MV+A Gets Deals Done – Entitlements

DESIGN BRIEF | July 2019

MV+A Gets Deals Done – Entitlements

Long before the ribbon cutting ceremony, projects may start with a napkin sketch or back of the envelope calculations trying to determine the viability of an idea. It’s commonplace to think that nurturing these nascent ideas in the studio directly leads to a completed project a few years down the road. In reality, the linear process from conceiving projects to starting design to getting them built often requires an additional step – usually referred to as “securing entitlements.”

While it may have been a rare project that needed to go through this phase in the past, it is becoming more and more commonplace and is being integrated as a usual first step in the project’s path to becoming realized. So, what are entitlements and how do they impact a project? We are hoping to shed some light on our experience with securing entitlements with the following two-part series.

Woodland Park Crossing Entitlements
Woodland Park Crossing Entitlements

PART 1:  Defining “en·ti·tle·ment”

/inˈtīdlmənt, enˈtīdlmənt/
noun
plural noun: entitlements

the fact of having a right to something.
“full entitlement to fees and maintenance should be offered”
synonyms: right, prerogative, claim, title, license

the amount to which a person has a right.
“annual leave entitlement
synonyms: allowance, allocation, allotment, quota, ration, grant, limit

Mcmillan Sand Filtration Site Redevelopment Entitlements
Mcmillan Sand Filtration Site Redevelopment Entitlements

There is no single reason or singular way in which this phase unfolds. Every jurisdiction has its own policies and regulations to be met. One reason could be the nature of single use zoning or preferential zoning where a few uses are favored in lieu of others. If you look around today, zoning laws frequently have not yet caught up with the idea of mixed-use development. Zoning laws tend to stay on the books for a long time, resulting in the mismatch between zoning laws and the reality of real estate development, construction and codes. Some zoning laws may allow too much or too little density but are out of sync with what building codes and established construction techniques allow in the industry. For example, being allowed to go higher than 85’ in a market where stick-built wood construction tops out at 85 feet is not necessarily helpful. Conversely, lower height limits do not maximize the efficiency of building stick-built wood projects where there is a market for additional density.

Riverdale Park Station Entitlements
Riverdale Park Station Entitlements

Many jurisdictions are requiring greater oversight for design on practically all projects – for example, Baltimore County’s Design Review Panel process or Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s oversight to ensure viable additions to their jurisdiction. Some developments trigger the requirement for entitlements when they are sited in specific locations, overlay districts, or are of a specific size or level of intensity, prompting local jurisdictions to want additional oversight of the design and planning. Generally, locales want to understand what public benefits a project will provide in return for added density. The paths to realizing projects vary depending on the jurisdictions, and they in turn determine how the design team approaches the entitlements phase of the project.

Halley Rise Entitlements
Halley Rise Entitlements

One of MV+A’s biggest realizations is that there is value to be added to the project in garnering reactions from a wide range of interested parties that are directly or indirectly connected to the project. Hearing from the public, city/county council persons, and administrative staff allows the design team to test the assumptions made during the early planning process and can help shape the project. In some cases, the ”wants” of a community are clearly spelled out, while in others, the design team has to use its experience and proficiency to help along the conversation to facilitate reaching decisions that most parties can agree add value to the project. But it’s not always smooth sailing or value-adding. Such engagements can be contentious, and the design team needs to be prepared for occasional disgruntlement and disappointment.

Woodland Park Crossing Entitlements
Woodland Park Crossing Entitlements

No matter the journey, this phase is not a get-through-it moment. It should be seen as the right time for the broader community to engage with the project and allow the design team to shape the project for a better outcome. At MV+A, we relish this process and have realized that engaging the broader community presents a unique opportunity for engagement and buy-in for the overall vision.

Stay tuned for Part 2 on Entitlements in next month’s design brief, which will shed light on MV+A’s experience with community engagement and its impact on the planning and design of our projects.

New Hires!

Quinn Tshudy

Quinn Entitlements
Quinn Entitlements

MV+A Role: Interior Architectural Designer with a current focus on East Liberty, Westwood, and Whole Foods Markets.
From: Erie, PA
Schooling: Bachelor of Interior Architecture | Chatham University
Certificate in Healthier Materials and Sustainable Buildings | Parsons School of Design
Joined MV+A: July 2018
Hobbies Outside of Work: Scenic design, salsa dancing, and yoga.

Nika Mirrafie

Nika Entitlements
Nika Entitlements

MV+A Role: Architectural Designer starting to work on 4 Choke Cherry Road and Rock Spring Center.
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Schooling: Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning | University of Utah
Master of Architecture | University of Miami
Joined MV+A: July 2018
Hobbies Outside of Work: Painting abstract art, modeling making, cooking, skiing, hiking, and outdoor recreation.

