Annapolis, Md. — McLaren Engineering Group completed structural engineering work on a 22,000-square-foot office redevelopment project at 706 Giddings Ave. in Annapolis, Md., working with Solstice Partners, GriD Architects, Plano-Coudon, Bay Engineering and Campion Hruby. Through a complete redesign, the project team added 9,000 square feet to an existing 13,000-square-foot building, transforming it into Class A property, and improving the West Annapolis neighborhood.

The $4 million project is the winner of the 2018 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Baltimore WaveMaker Award, which honors Maryland’s most successful real estate developments, and swept a variety of regional American Institute of Architects (AIA) awards. These 2018 awards, which recognize outstanding achievements in architectural design, include the Maryland People’s Choice Award, Chesapeake Bay’s Honor Award, and a Baltimore Design Award.

McLaren Engineering Group performed an initial feasibility study and condition assessment and worked to maintain the structural integrity of the floor framing.

From there, the firm modified the sloped roof framing to convert it into occupiable office space and assisted with a vertical and horizontal expansion. This includes a new floor for additional offices, an outdoor terrace, plus a new lobby entrance and new stair and elevator locations to free up floor space. The structure now features linear planks, which subtly parallels a ship’s hull, highlighting Annapolis’ unique role as a maritime city.

“We’re proud that the project has helped to revitalize this commercial section of West Annapolis and the office now offers cutting-edge features, a sleek design and ample office space for leading businesses,” said McLaren Engineering Group Vice President and Maryland Regional Director, David McLaren. “We were happy to partner with GriD Architects to bring a wholly unique vision to life.”

Since re-opening in 2018, 706 Giddings Ave. has attracted prestigious tenants including two national law firms and a private equity firm and has spurred two additional redevelopments nearby.

Commenting on its unique, modern architecture and upscale features, GriD Architects Co-Founder and Principal, Alick Dearie, said, “The intentionality of the design, paired with its attention to the surrounding context, allows the project to be a catalyst for the rest of the neighborhood.”

The West Annapolis neighborhood, which saw commercial growth stall for nearly a decade, has traditionally featured medical offices and boutique retail shops constructed during the 1960s and ’70s. Identified as an “area of opportunity” in neighborhood studies, West Annapolis remains a gateway to the historic downtown, as it is highly trafficked yet retains walkable space. The 706 Giddings Ave. building capitalizes on that dynamic by offering outdoor seating, the neighborhood’s first public bike rack and its first electrical vehicle charging station.

Dearie continued, saying, “This project elevates the neighborhood’s existing design paradigm by implanting a modern tone that bridges the residential and commercial scales of the area.”

The building, owned by MRE Properties, was developed by Solstice Partners and designed by GriD Architects, with landscape architecture services from Campion Hruby, construction from Plano-Coudon and civil engineering by Bay Engineering, plus structural engineering from McLaren Engineering Group.