Owner: New England Development
Client: Boston Properties
Location: Friendship Heights, MD/DC
Wisconsin Place, located on the border of Montgomery County and the District of Columbia, is an 8-acre urban center. The property consists of 300,000 SF of retail, 450,000 SF of office space, 300,000 SF of residential, a 17,200 SF community center, and a multi-level underground 1,600-space parking garage.
Soltesz, Inc. provided civil engineering, land planning, and surveying services for this mixed-use development . The entire project was developed in two phases. The property is bordered to the west by Friendship Boulevard, to the north by Williard Avenue, to the east by Wisconsin Avenue (MD Route 355), and to the south by Western Avenue. The site is located along Wisconsin Avenue (MD Route 355) and has access to the Friendship Heights Metro Station. Engineering this site for construction presented many difficulties, one of which was coordinating design and regulatory approval from three different jurisdictional agencies. Bounded on several sides by major arterial roads, including a Maryland State Highway, maintenance-of-traffic was of paramount importance to the success of the project yet posed ongoing challenges as the project progressed from one phase to the next. Efficient stormwater management and the balance of green space was also a major engineering concern because of the high traffic location.
Understanding the potential scheduling impacts of the maintenance-of-traffic issues, the Soltesz team prioritized traffic coordination. The team worked diligently and closely with DCDOT, MC DPW&T, MCDPS and MDSHA as well as local neighborhood homeowner associations to obtain all of the necessary approvals and permits to keep the aggressive project on schedule. Maintenance-of-traffic plans were phased and coordinated with the three different agencies to ensure safe traffic and pedestrian flow around the project throughout the three-year construction lifespan.
To address the stormwater management within such a tight urban space, Soltesz designed two underground water quality and quantity detention structures. Neighborhood parks – designed and built directly above these stormwater management devices – addressed the balance of the green space on the site. The two water quality structures, also designed around the underground garage, were built in different phases to minimize disturbances to the area. This solution allowed for all stormwater to be treated on site and still met the green space and public amenities requirements, which were integral to the client’s vision of the development.
In order to successfully plan the project, significant due diligence services were required. Because of its location on the border of Montgomery County and the District of Columbia, the biggest challenge in the process was the coordination between the various jurisdictional agencies. Soltesz provided navigation and insight into the agency review process for the client. Soltesz worked diligently and closely with DCDOT, MC DPW&T, MCDPS, and SHA as well as local neighborhood homeowner associations to deliver a comprehensive description analysis of this site and its features. With the permit process, plan review and approval process, and review fees. In addition, Soltesz expertly navigated the zoning of the proposed site, zoning variances, and conditional use permits.