DESIGN BRIEF | June 2019

The Evolution of Whole Foods Markets

MV+A has been designing both urban and suburban stores for Whole Foods Markets since they entered the DC market in 1996. Looking back at some of our favorite projects, a common thread develops of well-designed WFM stores acting as a catalyst for community growth and development, wherever the location. From Florida to Ohio, inner cities and rural suburbs, each store is uniquely designed to relate to its context, both with the buildings and the store interiors, all designed by MV+A.

P Street, Washington, DC | completed 2000

NPR Store Concept WFM | P Street, Washington, DC
WFM | P Street, Washington, DC
WFM | P Street, Washington, DC
WFM | P Street, Washington, DC

One of MV+A’s early projects for Whole Foods Market is a shining example of how good architecture can be a catalyst for change in a community. Built along the 14th Street corridor in Downtown Washington, DC, the P Street Whole Foods helped transform the area into a vibrant neighborhood where residents not only shop, but live and work. A primary design goal was to integrate the store with the street, providing attractive pedestrian space that entices consumers to enter. A dramatic window, 160 feet long by 17 feet high, allows unobstructed views from the street to the grocery aisles, where a creative use of bulkheads draws customers further into the store. Due to the popularity of the store, MV+A has worked with Whole Foods to continually enhance the customer experience, most recently turning back of house space into café seating for customers to enjoy watching shoppers below.

Old Town Alexandria, VA | completed 2004

Residential design WFM | Old Town, Alexandria, VA
WFM | Old Town, Alexandria, VA
Interior WFM | Old Town, Alexandria, VA
Whole Foods Market - Old Town Alexandria/Duke Street. The prepared foods portion of the store, influenced by Old Town Alexandria's rich historic neighborhoods.

The Whole Foods Market in Old Town Alexandria was one of MV+A’s first stores designed as an anchor to an urban, multi-family apartment building.  With underground parking, and loading and service integrated into the urban site, this store began the expansion of the city to the west, beyond the core of the historic district, and spurred further residential and mixed-use development in this area.

Rodin Square, Philadelphia, PA | completed 2016

Rodin Square | Philadelphia, PA
WFM | Rodin Square, Philadelphia, PA

When you mix a 60,000 square foot flagship store with 300 luxury residential units, office space and additional retail on a complicated urban site you get this exciting MV+A designed mixed-use project in the heart of center city Philadelphia. The Whole Foods at Rodin Square celebrates its location in the city with a large storefront of glass with some of the best views of downtown Philly. The store’s design puts fresh, high quality products front and center with open kitchens and service departments allowing customers to not only enjoy the theater of how the food is prepared but inviting them to interact with team members throughout the store. Adding to the experience is food hall featuring local restaurants and vendors as well as large coffee bar and beer garden serving the community from early morning into the evening.

Wynnewood, PA | completed 2017

WFM | Wynnewood, PA
WFM | Wynnewood, PA

The transformative power of architecture is not limited to the urban context, it also happens in outer suburbs and developing communities. The Whole Foods in Wynnewood, PA helps blur the line between inside and out as well create a dynamic environment along a busy thoroughfare in this outer suburb of Philadelphia. The glass façade connects a street level Beer and Wine sales area and bar as well as dine-in food venue to the main sales floor above, which overlooks both the street level venues and allows natural light to flood the interior. Clever planning of this hillside site features parking below the main sales floor and a grand staircase within a two-story colonnade to connect various parts of the project. The store’s design reflects the rich context of Lower Marion Township by combining wood, locally sourced stone, reclaimed brick, and exposed steel.

Apollo, Washington, DC | completed 2017

WFM | H Street, DC
WFM | H Street, DC
WFM | H Street, DC
WFM | H Street, DC

Using our expertise in retail design in urban contexts, MV+A partnered with SK+I Architects on the Whole Foods anchored Apollo project. Situated on the H Street Corridor, this multifamily project helped return this busy commercial and entertainment district to it former glory. The store’s interior responds to the rich, diverse cultural history of one of the first residential neighborhoods in the nation’s capital. Bright colors throughout the store help animate the shopping experience while a dynamic exterior façade responds to the emerging visual and performing arts scene of the neighborhood while giving individual identities not only Whole Foods but for other smaller retails in this mixed-use project.

The Boro, Tysons, VA | completion 2019

WFM Boro Food Hall
WFM Boro Food Hall
WFM Boro Coffee
WFM Boro Coffee

This new flagship store is part of the ongoing redevelopment of Tysons, VA, located a few blocks from the ongoing MV+A development at Tysons West. Part of a multi-phased development known as The Boro, the store is metro accessible and sits below three residential towers. This Whole Foods store will feature a wide array of spaces to engage with the community, from an arcade and pub on the mezzanine to local vendor pop-up venues near the store entrance. Bright tiles and wood accents pop against the concrete structure of the building and highlight different spaces. Unique features, like the tandoori kitchen and self-serve beer and wine areas, will excite shoppers and make this store a destination for the neighborhood.

