http://www.vhb.com/Lists/VHB News/DispForm.aspx?ID=699Cathedral Commons Recognized with 2017 ACEC Metropolitan Washington Engineering Excellence Award Washington, D.C.2017-05-05T04:00:00Z<p>​​<img src="/PublishingImages/News/Awards/2017/News_Award_ACECMW-Cathedral-Commons_5May17.png" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:10px;" />VHB and Ahold U.S.A. Inc. have been recognized with the ACEC Metropolitan Washington chapter’s Engineering Excellence Award for Category I: Special Projects for the Cathedral Commons mixed-use development in northwest Washington, DC. </p><p>“We’re excited and honored to be recognized by our peers in the engineering industry for our role in this project,” said Michael Jelen, PE, Vice President and Managing Director, National Capital District. “At VHB, we’re driven to help reinvent our urban centers to create great places that provide healthy, livable communities for residents, employees, and visitors.” </p><p>Giant Food LLC spent nearly a decade dreaming of and planning for Cathedral Commons, a unique mixed-use development project in northwest Washington, D.C., near the National Cathedral. Cathedral Commons would rejuvenate an underutilized area, replacing a small, single-level strip mall with mixed-use development. To make this dream a reality, Giant needed to navigate a complex permitting process with multiple partner agencies and create a unique design to meet both the regulatory requirements and the needs of the neighborhood. </p><p><img src="/PublishingImages/News/Awards/2017/News_Award_ACECMW-Cathedral-Commons-2_5May17.png" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:10px;" />Based on a long history of working together, Giant enlisted the services of VHB, who provided guidance through the maze of permitting requirements and suggested innovative designs for the site. Cathedral Commons is the new heart of the neighborhood with retail, office, and residential uses. It has transformed a previously underutilized site fronting Wisconsin Avenue into a vibrant urban community featuring an attractive streetscape and a complementary mix of retail shops, restaurants, commercial and residential space, and open plazas.</p><p>“The Cathedral Commons project has rejuvenated the surrounding neighborhood,” stated Guy P. Stutz, Vice President Real Estate for Ahold U.S.A. Inc. “VHB’s leadership in navigating the permitting process allowed the project to proceed on schedule.” </p><p>The $125 million Cathedral Commons project has been more than a decade in the making. It includes a 64,000-square-foot Giant supermarket as well as 137 apartments, eight townhouses, and a concourse with 125,000 square feet of street front retail space. For the design phase of the project, VHB provided one-on-one coordination during a complicated approval process with multiple agencies including the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Pepco, and DC Water.</p><p>One of the most challenging aspects of the project was determining how to enhance the pedestrian experience. VHB worked with the neighborhood and DDOT to provide improvements for both pedestrians and motor vehicles with the creation of new larger sidewalks, pedestrian crossing features, redesigned bus stops, lighting, and new traffic signals.</p><div><br><em>Photo Credit: Sam Kittner​</em></div>