April 1, 2019 | Written by Howard Newsroom Staff
WASHINGTON – Eighteen months after launching a highly competitive developer selection process, Howard University has identified its preferred development partner to redevelop the Bond Bread Factory and Washington Railway & Electric Company buildings, located across from Howard University Hospital, at Georgia Avenue and V Street, Northwest. The University’s Board of Trustees approved plans to enter into exclusive negotiations with EDENS, Fivesquares Development and the Menkiti Group (The Bond Partnership) to reimagine the 2.2-acre project into a 600,000 square foot mixed-use hub of activity. Under a capitalized ground lease structure, Howard will maintain fee simple ownership of the property to preserve and enhance its real estate portfolio – realizing fair market value and capitalization, as well as long-term participation in the project’s economic success.
This project furthers the University’s real estate strategy, championed by President Wayne A. I. Frederick, to monetize underutilized real estate assets and generate capital for mission-based reinvestment. The Bond Bread project fulfills Howard’s desire to revitalize the Georgia Avenue corridor and create significant opportunities for minority business participation in major projects.
“Bond Bread/WRECO presents a unique opportunity for Howard University to energize the revitalization of our community. The Bond Partnership has proposed a compelling destination for students and the greater District of Columbia community that will generate local jobs and offer value for Howard to reinvest in its mission,” says President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “We carefully selected this team because of their innovative vision for the site, respect for its historic structures, experience working with diverse stakeholders, and their ability to generate value. I am thrilled to work together to transform this site into a thriving part of the surrounding Shaw and Pleasant Plains neighborhoods. We look forward to partnering with a development team that can bring this vision to life.”
After receiving more than 20 responses to its Request for Qualifications, Howard University carefully reviewed detailed responses to a Request for Proposals from six down-selected teams. During the 18-month selection process, Howard outlined detailed financial, programmatic, and mission-based criteria for the project, including the desire to create a gateway to the University, instilling a sense of place through the use of high-quality urban design, and including a thoughtful interface with the adjacent campus and hospital. Teams were required to incorporate community and campus requests from a Howard-led survey with more than 1,000 respondents. The University worked with local and national experts in real estate, architecture, historic preservation, and environmental remediation to assess each proposal and conducted interviews with all RFP respondents. Howard will now enter into exclusive negotiations with The Bond Partnership to define financial and business terms. If the University is unable to execute an agreement with the preferred development team, Howard will return to the next two highest ranked teams to begin negotiations.
“We are honored,” said the Development Team of EDENS, Fivesquares Development, and The Menkiti Group (The Bond Partnership). “To work on this transformational project to further Howard University’s vital mission and legacy through the creation of a dynamic new neighborhood development concept centered on a multi-tiered, actively programmed public space that will create a vital neighborhood center at this important intersection of the local community and Howard University. We believe our concept will achieve the long-held aspiration of Howard University and the DUKE Plan to “knit the community together through new development.”
The proposed program seeks to bridge the gap between Howard’s central campus and the vibrant U Street community while addressing the vision outlined in the Duke Small Area Plan. The site will offer multifamily, hotel, and in-line restaurant and retail use, in addition to a marketplace and public park.
The development team plans to leverage the site’s grade change innovatively by locating a marketplace beneath the public park, which will span much of the block. The market and park will be programmed with events to create a vibrant destination and offer new amenities to serve students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community.
Beyond physical attributes, the project will offer mission-oriented benefits to Howard stakeholders, including internships for students, a retail incubator for student ventures, and collaboration of the use of spaces for Howard events. The Bond Partnership is dedicated to creating opportunities for minority participation in the project, at both the ownership and service provider levels. At least 20 percent of project equity will be sourced from minority-owned Menkiti Group, creating a critical wealth generation opportunity.
“Bond Bread will play a pivotal role in the revival of Georgia Avenue by creating a unique 24/7 environment, and I am proud that the University had a diverse set of development options from which to make a selection,” says Howard Real Estate Executive Anthony Freeman. “As one of the most active institutions throughout the country that is implementingcomplex on-campus and off-campus real estate and privatization transactions, the Real Estate organization and its diverse evaluation team are proud to have selected this development partner in response to the comprehensive requirements outlined in the RFP. Howard will benefit from having a well-capitalized partner that is both experienced in placemaking and understands the unique needs of institutional owners.”
Howard will now work with The Bond Partnership to program the site collaboratively and launch a multi-year entitlement process prior to groundbreaking. The University’s development partners will lead the design and financing of the development, as well as efforts to obtain zoning and historic preservation approvals. The proposed development program must progress through historic preservation and campus master plan reviews, during which stakeholders will have an opportunity to review and comment.
