- Skanska USA Commercial Development has announced plans to speculatively build an 11-story, 250,000-square-foot office building on the George Washington University campus in Washington, DC.
- The contracting giant will first demolish the existing building on the 25,000-square-foot site, located five blocks from the White House. The new building is expected to cost approximately $126 million.
- Gensler has designed the structure's facade — which features curtain wall with "fins" that will make the facade seem to change depending on the viewing angle. See renderings of the structure here. The building is set to be completed in 2018, and Cushman & Wakefield has signed on as the realtor to search for prospective tenants.
This new building will be Skanska's second DC office construction venture built on spec — a "bold move given the stage of DC's recovering but still sluggish office market," the Washington Business Journal noted.
Skanska Executive Vice President Rob Ward, however, said he doesn't see the project as risky, as he believes the building will draw wide interest from smaller companies. "At the end of the day, we've got a wonderful, trophy-class building on Pennsylvania Avenue," Ward said. "I do think this is going to be a bit of a landmark, a bit of an icon along Pennsylvania Avenue."
The news comes just a few weeks after a Skanska executive announced plans to expand the company's property development business into new U.S. markets in response to an increased demand for office space.
And just this week, the Swedish construction behemoth reported that it posted $74 million in write-downs in its U.S. construction operations in the third quarter. Skanska attributed the losses to client design changes and low productivity on six projects, with the majority of the loss coming from its civil division and the rest from its building division.
Skanska seems undeterred by its disappointing quarterly results — as taking the risk of developing an office building on spec signals confidence in its future U.S. prospects.