Construction is completed on a 320,000-square-foot neuroscience research center, marking the latest phase in the massive modernization of the National Institutes of Health’s Bethesda campus, according to Chicago global architecture firm Perkins+Will, which designed the building.
The new building is the second of a 600,000-square-foot project that advances the NIH goal of shutting down leased space around Montgomery County and consolidating offices in Bethesda. The agency’s master plan adopted last year calls for building 1.6 million gross square feet of research space and 775,000 square feet of administrative and support space on the 310-acre campus.
Although NIH does not expect a major boost in funding such as it has received during the past 15 years, its rebuilding project will make room for about 3,000 personnel who will relocate from leased facilities off campus and other NIH sites.
The John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center — which sits on the western edge of the comlex — is home to about 1,100 staff members working for 10 NIH institutes, including the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of Mental Health. The vast laboratory spaces are used for original research to develop medical advancements.
The first phase of the center was completed in 2004 and the new building was funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The center is named for former Rep. John E. Porter (R-Ill.), who was chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee overseeing the NIH budget.
The building was originally budgeted for about $266 million of the total $500 million in recovery funds passed for NIH construction projects. But bidders were so eager for work during the Great Recession that Baltimore’s Whiting-Turner Construction was awarded the contract at up to $156.36 million.
The building — the largest neuroscience facility in the nation — is designed to achieve gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Energy-efficient and environmentally friendly design elements include geothermal wells, ground source heat pumps, chilled beams, LED lights and a photovoltaic array that improves energy generation and usage.
The center also includes a technologically advanced MRI suite, the first of its kind in the world, which is capable of providing high-resolution imaging.
The NIH master plan involves tearing down and replacing many of its 90 buildings, which have been found to be so outdated that they can no longer be economically rehabilitated. When the 20-year modernization project is complete, the campus should grow to more than 23,000 employees.
Knight Sky, a satellite services firm, will relocate its headquarters to the Westview Business Park in Frederick, according to the landlord, St. John Properties of Baltimore.
The firm signed for 12,840 square feet and will move from the east to the west side of Interstate 270 from its current location at 7470 New Technology Way.
Westview is a 49-acre business park at I-270 and Md. 85. The nine-building, 423,000-square-foot complex has 6 more acres under development. In addition, Texas Roadhouse is building a new restaurant on a pad site at Westview.
Knight Sky supports the Department of Defense and federal civilian agencies with Internet protocol networking via satellite and focuses on the design, installation and operations of mobile communication networks and information technology services.
Danny Severn of St. John represented the landlord and Joe McCormick and Evan Bernardi of HBW Group represented the tenant in this transaction.
St. John Properties also announced that it leased 10,400 square feet of new and expansion space in four separate deals in the Riverside Technology Park in Frederick.
All involve space at 8420 Gas House Pike, a single-story, 93,360 square foot research and development flex building.
• Soldierfit, a military-inspired fitness boot camp, expanded by 5,430 square feet and now leases 15,330 square feet.
• Grand Rental Events, a family-owned company specializing in rentals for special events and occasions, leased 2,760 square feet.
• Edward Jones, an international financial services firm, leased 1,260 square feet.
• The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, the oldest chamber in the nation, expanded by 990 square feet and now leases 5,040 square feet for its headquarters.
Riverside Technology Park is a 490,000-square-foot, mixed-use business complex between Md. 26 and I-70 on Monocacy Boulevard.
First-phase construction has started on the Estate Condominiums at Quarry Springs, a 97-unit, luxury condominium project on River Road just west of Seven Locks Road in Bethesda.
The average unit size will be larger than the average new home at 3,200 square feet.
The development is a joint venture between 1788 Holdings of Washington and IHP Capital Partners of Newport Beach, Calif.
The first phase will include 50 units in two, five-story buildings and is expected to be delivered in late fall 2015. Amenities will include full concierge services, gated access with 24-hour security and valet parking for guests, a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse and an outdoor pool.
Construction on the second phase of the project is expected to commence in 2016 and will add 47 units.
Sales and marketing for Quarry Springs will be managed by TTR Sotheby’s International Realty out of its Chevy Chase brokerage office.