West Broad Street, Richmond, VA | completion 2020

WFM Broad St Beer Wine
WFM Broad St Beer Wine
WFM Broad St Prepare Food
WFM Broad St Prepare Food

One of our newest Whole Foods stores is in one of our oldest buildings! Whole Foods is moving into a renovation of the historic Kaufmann Building which is part of the Sauer Center in downtown Richmond, VA. The former home of Pleasants Hardware will hold the meat, seafood, and dairy departments along with back of house spaces, while clerestory windows spill natural light onto the sales floor in the addition. The store design celebrates the history of the building through exposed wood joist framing, original wood floors in the offices, and original brick throughout.

Meet our new intern!

Meet Harini Chandrasekhar, our summer intern! Harini started work at MV+A this June and will be with us through August. She has quickly become a core team member of project Liberty Place’s construction documentation and will play a role in our multi-family planning later this summer.
Originally from Kerala, India, Harini received her Bachelor of Architecture in Kerala and then went on to work for four years with multinational construction company Larsen and Toubro Construction. She is currently enrolled in Virginia Tech’s Master of Architecture program and expects to graduate in May 2020. Through her internship, Harini is excited to gain experience and see how her work in India’s construction industry differs from MV+A’s commercial and residential design and planning.

Harini Design Brief Profile
Harini Design Brief Profile

DESIGN BRIEF | May 2019

The Evolution of Retail Design

MV+A started retail design in the 1970’s and has been a part of the dramatic change in the retail environment during the past four decades. Retail has evolved into the core component of many of today’s mixed‑use developments, and MV+A remains an expert in the industry in solving the technical and placemaking challenges to deliver top quality retail. This month our design brief looks at several our retail projects completed in the last decade, along with projects currently under construction and on the boards.

Brandywine Crossing, Brandywine, MD | completed 2008

Graphics Retail Design Brandywine Crossing | Brandywine, MD
Graphics Retail Design Brandywine Crossing | Brandywine, MD

Brandywine Crossing is a new retail development that provides a sense of identity to Brandywine, MD, along the US 301 corridor in southern Prince George’s County. A sixty‑plus acre development that includes six large‑format anchor retailers, the town center design of the in‑line retail creates a welcoming image for residents. Numerous public plazas, covered arcades, and careful masonry detailing create a real sense of place for the community. Prior to this development, there was a dearth of options for Brandywine residents to shop for groceries and enjoy an evening dining out. The addition of a Costco, Target, and Safeway, along with numerous smaller retail and restaurant venues, solved that problem.

Arlington Ridge Shopping Center, Arlington, VA | completed 2011

Arlington Ridge | Arlington, VA
Arlington Ridge | Arlington, VA

An early 1980’s strip shopping center tucked away on South Glebe Road, Arlington Ridge Shopping Center was underutilized and overlooked in its location away from the denser retail centers of Arlington, VA. A dramatic renovation using sustainable, reclaimed redwood and contemporary painted steel details brought this center back to life and created an inviting, pedestrian‑friendly environment. This redesign and rebranding of the shopping center led to new leases for a completely upgraded merchandising mix. Enhanced landscaping and the creation of outdoor seating areas with festive lighting and canopies completely turned this underutilized shopping center into a vibrant neighborhood gathering place.

Travilah Square, Rockville, MD | completed 2018

Trader Joe's | Travilah Square, Rockville, MD

MV+A worked with Finmarc Management, Inc. to renovate and expand the existing Travilah Square Shopping Center. Already a popular retail destination, the project transformed the three dated in‑line retail buildings with a complete facelift and new façade. The shopping center’s overall plan was enhanced by the replacement of a small office building and fast food establishment with a new retail building that faces the other existing retail buildings, bringing more visibility to them both. The new building includes a Trader Joe’s as the primary tenant.

Spring House Village, Lower Gwynedd Township, PA | completed 2018

Spring House Village | Lower Gwynedd Township, PA

MV+A undertook a total redesign and repositioning of Spring House Village Center in Lower Gwynedd Township, PA. The center, now anchored by a Whole Foods Market, consists of six new buildings carefully placed on the rolling hills of the eighteen‑acre site. The architecture reflects the agrarian vernacular of early buildings constructed by the area’s original Quaker settlers, with their influence seen through the generous use of fieldstone veneer, simple sloped roof forms, and minimal, crisp detailing. Long‑time tenants were accommodated during the redevelopment; the popular restaurant, Arpeggio’s BYOB, has been relocated into a purpose‑built building with an outdoor dining terrace overlooking Willow Run. Through this new development, Spring House Village has become an essential gathering place for residents of Lower Gwynedd Township.

