and Boston with a longstanding commitment to design excellence, urban life and sustainable practices. The firm’s multi-faceted portfolio encompasses rehabilitation and new construction projects that span a wide spectrum of building typologies and sectors, including residential, cultural, civic, educational, and commercial. Notable recent DC projects include the Washington Monument New Visitor Facility, The Carnegie Library, Arlington National Cemetery Expansion, US Diplomacy Center, and The Hepburn. www.beyerblinderbelle.com