Debevoise Advises J.P. Morgan Asset Management in Two Joint Ventures with JBG SMITH Properties to Develop Potomac Yard Innovation District

10 May 2021

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP advised J.P. Morgan Asset Management in its capacity as investment manager to an institutional investor in connection with the formation of two joint ventures with JBG SMITH Properties (NYSE: JBGS). The joint ventures will design, develop, manage, lease and own approximately two million square feet of new mixed-use development within the Potomac Yard Innovation District.

The planned development contemplates 9 newly-constructed, LEED-certified residential and commercial office buildings and will include street-level retail and affordable housing components. The joint ventures will also oversee the creation of public plazas, pedestrian common areas and outdoor event spaces to serve the Innovation District and neighboring communities. The initial development phase, which is set to begin in Summer 2021, will involve the construction of state-of-the-art streetscapes, utilities and water management systems to serve the building sites. 

The Potomac Yard Innovation District is located within walking distance of the new Potomac Yard Metrorail station, which is expected to open in Spring 2022, and is immediately adjacent to Virginia Tech University’s $1 billion Innovation Campus, which virtually launched in Fall 2020. Debevoise advised J.P. Morgan in connection with the conveyance of a three-acre parcel to Virginia Tech Foundation in June 2020, which will serve as the future site of the Innovation Campus. 

The Potomac Yard Innovation District is a part of the larger National Landing Business Improvement District, a multifaceted and innovative development region located south of Washington, D.C. and adjacent to Reagan National Airport along the Potomac River. National Landing, which includes Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard, was created to attract Amazon’s HQ2 to the Washington, D.C. area and is expected to house 26,000 residents and 50,000 workers daily. Amazon selected Crystal City, which is less than two miles north of the Potomac Yard Innovation District, as the location of its HQ2.

The Debevoise team is led by real estate partner Peter Irwin and includes real estate associate Alexander Djaha, law clerk Malina Welman, tax partner Michael Bolotin and tax associate Gregory Arutiunov.