Riverdale Park Station, Riverdale Park, MD | phase 2 completed 2018

Riverdale Park Station | Riverdale, MD
Riverdale Park Station | Riverdale, MD

MV+A designed the master plan of the thirty‑eight‑acre Riverdale Park Station in Prince George’s County, which includes 160,000 square feet of commercial space, including shops, restaurants, a Whole Foods Market, and a Gold’s Gym; 22,000 square feet of offices; and nearly 1,000 residential units. This past year saw the completion of the second phase of retail development, including all of the commercial buildings, which have been extremely successful in terms of leasing and drawing people to not only shop, but live and work in Riverdale Park. Construction continues with the third phase of Riverdale Park Station to increase the residential offerings in the development.

Tysons West Phase III, Vienna, VA | completion 2019

Tysons West | Tysons Corner
Tysons West | Tysons Corner

Building on the success of MV+A’s Walmart‑anchored Tysons West project, Tysons West’s phase III provides an interim surface‑parked retail solution with the introduction of new in‑line retail buildings. Conveniently located at the corner of Leesburg Pike and Westwood Center Drive opposite the new Metro station, the location, along with access to a grocery store and a stable office population, positions Tysons West III to be a popular and convenient fast casual dining option for this area. The project consists of four single story retail buildings that combine to add to 22,800 square feet of retail to Tysons West.

Kentlands Market Square, Gaithersburg, MD | completion 2019

Kentlands Market Square | Kentlands, MD
Kentlands Market Square | Kentlands, MD

Kentlands Market Square, a well‑established community shopping center in the city of Gaithersburg, is undergoing a major façade renovation that reimagines the existing center with updated materials and design. MV+A has worked with the client to create a more pedestrian friendly retail experience, with the help of a wide new Paseo, or outdoor path, cutting through one of the former big box store buildings. The Paseo is a lively outdoor corridor that draws pedestrians from the parking area to the center’s Main Street. Multiple opportunities for outdoor seating with retail facades facing the Paseo have attracted a more animated tenant mix that is sure to become a destination for the community.

ICSC RECon

MV+A is venturing west next week! Firm Associates Russell Zung, Neville Fernandes, and Brian Szymanski will be attending the International Council of Shopping Center’s (ICSC) RECon 2019 from May 19th‑22nd at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. ICSC RECon is yearly global gathering of developers, owners, brokers, and retailers for retail real estate development.

ICSCRecon
ICSCRecon

DESIGN BRIEF | April 2019

The Evolution of Residential Design

MV+A has been involved in mixed-use residential design for the past two decades, with projects that have evolved with market changes and respond to the specific conditions of the site and program. This month our Design Brief presents a timeline of a few examples that are completed, under construction, and on the boards.

1700 Duke, Alexandria, VA | completed 2006

Residential design WFM | Old Town, Alexandria, VA
WFM | Old Town, Alexandria, VA

This 175,000-square-foot project serves as a gateway to new mixed-use developments west of Old Town Alexandria. As a Planned Unit Development (PUD), the project required a rigorous approval process by the Alexandria Board of Architectural Review. On the first floor is a 42,000‑square‑foot Whole Foods Market along with a 3,000-square-foot residential lobby. Above are three levels of 116 luxury condominiums with a fitness center and a 10,000-square-foot outdoor courtyard.

Northgate, Falls Church, VA | completed 2007

Northgate | Falls Church, VA
Northgate | Falls Church, VA

The design of this mixed-use project reinforces the strong urban architecture of the nearby Washington Street façades. The 300,000-square-foot project is an infill development that takes advantage of the allowable density and proximity to major commercial centers. The building mass was broken into varied volumes to compensate for the steep sloping site and to reduce the impact on adjoining properties.

77 H, Washington, DC | completed 2013

77 H Street | Washington, DC
77 H Street | Washington, DC

77 H is a true vertically integrated mixed-use building with two stories of retail and four stories of apartments located a few blocks from the United States Capitol, acting as a much-needed link between the two extant retail districts of H Street, NE and Gallery Place/Chinatown. By working with the site’s topography and solving the problem of a large retailer in an urban building, MV+A activated the streetscape along H Street and created 303 apartments on four levels above the urban-format Walmart on the second floor.

Atherton Mill, Charlotte, NC | completion 2019

Atherton Mill | Charlotte, NC
Atherton Mill | Charlotte, NC

MV+A has designed a mixed-use retail and residential project on an 8.4-acre site in Charlotte, North Carolina that relates to the historic Atherton Mill located just north of the site. While the façade facing the mill building borrows from the traditional architecture of the mill, the façade along South Boulevard utilizes a more contemporary interpretation with a weaving pattern of vertical red brick piers and horizontal dark brick bands. The new mixed-use residential and retail project at Atherton in Charlotte provides an opportunity to blend modern and traditional styles to create a lively mixed-use community.