Howard has relied on a dedicated team of industry leaders in real estate, finance, historic preservation, and environmental remediation to reach this milestone, including: Alvarez & Marsal; Apex Companies; EHT Traceries; and Lerch Early & Brewer.
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About the Development Team
EDENS, Fivesquares Development and the Menkiti Group are responsible for a number of high-profile projects in the DC area and together form the selected development team, the “Bond Partnership.”
EDENS is a retail real estate owner, operator and developer of a nationally leading portfolio of 125 places including Washington, D.C.’s Union Market and Fairfax County, VA’s Mosaic District. Their purpose is to enrich community through human engagement.
Fivesquares Development is a developer of mixed-use projects and partners with non-profit institutions to unlock the value of their real estate holdings to further their missions and create value. The experience of their principals includes redeveloping the block-long Whitman-Walker Health property at 14th and R streets with a new cultural center and park, Washington’s Anacostia Waterfront Revitalization (which framed developments like The Wharf and The Yards), City Center, Bethesda Row, and London’s Olympic Park. At the helm of Fivesquares is the former DC Director of Planning Andy Altman who is the Managing Partner of the Bond Partnership and oversaw the creation of the original Duke Small Area Plan.
The Menkiti Group is a minority-owned multi-disciplinary development company that invests in emerging neighborhoods and is known for transforming and strengthening communities through community-focused development. The company has invested more than $200 million into emerging neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., and Worcester, MA, has delivered or has in its pipeline more than 1.5 million square feet of property, and has helped more than 2,500 families realize the dream of homeownership. One notable current Menkiti project is the long-awaited MLK Gateway in Southeast Washington.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 70 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.
Apex’s California Division recently teamed with Mission Linen Supply to raise money for the Page Youth Center (PYC) in Santa Barbara, CA. We are a proud sponsor of this annual fundraiser which funds fitness, sports, and wellness programs benefitting the non-profit’s youth and adult community members.
The PYC, founded in 1984, enhances the lives of Santa Barbara area youth by using sports programs to build character, self-confidence, physical fitness, and sportsmanship. With a 23,000 sf sports facility and the stalwart dedication of the PYC team, it has helped thousands of boys and girls over the years as they compete competitively as high school and college athletes and later excel as business and community leaders.
It’s our pleasure to help both PYC and Mission Linen, our client of 12 years, continue to make a difference in the world.
Pictured left to right: Apex’s Northern California Division Manager Fred Clark, PG; Norm Colby; Mission Linen Supply representative Don Moore; and Apex’s Project Manager Ted Lizée, PG
Apex welcomes Tula Economou as their new Northern California Division Manager.
With over 25 years of experience managing regions, offices, and complex programs and projects throughout California, Tula’s leadership is a natural fit for Apex. As Division Manager, she will strategically align Apex’s teams within the Greater San Francisco and Greater Sacramento areas; increase market traction; and drive future growth across the region.
Prior to joining Apex, Tula served in Vice President roles at Red Stem, LLC and AECOM. Her extensive experience includes geology, hydrogeology, human health and ecological risk assessment, remediation, environmental compliance, geographic information systems (GIS), vapor intrusion, environmental planning and permitting, emergency response, air quality, ecosystem restoration, and water resources. Tula has applied her expertise across the manufacturing/industrial, ports and waterways, oil and gas, utility, mining sectors with projects that include overseeing a multi-million dollar soil and groundwater remediation for a Fortune 500 consumer products company under Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) oversight, managing myriad large-scale power plant and former manufactured gas plant (MGP) remediations; and preparing a land management work plan for a hydroelectric system that spans six reservoirs storing over 560,000 acres of runoff, 27 dams, and 54 miles of tunnels and conduits. She holds a MS degree in geology from the Vanderbilt University.
“We’re excited to have Tula join us. Her leadership skills, coupled with her impressive experience, will be instrumental as we continue to capture market share and broaden our reach in Northern California,” stated Herb Clough, PE, Apex’s West Regional Manager.
The Professional Environmental Management Association (PEMA) named Paola Gomez-Birenbaum, PG, Apex’s Senior Geologist, as director-at-large their Southern California board of directors. In this role, Paola will help the environmental trade association’s directors and committees achieve their goals to provide education, interaction, and professional skill development to PEMA’s members and professionals both within and intersecting the environmental industry.
Paola, and her Signal Hill colleague Ben McVeigh (both pictured) attended a recent PEMA-sponsored holiday fundraiser tocollect donations for non-profit organizations such as Toys4Tots. Charities sponsored by PEMA—St. Vincent Meal-on-Wheels and the YMCA Community Services—were presented with checks (totaling $22,500) for proceeds raised by PEMA’s various committees at their annual events.
