Executive Boulevard, part of the White Flint 2 Sector, has an office vacancy rate of about 30%. It contains Class B and C office space that few companies find attractive. None of that is news.
But this is news, and good news, too. The Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel, or TAP, after a two-day review, determined that Executive Boulevard can be saved, using a combination of land use, connectivity, amenity and identity improvements. Read their full report/presentation here.
The TAP described the Executive Boulevard area as an “amenity desert,” as “placeless,” as “disconnected from amenities,” and as “confusing.”
The ULI recommended:
- Accelerate implementation of the north/west Pike & Rose Metrorail station entrance.
- Implement the planned Old Georgetown Road and Executive Boulevard realignment (called the Western Workaround).
- Improve pedestrian connections to amenities, such as those at Pike & Rose, and the existing White Flint Metrorail station.
- Leverage and link to the White Flint recreation loop for walking and biking.
- Introduce Bikeshare as a multimodal connector.
- Introduce convenience retail for office workers and future residents, including coffee shops, cafes, drug stores, dry cleaners.
- Decrease perceived distances between office building entrances and the street by encouraging small retail spaces, pop-up amenities (food trucks, parklets) and outdoor seating.
- Embrace and enhance the ample green spaces, including mature trees and landscaping, already present.
- Leverage and link the Executive Boulevard office park to Pike & Rose’s identity.
- Create a consistent signage and streetscape package to reinforce new identify for office parks.