Riverdale Park Building 5, Riverdale Park, MD completion 2020

Riverdale Park Station | Riverdale, MD
Riverdale Park Station | Riverdale, MD

MV+A has designed a mixed-use retail and residential project on an 8.4-acre site in Charlotte, North Carolina that relates to the historic Atherton Mill located just north of the site. While the façade facing the mill building borrows from the traditional architecture of the mill, the façade along South Boulevard utilizes a more contemporary interpretation with a weaving pattern of vertical red brick piers and horizontal dark brick bands. The new mixed-use residential and retail project at Atherton in Charlotte provides an opportunity to blend modern and traditional styles to create a lively mixed-use community.

Faraday Park West & East, Reston, VA completion 2020

Michael Faraday | Wiehle Reston Station, VA
Michael Faraday | Wiehle Reston Station, VA

Faraday Park is a redevelopment of a seven-acre site just east of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, on the Silver Line. The once low-density enclave of small office buildings is being transformed into a walkable community featuring a new grid of streets and a denser mix of uses, including two seven-story rental apartment buildings containing 408 units and ground floor retail, as well as twenty-six townhouses arranged around a network of public parks. The architecture establishes a grand commercial statement for the anticipated restaurants and shops, and then transitions to a quieter residential character for the garden façade which are articulated with small projecting bays facing the townhouses to create similar scaled elements between the seven-story apartments and the four-story townhomes.

Halley Rise Phase 1, Reston, VA completion 2021

Wegmans Halley Rise | Reston, VA
Wegmans Halley Rise | Reston, VA

Faraday Park is a redevelopment of a seven-acre site just east of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, on the Silver Line. The once low-density enclave of small office buildings is being transformed into a walkable community featuring a new grid of streets and a denser mix of uses, including two seven-story rental apartment buildings containing 408 units and ground floor retail, as well as twenty-six townhouses arranged around a network of public parks. The architecture establishes a grand commercial statement for the anticipated restaurants and shops, and then transitions to a quieter residential character for the garden façade which are articulated with small projecting bays facing the townhouses to create similar scaled elements between the seven-story apartments and the four-story townhomes.

ULI Real Estate Trends Conference

Come visit MV+A’s Brian Szymanski and Russell Zung on Tuesday, April 30th at the ULI Real Estate Trends conference held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center from 8AM to 6PM. This year’s conference focuses on Urban Innovation, and MV+A will be set up in the center of the exhibit hall at the foot of the grand staircase.

2016 Rodin Square | Philadelphia, PA
Rodin Square, Philadelphia, PA, Winner of the Urban Land institute Award for Excellence 2017
DESIGN BRIEF | March 2019

ON THE BOARDS

East Liberty
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

East Liberty | Pittsburgh, PA
View from Penn Avenue and South Saint Clair Street.
East Liberty | Pittsburgh, PA
Site plan showing the development area with newly introduced South Saint Clair Street and Eva Street creating urban sized city blocks.

East Liberty, five miles east of downtown Pittsburgh, was Pennsylvania’s third‑largest shopping district in the 1940s and 1950s and popularly referred to as the “Second Downtown.” Emerging from the decline of the 1970s, it is quickly establishing its position as the center of technology, culture, and lifestyle in Pittsburgh. MV+A is fortunate to play a part in this emergence by planning and designing approximately 10 acres in a multiphase approach. The mixed-use nature of the overall master plan aims to create a neighborhood reminiscent of the rich urban tapestry historically prevalent in East Liberty.

East Liberty | Pittsburgh, PA
View from Penn Avenue and Euclid Avenue displaying the stepped massing at its best.
East Liberty | Pittsburgh, PA
View from park looking down South Saint Clair Street. Parking garage is screened and activated at street level with corner retail.

We are happy to announce that Phase I recently achieved ‘Final Land Development Plan’ approvals from the City of Pittsburgh. Phase I focuses development along the intersection of Penn Avenue and Euclid Avenue. The introduction of South Saint Clair Street and Eva Street on private property helps break down the development area into urban sized blocks. Phase I also reoriented an existing interior landlocked public park to daylight along Euclid Avenue and Eva Street. Programmatically, Phase I is anchored at the street level by a 50,000 SF grocer, providing activation for much of the street level. Eight levels of office, totaling approximately 250,000 SF, spread out atop the grocer. Together, this density provides a critical mass to help anchor and support retail activity, both old and new, in the neighborhood.

East Liberty | Pittsburgh, PA
Conceptual rendering of the newly redesigned Enright Park along Euclid Avenue and Eva Street.

