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Friday, March 25, 2011

Chinese Embassy to get new location?

Bisnow, DC's resident everything business experts, is reporting that the site of the Chinese Embassy at 2300 Connecticut Ave, NW will be torn down early next year to be rebuilt to house 160 residences for its 180 staff (the largest embassy roster here).

Buildings at 2300 Connecticut Ave., and 2312 Conn. will come down to make room. China bought the building in the mid ’70s (it was originally a hotel) when Nixon re-established diplomatic relations with China.

Chris Collins of Holland &Knight's who reportedly worked on the deal, says the embassy hasn't selected a developer yet. The DC architecture firm Esocoff & Associates is handling design. The firm has worked with over 50 embassies where they have the experience usually building or expanding office space, but not so much with multifamily units.

The new building, hoping to be delivered by 2014 will be secure and environmentally friendly, will be set to provide staff housing in one location. It'll include 130 two- and three-bedroom units and 30 smaller “bachelor apartments,” plus 10k SF of chancery (diplomat-speak for office) space.

China's main embassy building is at the International Chancery Center, at the intersection of Connecticut and Van Ness. It has a ground lease along with 20 other countries there, and the ICC's been so successful that Madeleine Albright suggested building another at Walter Reed.

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