Press Releases JBG signs Urban Institute for new trophy office building, 500 L’Enfant Plaza
With podium in place, vertical construction to begin early 2017
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Contact: Tammy Murphy, (301) 785-7669, [email protected]  Matthew Blocher, (240) 333-3600, [email protected]

Chevy Chase, Maryland (January 3, 2017) — The JBG Companies announced today that Urban Institute, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit research organization, will anchor a new premier office building at 500 L’Enfant Plaza that will overlook the Southwest Waterfront.

Urban Institute has signed for 121,000 square feet and will occupy the first six floors of 500 L’Enfant Plaza. Designed by ZGF Architects LLP, this Class A office building will be a 12-story, 215,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility with floor-to-ceiling windows on all four sides and a gleaming glass and metal façade.

With a previously constructed podium already in place, vertical construction on 500 L’Enfant Plaza will begin first quarter 2017 with the Urban Institute’s anticipated occupancy to start in the second quarter 2019. The building is targeted a LEED Gold certification.

“Urban Institute has chosen to remain in the District of Columbia, our home since our founding in 1968, because we are committed to this dynamic city and see an exciting future here,” said Urban Institute President Sarah Rosen Wartell. “With the bold choice to relocate to 500 L’Enfant Plaza, adjacent to the Southwest Waterfront, we hope to help strengthen a vibrant community and contribute to the vision of the Waterfront as a meeting place for residents from across the city and the larger region.

“In our new home, we will continue to produce evidence and advance policy solutions that expand opportunities, promote inclusion, and protect the most vulnerable—in DC and across the country,” Wartell added. “We are thrilled to launch the next chapter of our story in an exciting new building with a superb convening space for 240, a modern and light-filled office environment, easy public transportation access, proximity to key federal agencies and partners, and room to grow.”

The new building will include a state-of-the-art conference center with a broadcast auditorium for the Urban Institute’s ongoing programming, along with a 5,500-square-foot rooftop deck overlooking the Southwest Waterfront and offering commanding views of the nation’s capital. The rooftop will also include a catering kitchen for events.

“We are very pleased to have Urban Institute as the lead tenant for 500 L’Enfant Plaza,” said Britt Snider, a JBG principal. “They are a very well-known and highly respected Washington institution, and their decision to relocate to L’Enfant Plaza after nearly 50 years on M Street is a significant endorsement of the Southwest transformation that’s underway. JBG is proud to be a pioneering part of bringing new life to this part of the city, and looks forward to continuing to help Southwest realize its potential.”

In addition, 500 L’Enfant will have direct, indoor access to more than 50 shops and restaurants at L’Enfant Plaza, as well as to the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station, a hub for five of the six Metro lines. In addition, 500 L’Enfant Plaza is approximately a 5-minute walk to the dining and entertainment venues at The Wharf.

The JBG Companies completed an extensive multi-year renovation of the L’Enfant Plaza mixed-use development in 2014, and this year began on-site construction for the new International Spy Museum that will open in 2018 and serve as a further catalyst in bringing new vitality to Southwest. In addition, The Wharf, a mixed-use redevelopment on the Southwest Waterfront, is set to open October 2017 further adding to the dynamic transformation in Southwest.

Bruce McNair and Laura Eshelman of Avison Young represented Urban Institute.

About The JBG Companies Headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, The JBG Companies is a private real estate investment firm that develops, owns and manages office, residential, hotel and retail properties. The company has more than $10 billion in assets under management and development in the Washington, DC area. Since 1960, JBG has been active in the areas where it invests, striving to positively impact local communities. For more information, please visit or find us on Twitter @TheJBGCompanies and Facebook at The JBG Companies

About Urban Institute The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector.

About L’Enfant Plaza L’Enfant Plaza, an office and retail mixed-use development owned and managed by The JBG Companies, is located at 429, 470, 490, 500 & 955 L’Enfant Plaza, SW in Washington, DC. Linked to the 5 of the 6 Metro lines and positioned as one of the region’s most-connected mixed-use properties, L’Enfant Plaza includes 865,000 square feet of office space and 120,000 square feet of retail space. More information is available at