The plan and orientation of the office program allows it to have wide ranging views of the neighborhood. The stepped massing provides opportunities for outdoor terraces at many levels, allowing engagement with the outdoors on pleasant days. Designed to maximize glare-free northern light, Phase I incorporates best practices in sustainable design and aims to provide class A office space seldom seen outside of downtown Pittsburgh.

MV+A FEATURE

New Employees

Megha Dubey

Megha Dubey
Megha Dubey
Megha Thesis
Megha’s thesis recreating the urban roofscape of Old Delhi, India.

MV+A Role: Architectural Designer
From: New Delhi
Schooling: Undergraduate – Vastu Kala Academy, New Delhi; Graduate – University of Cincinnati
Joined MV+A: July 2018
Hobbies Outside of Work: Reading, writing, and traveling

Dewi Tan

Dewi Tan
Dewi Tan
Dewi Death Valley
Dewi’s favorite US travel spot thus far, Death Valley.

MV+A Role: Architectural Designer
From: Indonesia
Schooling: Undergraduate – Parahyangan Catholic University in Indonesia; Graduate – University of Michigan
Joined MV+A: July 2018
Hobbies Outside of Work: Traveling and watching her favorite shows and movies

DESIGN BRIEF    |   February 2019

ON THE BOARDS

Halley Rise
Reston, Virginia

Halley Rise | Reston, VA
Closeup view of retail plaza.

MV+A has been working with Brookfield Properties in collaboration with Land Design, Urban Ltd., and Morris Adjmi Architects on the master plan for Halley Rise (formerly known as Reston Crescent), a 36-acre site adjacent to the Silver Line’s forthcoming Reston Town Center Metro station. The approved plan transforms two existing office buildings with surface parking into a densely populated, mixed-use, transit-oriented development. Halley Rise proposes the creation of eight city blocks, contains 1.5 million square feet of new office space, 250,000 square feet of retail anchored by a Wegmans grocery, a cinema, urban parks and plazas, and 1,500 residential units. The development will reshape a traditional suburban office park into a thriving, transformational urban development.

Halley Rise | Reston, VA
View of Wegmans entry from Block C.
Halley Rise | Reston, VA
Night view showing the three levels of Wegmans.
construction projects Halley Rise | Reston, VA
Aerial rendering of Halley Rise.

Following the submission of the masterplan, MV+A immediately began the building design of Block F, the first phase of the development. This block includes the 80,000 square foot urban-format Wegmans grocery anchor, an additional 6,000 square feet of restaurants and shops, and more than 350 apartments, all being served by nearly 1,000 structured parking spaces. The design and development team have worked collaboratively on a thoughtful building experience with refined details creating a sophisticated environment. Construction will begin in the second quarter of 2019.

MV+A FEATURE

New Employees

Tim Bullock

Tim Bullock
Tim Bullock
Tim Fishing
Tim Fishing

MV+A Role: Project Manager
From: Washington, DC
Schooling: University of the District of Columbia
Joined MV+A: July 2018
Hobbies Outside of Work: Fishing and boating

Will Cleaveland

Will Cleaveland
Will Cleaveland
Will Drumming
Will Drumming

MV+A Role: Construction Administration Manager
From: Maryland
Schooling: Catholic University of America
Joined MV+A: October 2018
Hobbies Outside of Work: Drumming at music venues or recording in his home studio

DESIGN BRIEF    |    January 2019

MV+A PROJECTS

2018 proved to be an exciting year for MV+A! Projects included new master plans and revitalizations, with multiple projects beginning construction or making progress toward the final stages of construction. Working in mixed-use, commercial, retail, office, and multi-family housing project types, MV+A met its goals to accommodate valued clients, improve pathways for transit-oriented and pedestrian-oriented developments, and enrich the local community by creating gathering places for all to enjoy. Below are a few highlighted projects that the MV+A team made significant progress on in 2018.

Riverdale Park Station | Riverdale, MD
Riverdale Park Station | Riverdale, MD

Joining the previously finished Whole Foods Market building, additional commercial, retail, and office buildings at Riverdale Park Station were completed in 2018 after nearly a decade of working on the project.

Spring House Village | Lower Gwynedd Township, PA

Six new buildings inspired by the local, agrarian vernacular of southeastern Pennsylvania were completed at Spring House Village after a rebuild and repositioning of an established retail site.

Trader Joe's | Travilah Square, Rockville, MD

Travilah Square Shopping Center was revitalized from its original 1980’s design to include three updated in-line retail buildings with a new Trader Joe’s building anchoring the center.

Michael Faraday | Wiehle Reston Station, VA
Michael Faraday | Wiehle Reston Station, VA

Faraday Park development has moved forward with the West building currently under construction and the East building undergoing permit review. Faraday Park will create an easily-accessible mixed-use community within walking distance to Wiehle Reston Station.

construction projects Halley Rise | Reston, VA
Aerial rendering of Halley Rise.

