Transforming a Sleepy Industrial Site

DESIGN BRIEF    |    September 2018


White Oak Town Center
White Oak, Maryland

Trader Joe's sleepy industrial site
View of the new White Oak Town Center as seen from Old Columbia Pike and Industrial Parkway.

Twenty-two acres along Route 29 between the intersections of Industrial Parkway and Tech Road are primed for a transformation from a sleepy industrial site to ‘White Oak Town Center’ – a vibrant, mixed-use community. Phase 1, encompassing eight acres closest to Route 29, comprises of two buildings – a two-story retail structure along Industrial Parkway and a multifamily apartment building further north featuring ground floor retail including a national grocery chain. Together their programs provide the elemental ingredients necessary for fashioning an engaging, vibrant mixed-use community. The retail has been sized and planned to accommodate the diverse needs of today’s tenants. The residential provides an important captive market that not only benefits from the surrounding retail but provides feet on the ground 24/7. Together this will form the crux of a burgeoning community that seeks to live, work, and play at White Oak.

Trader Joe's sleepy industrial site
Distinctive retail brick bays grounding design for 32,000 square foot retail building.
Trader Joe's sleepy industrial site
Contemporary enhancements to the brick retail building

The 32,000 square foot linear two-story retail building juxtaposes two architectural languages across 250′ of its length. Mostly characterized by repeating masonry bays typical of retail mercantile buildings of the past, it features contemporary additions clad in metal and glass emanating from either end. The rich tapestry of architectural language acquired with this mixture of the old and the new will help make a compelling visual statement befitting an arrival to the project.

Trader Joe's sleepy industrial site
Grocery store anchored multifamily building seen from Old Columbia Pike.
Trader Joe's sleepy industrial site
Multifamily building corner with entrance to residential as well as ground floor street retail

The multifamily building with ground floor retail further north is designed to be a beehive of pedestrian activity at the street level with around 40,000 square feet of almost uninterrupted retail. As is customary in retail design, transparency has been maximized as much as possible to provide for an engaging shopping experience. The residential entrance is stepped back at the corner to provide visitors a more contemplative experience. Five levels of residential have been split into two distinctive yet related architecture styles that seek to combine the traditional cadence of residential bays with a clean contemporary aesthetic. Timeless, durable, grounded materials dominate the material selection along the most visible faces. This combined with recessed balconies, projecting bay windows, juliette balconies, water tables and cornices, help provide sufficient visual patterning to create a lively distinctive facade.

Together the architecture for the two buildings aims to create a memorable visual which in time will help establish it as a marker in the landscape as well as a ‘place’ where none exists today and a catalyst for development of future phases. White Oak Town Center is currently under review by the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission.


New Employees

Marco Marinucci

Marco Marinucci
Marco Marinucci
SteelStacks at the former Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, PA
SteelStacks at the former Bethlehem Steel in Bethlehem, PA

MV+A Role: Graphic Designer
From: Lehigh Valley, PA
Schooling: Northampton County Community College
Joined MV+A: April 2018
Hobbies Outside of Work: Photography

Abby Hendrix

Abby Hendrix
Abby Hendrix
Abby’s favorite Charlottesville spot, Carter’s Mountain
Abby’s favorite Charlottesville spot, Carter’s Mountain

MV+A Role: Bookkeeper/Operations Assistant
From: Charlottesville, VA
Schooling: James Madison University
Joined MV+A: June 2018
Hobbies Outside of Work: Playing beach volleyball, coaching lacrosse, and supporting the DC sports teams

NEWS    |   September 20, 2018

Washington, DC

WFM | Capitol Riverfront Navy Yard

Whole Foods Market will open its long-awaited Navy Yard-area store at 9 a.m. on Oct. 18, the Amazon-owned grocer announced this week.

The 35,000-square-foot South Capitol Hill store, as Whole Foods is calling it, is located at 101 H St. SE on the ground floor of Agora, one of three adjacent apartment buildings that comprise WC Smith’s The Collective. The first phase of The Collective, Park Chelsea, opened in 2016 and the final phase, The Garrett, broke ground late last year.

The store will employ roughly 170 full and part-time workers.

The Whole Foods outpost will feature the second location of D.C.-based Kaz Sushi Bistro, more than 100 “local supplier products” including Ice Cream Jubilee, Whisked! And M’Panadas, and a self-serve fresh Severino pasta bar. It also offers the SoCap Wine Bar & Pub, and, to open later, a “yet-to-be unveiled dining venue with mountwatering selections from a D.C. local chef,” per a release.

Whole Foods will donate 5 percent of the store’s Oct. 24 net sales to Building Bridges Across the River, a nonprofit that oversees TheARC, the 11th Street Bridge Park project, and Skyland Workforce Center.

When it open, Whole Foods will have five operating D.C. stores — joining Logan Circle, Tenleytown, Foggy Bottom and H Street NE. The Glover Park store remains shuttered, though the neighborhood really, really wants it back.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) bought Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion in late August 2017.