Apex’s Ben McVeigh stated, “PEMA is an impressive organization and this was a great event. This year’s charitable donations will help deliver meals to the elderly and help the YMCA provide community services. It was an honor to witness the groups’ sincere appreciation and hear how the funds will be used.”
After the event, representing Apex, Paola attended her first board meeting. Sharing her thoughts, she added, “PEMA has had a long relationship with the St. Vincent Meals-on-Wheels. A St. Vincent nun who had worked with the PEMA board for several years passed away this year and I noticed a few board members were wearing angel pins she had given them during past holiday events. Clearly it is relationship they valued and a cause that is special to them. I enjoyed seeing how passionate they were about the charities they support."
Regarding joining the PEMA board, Paola said she’d been looking to make a contribution in the environmental field with an organization that would positively impact her work at Apex with fellow colleagues, clients, and regulators. "PEMA does a good job of combining the very technical aspect of our industry with the practical side of the work we do. I’m looking forward to building my network and becoming involved with the various seminars and fundraising PEMA has started planning for the new year."
Apex Companies, LLC, a water resources, environmental services, and industrial hygiene firm announced today its acquisition by Sentinel Capital Partners (“Sentinel”), a private equity firm that invests in promising companies in the lower midmarket.
Apex offers comprehensive professional and field services to assess, prevent and cure environmental issues related to water, ground, facilities and air quality. The Company serves a large and diverse client base, spanning public and private sectors and a broad range of end markets, including energy, retail, real estate, telecom, manufacturing and industrial. Apex’s client-centric operating model, nationwide presence and industry reputation as a leader in environmental compliance and risk management is the foundation of its impressive blue-chip client base and 30-year history.
“Partnering with Sentinel provides us a tremendous opportunity to accelerate our growth, while preserving the agility and flexibility that is so highly valued by our clients and employees,” said David Fabianski, Apex President and CEO. “Our management team and staff are thrilled to be aligned with the team at Sentinel.”
“Apex is a leading growth platform in the highly attractive environmental services market,” said Michael Fabian, a Sentinel Partner. “With a highly capable, passionate management team and a dedicated team of employees, we believe Apex is well-positioned to continue its history of growth, both organically and through acquisition. We are extremely excited about the opportunity to partner with the Apex team.”
Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor to Apex on the transaction.
About Sentinel Capital Partners
Sentinel specializes in buying and building businesses in the lower midmarket in the United States and Canada in partnership with management. Sentinel targets aerospace and defense, business services, consumer, distribution, food and restaurants, franchising, healthcare, and industrial businesses. Sentinel invests in management buyouts, recapitalizations, corporate divestitures, and going-private transactions of established businesses with EBITDA of up to $65 million. Sentinel also invests in special situations, including balance sheet restructurings and operational turnarounds. For more information about Sentinel, visit www.sentinelpartners.com.
We’re proud to have been recognized by Zweig Group as a 2018 Hot Firm, noted within their prestigious list honoring the US fastest-growing firms in the architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting (AEC) industry.
“It is important for us to celebrate growth and success in this industry,” said Zweig Group CEO Chad Clinehens. “This list recognizes those firms that are achieving a real metric of business success: growth, which fuels job creation and builds the communities they serve."
Conducting intensive contaminant investigations—something our talented teams do daily—is hard work. Now picture that same work in a busy, industrial section of downtown Los Angeles with narrow streets that can barely fit the necessary drill rigs. Factor in multiple utilities and a highly-pressurized gas line to contend with. Pepper in some extra maneuvering to ensure that all the property tenants’ businesses are as minimally impacted as possible. And add the challenges of helping the property stakeholders understand the application of the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) consent order that prompted the project in the first place. That’s what our Apex team is impressively addressing as they finish conducting an investigation of a former metal plating site riddled with tetrachloroethene (PCE) from decades of degreasing operations.
Our team’s investigation—across the site’s former plating areas, a wastewater treatment system, metal coating operations, chemical storage areas, linear floor drains, and a soak cleaner pit—assesses the extent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the soil gas and groundwater beneath the site, and as necessary, in the public right-away. This includes drilling up to seven borings, collecting soil samples, installing groundwater monitoring wells, installing multi-depth soil gas probes, and collecting soil gas and groundwater samples. Our team has recommended soil vapor extraction (SVE) as the remedial approach and we will be proceeding with that as another adjunct project stemming from this one. SVE, an approach our team is adept at using, involves drilling extraction wells into contaminated soil and connecting a blower or vacuum pump to pull the vapors through the soil and up the well to the ground surface for treatment. Apex will be installing as many as four additional SVE wells to capture VOC contamination in soil more than 160 feet deep.
We’re proud to do our part. Just one more way we’re helping to make a difference in our communities.