Halley Rise (formally known as Reston Crescent) continued to take shape. The 36-acre development was able to announce the leasing of an 80,000 square foot Wegman’s in the first block to be built. MV+A is currently in production of construction documents for that building, which will also contain over 300 apartments.

MV+A Staff

Eight employees joined the MV+A team in 2018 – you read that right, eight! More can be read about our new staff in the “People” section of our website. Two additional members were also added to the MV+A family this year. Firm Associate Kalinda Gathinji and her husband, Mwangi, welcomed baby Sarina in July, while Associate Brian Szymanski and his wife, Janice, welcomed baby Marilyn in September. Congratulations to both families!r all to enjoy. Below are a few highlighted projects that the MV+A team made significant progress on in 2018.

2018 MVA Holiday Gift
2018 MVA Holiday Gift

Everyone wearing this year’s MV+A holiday gift!

Brian and Marilyn Christmas
Brian and Marilyn Christmas

Brian with baby Marilyn and her older brother, Freddie.

In May, Principal Lila Firouzfar retired after almost fifteen years with MV+A.  Lila joined the office in 2002 and helped team members and projects grow in transformative ways as an architect, mentor, and leader. She still joins us at office events, like at Principal Jack Hollon’s seventh annual Crab Feast in Baltimore, Maryland! Other firm outings this past fall included the Fun House exhibition at the National Building Museum, a field trip to see MV+A’s work at Riverdale Park Station, and CANstruction’s buildout to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank.

Lila 2018 Cabin John
Lila 2018 Cabin John

One of Lila’s last on-site visits at Cabin John in Potomac, MD.

Crab Feast
Crab Feast

Showing three of our new employees from outside the Delmarva area how crab picking is done. Thanks for hosting every year, Jack!

Fun House
Fun House

Snarkitecture’s interactive “Fun House” included a backyard pool filled with recyclable plastic balls.

Fun House
Fun House

This is the fourth year MV+A has gone to the National Building Museum’s Summer Block Party series of temporary structures inside its historic Great Hall.

Riverdale Park Station | Riverdale, MD
Riverdale Park Station’s “Bear Square” park provides a great photo-op with Sir Rulean the bear, as well as the setting for a splash pad, swings and community events like the book fair that we enjoyed.

Riverdale Park Station’s “Bear Square” park provides a great photo-op with Sir Rulean the bear.

CANstruction 2018
CANstruction 2018

MV+A became Jukebox Heroes for CANstruction’s 2018 “CAN’t Stop the BEET!” theme.

CANstruction 2018 Year
CANstruction 2018

Our constructed jukebox, made out of almost 2,400 cans, included songs like “I CAN See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash and “CAN You Hear Me” by David Bowie.

DESIGN BRIEF    |    October 2018

IN THE WORKS

Travilah Square Shopping Center
Rockville, Maryland

Travilah Square Shopping Center, acquired by Finmarc Management Inc. in 2016, is located at the busy intersection of Darnestown Road and Travilah Road in Rockville, MD. The late 1980’s look of the center was dated and had fallen into disrepair. MV+A was engaged to revitalize the center and give it a new, clean, vibrant appearance.

Trader Joe's | Travilah Square, Rockville, MD
A brighter Travilah Square with the canopy opened up and raised with a new steel sign band and sidewalk café areas.
Travilah Square, Rockville, MD
The 1970’s view of the center, with an enclosed, dark walkway and dated wood siding.
Trader Joe's | Travilah Square, Rockville, MD
Banded brick features terminate views across the shopping center and at drive aisles.

Three in-line retail buildings were renovated with completely new facades, replacing wood siding and lattice with patterned brick and steel detailing. A new canopy, lighting and signage program, along with an updated parking lot and site features, transform the existing center. Key existing tenants remained during the construction and have been joined by new local and national retailers and restaurants.

Trader Joe's | Travilah Square, Rockville, MD
A new patterned brick retail building houses a Trader Joe’s and inline retail.
Trader Joe's | Travilah Square, Rockville, MD
Trader Joe’s signature red storefront blends with taupe brick and steel details, giving the entire shopping center a cohesive look.
Trader Joe's | Travilah Square, Rockville, MD
The new landscaped plaza with curved steel pergola provides an outdoor gathering space for Travilah Square.

The existing office building and Burger King were demolished and replaced with a new building containing a 12,500 square foot Trader Joe’s grocery store, along with a second, smaller retail space.  The new building blends with the shopping center utilizing the same patterned brick and steel trim to create a permanent, timeless appearance. A landscape plaza fronts the Trader Joe’s, and a curved brick and steel pergola shades this new outdoor amenity for the shopping center.

