GALLERY PLACE PROJECT
In December 1999, the Gallery Place Project became the first project approved by the District to receive tax increment financing (TIF). The project is a mixed-use urban entertainment complex that will be located at the corner of 7th St NW and F St NW, adjacent to the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metrorail Station and just north of the MCI Center Arena.
In 2002, the District entered into a bond purchase agreement to sell $73.6 million in TIF bonds to help fund the development of the Gallery Place Project, which has an estimated cost of $274 million. The bonds are insured and carry an AAA rating. The very strong rating was made possible by the creation of the downtown TIF area by the DC Council and Mayor Anthony A. Williams. The debt service on the bonds is payable from portions of the incremental sales taxes and real property taxes generated by the TIF project.
Demolition and excavation began on the project in July 2001. Gallery Place will consist of approximately 200,000 square feet of retail space. Leases have been executed with Jillian's Restaurant, Town Sports, and BB&T. In addition, the complex will house a 15 screen, 2,900 seat United Artists theatre. The project includes 192 residential units, approximately 690 parking spaces and 210,000 square feet of office space. The developer expects the common areas including the cinema, parking space, and retail space to be completed November 2003 and the residential and office spaces to be completed January 2004.
Gallery Place Associates, a partnership of Western Development Corp. and the John Akridge Companies, is developing the project. It is expected to draw an additional six million visitors per year to the Gallery Place-Chinatown area. During its construction, the Gallery Place Project is expected to create approximately 900 direct and indirect jobs, and, upon its completion, it will create an estimated 800 permanent jobs with an annual payroll of approximately $45 million. Projections show that the project will generate $11 million in new sales and property tax revenues in its first year.
This transaction is the third deal completed since the DC Council approved TIF legislation in 1998. The first TIF transaction was in the form of "notes" totaling $6.9 million for the developers of the International Spy Museum. The District sold its first TIF bonds in April 2002 as part of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Project.