Columbia Property Trust, Inc. today announced that it has completed an innovative three-floor expansion atop 80 M Street in Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Riverfront district. The 108,000-square-foot overbuild is D.C.’s first commercial office space constructed from environmentally friendly mass timber and is proving to be one of the most attractive office environments in the submarket.
Columbia worked with D.C.-based architectural firm Hickok Cole, construction manager DAVIS Construction, and engineering consulting firm Arup to design and plan the unique mass timber expansion plus an expansive suite of new and improved amenities that, together, are driving leasing activity and helping 80 M Street attract and retain a prominent and diverse roster of tenants. In addition to a new 5,000-square-foot penthouse lounge and terrace, the renovation reimagines the building’s entry and lobby with a more welcoming and contemporary design and significantly enhances the ground-floor amenity program. These efforts have helped Columbia secure 140,000 square feet of new leases and renewals at the Capitol Riverfront office building since the start of the project.
This lease activity is highlighted by the previously announced deal with American Trucking Association, which is moving its headquarters to 60,000 square feet in 80 M’s expansion space. ATA will join bp America, a leader in helping the U.S. and the world reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner, which recently signed a long-term agreement to take 15,000 square feet within the mass timber expansion. Columbia also signed a new long-term lease with Walmart Inc., which will occupy 21,000 square feet of office space at mid-building.
“We have transformed 80 M Street from top to bottom to give our tenants an unrivaled Capitol Riverfront experience,” said David Cheikin, Columbia’s Executive Vice President – East Coast. “Integrating an innovative design, a distinctive blend of materials and finishes, and a rich package of amenities into our reinvention of 80 M has proved to attract a range of companies seeking the highest quality office environments.”
Thomas Corrado, Associate Principal at Hickok Cole and lead architect on the 80 M Street project, continued, “The 80 M Street expansion is a direct result of a forward-focused partnership and a shared commitment to reduce the built environment’s footprint. This milestone project truly embodies Hickok Cole’s research to reality approach, serving as a testament to the impact of sustainable design and delivering an office experience unlike any other in the District.”
Columbia worked with Hickok Cole, DAVIS, and Arup to successfully navigate a code modification and local entitlement process, resulting in the creation of three light-filled floors on top of the existing 286,000-square-foot building. The pioneering overbuild comprises over 1,300 tons of mass timber, sourced from the forests of the Pacific Northwest and Eastern Canada and selected for its blend of innovative design, sustainable features, and structural efficiencies. The addition was designed to enhance productivity and wellness for the building’s occupants, with 15-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and over 3,000 square feet of outdoor amenities. With more than half of the new space allocated to the American Trucking Association’s new headquarters and bp America’s offices, only 24,000 square feet of the expansion space remains available for lease.
The amenities program at 80 M was also expanded and enhanced, to complete the building’s reinvention and create a more accessible environment for tenants. Columbia introduced a new state-of-the-art modular conference center that seats up to 136 guests and has also provided tenants with complementary access to a brand new 2,300-square-foot luxury fitness center, with executive locker room facilities and Peloton Bikes. The penthouse level also features a new clubhouse connected to a landscaped wrap-around terrace for tenants to enjoy during the warmer months, while a curtain wall system provides ample sunlight year-round.
Columbia and Hickok Cole also transformed the arrival experience, creating a canopied, two-story grand entryway that establishes the building’s bold, biophilic, and definitive character. An undulating sculpture of laminated veneer lumber panels hangs from the building’s entry arcade and extends through to become the lobby’s ceiling, repeating the statement made by the mass timber on the upper floors, as does the recladding on the building’s exterior columns. A new café space at the front of the building is highly visible and accessible, further inviting connection and engagement between the building and community.
Inside, 80 M’s main reception desk is now prominently situated just beyond the front door to allow on-site staff to greet and assist those entering. The lobby’s design complements the slatted wooden sculpture on the ceiling and features biophilic-inspired elements that further allude to the timber expansion. Adjacent to the lobby is an expansive communal lounge and amenity center, where light-colored stone and ample seating produce an active, warm, and inviting atmosphere.
Columbia and Hickok Cole are pursuing LEED Silver Core and Shell certification and qualification for the WELL Building Standard version 2 (WELL v2) for the vertical overbuild portion of the building. 80 M Street has already earned several prestigious recognitions for the original structure (floors one through seven), including LEED Gold Existing Building and Operations, Fitwel, ENERGY STAR, and WiredScore Silver certifications.
Additional Leasing Success
In addition to the new leases signed recently, the renovations and expanded amenities at 80 M Street have also inspired many existing tenants to re-commit to the building. The several recent renewals and extensions are highlighted by digital engineering firm Gryphon Technologies, which recommitted to 10,100 square feet through late 2028.
Adding to the building’s new amenity offerings, Columbia recently signed an agreement with Queens-based specialty coffee roaster/supplier For Five Coffee Roasters to open its newest D.C. café in the 600-square-foot retail space next to the entrance of the building.
“We are so excited to bring For Five Coffee to the Navy Yard,” says For Five CEO and Co-Founder Stefanos Vouvoudakis. “Continuing to expand in the D.C. market has been a major focus of ours, and who better to create a best-in-class, elevated experience with than Columbia Property Trust. With endless growth opportunities, we are looking forward to sharing many cups of coffee with the Columbia team, tenants, and the entire 80 M St. community!” This marks For Five’s fifth location in the greater D.C. area.
Columbia also recently unveiled five high-end prebuilt suites at 80 M Street that have also attracted strong interest, with three already leased. The two remaining units comprise 4,500 and 5,500 square feet respectively, and one is furnished and available immediately.
Columbia was represented in all leases above by Doug Mueller and Kristen Mathis of JLL. “Tenants today are clamoring for inspiring real estate that can, in turn, inspire their people back to the office,” said Mueller, Executive Managing Director at JLL. “The mass timber at 80 M is pure magic – a product that looks, feels, and even smells fresh. Couple this with a dynamic 24-hour neighborhood that is expected to see the largest growth in residential development in D.C. over the next five years, and 80 M is a no brainer for companies looking to cultivate talent and inspire innovation.”
The JLL team is also marketing a variety of remaining availabilities at the building, ranging from a furnished 4,000-square-foot pre-build to 20,000 square feet of raw space. For more information, please visit www.80mstreet.com.
About Columbia Property Trust
Columbia Property Trust creates storied properties for legendary companies in New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Boston. Columbia uses its experience in transactions, asset management and repositioning, leasing, development, and property management to grow value across its high-quality, eight million square foot portfolio of owned and managed assets. Columbia has been named a 2022 ENERGY STAR “Partner of the Year,” a “Green Lease Leader” by the U.S. Department of Energy, and one of Fortune’s “Best Workplaces in New York 2021” among Small and Medium-sized employers. For more information, please visit www.columbia.reit, and follow @columbiacxp on Instagram, Linked, and Twitter.
About Hickok Cole
Hickok Cole is a forward-focused design practice connecting bold ideas, diverse expertise, and partners with vision to do work that matters. Informed by research and fueled by creative rigor, we look beyond today’s trends to help our clients embrace tomorrow’s opportunities. We’ve called D.C. home for more than 30 years and are proud to have designed homes for some of the area’s leading organizations, including National Geographic, the International Spy Museum, and American Geophysical Union’s net-zero headquarters renovation. Follow @HickokCole on Instagram and LinkedIn.