MV+A FEATURE

Company Outings

Crab Feast

Crab Feast 2018
Crab Feast 2018
Crab Feast 2018

Fall weather brought the MV+A team happily outside for two events this past month! Starting with Principal Jack Hollon’s annual Crab Feast, this is the seventh year the firm has traveled to his house in Baltimore for Maryland’s famous Chesapeake blue crabs. Jack and Terry provided 2.5 bushels of crabs along with salads, snacks and drinks to make good use of our new MV+A cozies! We were happy to show three new employees from outside the Delmarva area how crab picking is done.

Riverdale Park Station Visit

Riverdale Park Station | Riverdale, MD
MV+A gathering for a tour in front of the corner retail space at Woodberry and 46th Streets after lunch at various new restaurants including Habit Burger, MOD Pizza and District Taco.
Riverdale Park Station | Riverdale, MD
Riverdale Park Station’s “Bear Square” park provides a great photo-op with Sir Rulean the bear, as well as the setting for a splash pad, swings and community events like the book fair that we enjoyed.

After recently winning four awards for Riverdale Park Station, MV+A also decided to take a day-trip to the site in Riverdale Park, Maryland for the whole office to see. The project was recognized by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Metro Washington and NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association’s DC|MD chapter for excellence in retail, interiors, masonry, and mixed-use master planning. It was great for the entire team to see how MV+A’s involvement for the past decade has improved and enriched the Riverdale community!

DESIGN BRIEF    |    September 2018

IN THE WORKS

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.

MV+A FEATURE

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

DESIGN BRIEF    |    August 2018

IN THE WORKS

Spring House Village
Lower Gwynedd Township, Pennsylvania

Spring House Village | Lower Gwynedd Township, PA
Spring House Village sign built into one of the new stone retaining walls at the village entrance.
Spring House Village | Lower Gwynedd Township, PA
Aerial view, circa 1992, shows two suburban mall buildings set back from all roads.
Spring House Village | Lower Gwynedd Township, PA
Spring House Village master plan creates internal road network for six separate retail buildings.

Spring House Village in Lower Gwynedd Township, Pennsylvania, is in its final stage of construction and is set to be completed by the end of 2018. Working with Stoltz Management on the project since 2015, MV+A began by developing a completely new master plan for the site. To effectively reposition the shopping center, the original central mall concept was replaced with a collection of six new buildings inspired by the local vernacular. This required demolition of all previous buildings originally constructed in the late 1960’s, except for the medical center. The medical center is the last phase of the development and is currently being renovated to coordinate with the aesthetic of the surrounding new buildings. A new road network and landscaping create terraces down the sloping site and break up surface parking, with the smallest building placed to engage an existing pond that remains on the site near the main entrance.

Spring House Village | Lower Gwynedd Township, PA
A newly created park features an expanded pond, which also acts as a water retention feature.
Spring House Village | Lower Gwynedd Township, PA
Careful thought was given when creating an outdoor dining space that could be used day or night with views overlooking the park.

A 50,000 square foot Whole Foods Market anchors the shopping center, with an additional 30,000 square feet of in-line retail. The architecture reflects the agrarian history of the surrounding communities of Southeast PA with generous use of fieldstone veneer, using stones native to the region. Built by MidAtlantic Construction Inc, the project’s simple sloped metal roofing, natural material and minimal, crisp detailing help blend the new development with the township’s original roots. Spring House Village’s new and longtime tenants, an attached township-designed public park, and close proximity to major roadways is sure to make the shopping center an easily accessible and exciting destination development for Lower Gwynedd Township.

Spring House Village | Lower Gwynedd Township, PA
A Whole Foods Market anchors one of six new buildings.
WFM | Spring House Village | Lower Gwynedd Township, PA
WFM | Spring House Village | Lower Gwynedd Township, PA

MV+A FEATURE

New Employees

Afsoon Kangarlouhaghighi, LEED Green Assoc.

Afsoon Kangarlouhaghighi
Afsoon Kangarlouhaghighi
Sketches from Iran
Sketches from Iran

MV+A Role: Architectural Designer
From: Tehran, Iran
Schooling: Undergraduate – Art and Architecture University in Tehran, Iran
Graduate – North Carolina State University
Joined MV+A: March 2018
Hobbies Outside of Work: Exploring DC with her camera and sketchbook

Ziwei Wang, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Ziwei Wang
Ziwei Wang
A graphic design by Ziwei while learning Illustrator
A graphic design by Ziwei while learning Illustrator

MV+A Role: Architectural Designer
From: Central South China
Schooling: Undergraduate – University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Graduate – University of Cincinnati
Joined MV+A: April 2018
Hobbies Outside of Work: Weight training or watching documentaries and dramas