JBG Smith Exterior

JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS) sees highly-amenitized collaborative spaces as key to driving office occupancy and is investing $40 million at its National Landing development in Northern Virgina to double down on that strategy.

As part of recently announced plans, JBG SMITH will reposition 2011 Crystal Drive, an 11-floor 444,916-square-foot property, into a premier amenity-filled hub designed to serve its National Landing neighborhood office tenants. Construction is expected to start in the next few months, with delivery in 2026.

The transformation will include a new, state-of-the-art conference and meeting facility capable of accommodating up to 300 guests, making it one of the largest in the region. 2011 Crystal Drive will also feature food and beverage options such as a grab & go market and a cocktail bar. The building can also accommodate tenant signage, even for smaller tenants.

“Ultimately, we’re firm believers that people come to work for people and to be with their colleagues and to collaborate and build culture,” says Brian Cotter, executive vice president of leasing at JBG SMITH. “The whole purpose of this intervention is to create collaborative spaces, whether that’s large-scale meeting space or places to grab coffee with your colleague, or a cocktail after a long day of meetings.”

JBG Smith Lobby
Illustrative rendering of 2011 Crystal Drive lobby, which will include food and beverage options and a cocktail bar. Image courtesy of JBG SMITH.

Cotter says that what will ultimately be created at 2011 Crystal Drive are on-site amenities that would typically only be available at an off-site location, such as a hotel. “We’ve brought those amenities on-site and have democratized them to be shared among the many tenants in our portfolio,” he notes.

Meanwhile, Cotter explains that tenants will be able to rent the meeting space on demand. “The ability to scale in and out of meeting space is a real discerning factor for companies,” he says. In addition to providing compelling new offerings to existing tenants, JBG SMITH is hoping that the flexibility of space and high level of amenities will attract new tenants. “That would be a huge win for us,” he adds.

Cotter describes 2011 Crystal Drive as the most centrally connected building in the National Landing neighborhood, and perhaps in all of the metro D.C. region, given that it is located just steps from the entrance to the future pedestrian bridge to Reagan National Airport. The 1,200-foot bridge is expected to be completed in 2028.

JBG SMITH Conference
Illustrative rendering of the new, state-of-the-art conference and meeting facility at 2011 Crystal Drive, capable of accommodating up to 300 guests. Image courtesy of JBG SMITH.

In addition to being the first and only pedestrian connection between a business district and an airport with domestic and international flights, the bridge will also link to the National Landing Station. This connection will enable rail-to-air transfers with Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express regional services, with VRE access expected to open in 2027. A new street level entrance to the existing Crystal City Metro station, two blocks from 2011 Crystal Drive, is also expected to deliver in 2027.

The location of 2011 Crystal Drive made it a “natural fit” for the repositioning effort, according to Cotter. Furthermore, the building is home to the REIT’s largest contiguous block of vacancy in the operating portfolio, with about 170,000 square feet available at the base of the building.

JBG SMITH engaged architecture and design agency A+I and worked with them to develop a strategy for 2011 Crystal Drive. Design elements include natural materials, light-filled areas, fluid circulation pathways that encourage spontaneous interactions, and a dramatic new staircase offering a central visual and physical link between floors.