This project elevates its neighborhood’s existing design paradigm by implanting a modern canon that bridges the residential and commercial scales of the West Annapolis neighborhood. The structure’s linear planks quite literally reflect the scale of residential siding and – perhaps a bit more abstractly – what one would find on the hull of a ship, tying the neighborhood to the overall spirit of Annapolis as a maritime city.
The typical buildings in the Village of West Annapolis are classified as Class C Medical Office or boutique retail shops which were constructed between the 1960’s and 1970’s. Unlike historic downtown Annapolis, this neighborhood lacks an architectural identity. With an abundance of outdated stock and inventory, the neighborhood is in a unique position to offer cost effective and sustainable solutions to the growing demand for commercial properties in Annapolis.
The intentionality of the design, paired with its attention to the surrounding context, allows this project to be a catalyst for the rest of the neighborhood.West Annapolis is one of the major gateways into the historic downtown core. The high amount of vehicular traffic on the main corridors is offset by the walkability of the interior streets. With strict setback and height guidelines, the neighborhood demands that buildings address and maintain it’s relationship with pedestrians. The project embodies and honors these ideals in the way it uses landscape carefully addressing the urban edge. Complete with outdoor seating, and both the neighborhood’s first public bike rack and first electrical vehicle charging stations, the redeveloped office building attracts a diverse group of users.
Through neighborhood studies and evaluations, the Village of West Annapolis was identified as an “area of opportunity”. Prior to this development, the surrounding retail was failing and had not experienced significant growth in over ten years. There is an affluence to the residential side of the neighborhood that did not translate to its commercial sector. Not only does the building bring an upgraded aesthetic, it proves that the neighborhood can support and benefit from a higher quality product and be profitable.
This transformation took what once was a Class C medical office building generating below market rents, to a premiere Class A Office building with the highest rents in the market. The project was over 40% pre-leased before the doors opened and houses two national law firms as well as private equity real estate firm. The success of this project has already resulted in two additional re-developments on the block. Despite the restrictive zoning in the area that leads to constrictive floor plates and low ceiling heights, the project proves it is possible to profitably redevelop in a forward thinking way.
NICE TO KNOW
706 Giddings Ave, Annapolis, MD, USA
Grid Architects, Alick Deariem, Annapolis, MD, USA
Cameron Group, Elkridge, MD, USA
Brycen Fischer Photography, LLC, Maryland, USA
2017 – 2018
Swisspearl Linearis Nobilis Grey N 211
PDF project sheet
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