Developers of the Gramercy District — a 2.5 million-square-foot, $500 million transit-oriented development — are touting it as the first “smart city” in the region and one of the first in the country. The mixed-use development is located in Loudoun County, Va., close to Washington Dulles International Airport and is at the future Silver Line Ashburn Metro Station, opening in late 2019.
The project’s goal is to merge technology with real estate to deliver unique experiences and enhance quality of life. According to 22 Capital Partners, a venture builder and private equity company, Gramercy District will create an environment that continuously adapts to meet the needs of business partners and guests who are working, living, shopping, and playing in the smart city. The vision is for the Gramercy District to be a model for a new standard of living.
22 Capital Partners announced a partnership with the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT; www.cit.org) and George Washington University to facilitate access to and use of a working smart city development that will connect areas along the Washington, D.C., and Washington Dulles International Airport corridor. It will form a living environment built around the needs of entrepreneurs to envision the future and bring smart city education and innovations to market.
The partnership with CIT exemplifies a smart city public-private partnership. CIT is both an authority on technology in the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as a center of leading-edge innovation, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and early stage investment programs such as the MACH37 Cybersecurity Accelerator, the GAP early-stage investment fund, and the DHS-sponsored EMERGE wearable technology accelerator program.
George Washington University (GW) and its Virginia Science & Technology Campus (https://virginia.gwu.edu) located in Ashburn, Va., brings professional educational innovations in areas such as cyber security and data analytics along with entrepreneurial development and technology transfer education through the NSF-funded iCorps program. GW is the lead for the Pennsylvania Avenue 2040 Environmental Sensing Project (http://octo.dc.gov/page/pa2040-project) in Washington, D.C., and is part of the MetroLab Network, a national smart cities initiative for municipalities and research institutions to cooperate on key citywide issues.
This partnership with GW, the Gramercy District, and CIT will support new research opportunities and scale up regional job training activities around internet of things (IoT), cybersecurity, city planning, and entrepreneurship. The Gramercy District will be a test bed that provides individuals, businesses, and researchers with opportunities for hands-on learning in a smart city environment built to foster the use of new IoT technologies and methods, leading to a repeatable process for smart city experimentation and innovation.
“Through this partnership, we will look to harness our partner’s diverse technology expertise and higher education program deployment with this project,” said Minh Le, managing partner of 22 Capital Partners. “Our goal is to build a strong public-private-academia partnership to drive innovation and higher education. Our project is particularly ideal for this partnership because we are able to take a holistic approach to help foster breakthroughs in technology that will bring practical and economic solutions to the masses.”
The Gramercy District development also will feature the first deployment of new technology — the 22 CityLink platform (www.22citylink.com) — that combines the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to tailor and adapt to the needs of each citizen. 22 CityLink’s “smart city in-a-box” platform is focused on building key partnerships in technology, academia, local, state, and federal government agencies to help develop new governance models and integrated technology real estate development approaches required for next-generation urbanization projects. The 22 CityLink platform provides a sustainable approach to build smart cities based on sound economics, 22 Capital Partners said.
A key component of the 22 CityLink smart city approach is reducing total life cycle costs and creating long-term value for citizens within the smart city. 22 Capital Partners recently selected FedBid, Inc. (www.fedbid.com) as a technology partner for its 22 CityLink platform.
“By taking proven, industry-leading supply chain and procurement practices that drive efficiency in purchasing, while also reducing costs and applying them to modern development projects like Gramercy District, it is possible to dramatically increase the return on investment of any real estate development,” Le said. “We are creating a replicable process for effective and efficient procurement, not only in the construction phase, but throughout the development lifetime. 22 CityLink and FedBid are poised to provide this full life cycle cost-optimization model, maximizing return on investment.”
Information provided by 22 Capital Partners (www.22CapitalPartners.com), a venture builder company and global private equity firm investing in commercial real estate, technology, and clean and renewable energy.