Rendering of the proposed National Research Center for Health Disparities on the campus of Howard University.

WASHINGTON, DC — Howard University has selected a team of private real estate development firms to construct a 260,000-square-foot laboratory and office building located at what will become the northwest corner of Georgia Avenue and Bryant Street NW, adjacent to Howard’s main campus in Washington, D.C. The National Research Center for Health Disparities will be a privately developed and funded project designed to attract pharmaceutical companies and biomedical research organizations that are focused on finding solutions to chronic illnesses, particularly those affecting communities of color.

“Howard has a long history of training problem solvers who are prepared to meet and combat the world’s most significant obstacles,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “This national research center will support the University’s Howard Forward strategic plan by expanding our reach and creating a community where the world’s best minds, thought leaders and scientists can collaborate in one place to solve historic and contemporary health challenges and make our world a healthier and safer place.”

The research center’s location, proximate to the Howard University College of Medicine, will allow private sector companies to collaborate with Howard University faculty on research and development of innovative solutions, including new drugs and cutting-edge therapies. Additionally, the center’s location in Howard University’s “Duke District” commercial corridor will allow pharmaceutical companies located at this site greater access to Howard’s pool of diverse and talented graduates.

Following a thorough and exhaustive competitive selection process, the University sought to move forward with a program that brought an inclusive vision of jobs growth and residential product with a significant local and national impact. The project development team is comprised of Capstone Development, Quadrangle Development Corporation and EDENS. Howard University and its development partners are currently in discussions with prospective tenants and plan to begin constructing the project in 2023.

Aligned with its strategy of utilizing long-term ground lease structures, Howard University will maintain fee simple ownership of the property and will participate in the financial success of the development. This project also fulfills Howard’s desire to revitalize the Georgia Avenue corridor and create significant opportunities for diverse, equal and inclusive business participation. As a result, an African-American controlled development firm will own a significant stake in the project, and in addition, diverse-owned contractors and consultants will participate in the planning, design and construction of the development.

In addition to the laboratory and office building, the project will include approximately 430 rental apartments, targeted to house researchers, University faculty, graduate students and the general public as well as approximately 40,000 square feet of neighborhood-oriented, street-level retail space and two outdoor plaza spaces for University and community events. Further, the project will contribute to reintegrating the neighborhood street network by extending Bryant Street westward to 8th Street.