© Maxwell MacKenzie
For more than 60 years, the David Nassif Company has been used as the parent organization for a wide variety of real estate
development and construction projects. In the 1940’s, David Nassif, who founded the company, undertook prime construction contracts for
the United States Engineers Division in connection with the construction of seven major air bases and more than 60 miles of the Alcan Highway.
In the early 1950’s, he was joined in the business by his son, David E. Nassif, who had received a degree in civil engineering and had
formed his own engineering company in Boston, Massachusetts.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the David Nassif Company helped pioneer the design-build concept for key industrial properties in the
Northeast – including corporate and headquarters facilities for major Fortune 500 corporations such as General Motors, American Thread
Company, National Research Corporation, Sylvania Electric, Sunshine Biscuit Company, Honeywell, and others. Beginning in the early 1960’s,
the David Nassif Company expanded its activities to include the development of office, retail, and residential properties. That led, in 1964, to
development of a new 260,000 s.f. office building in Falls Church, Virginia. It also led to the creation of a joint venture with a developer in
Southwest Florida that became the largest condominium developer on Marco Island and also developed office buildings, retail space, and marinas.
David Nassif and his son interacted with the Washington, D.C. Redevelopment Land Agency in the mid 1960’s and won the right to purchase
the 5.2 acre parcel in Southwest Washington that became the site of the David Nassif Building. At the time of its construction, the David Nassif
Building was by far the largest private office building in the District, with more than 1.3 million rentable square feet of space and fifteen acres
of underground parking. To this day, there is still no other privately-owned office building in the District that comes close to those statistics.
The David Nassif Building was designed by Edward Durrell Stone, the noted architect who also designed two other well known D.C. buildings:
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the headquarters of the National Geographic Society.
To develop, own and operate the Washington, D.C. property, David Nassif Associates was formed as a District of Columbia limited partnership.
The controlling interest in David Nassif Associates has remained with the extended Nassif family, but as a limited partnership, David Nassif
Associates is managed by its general partners. David E. Nassif died in 2003, and his father pre-deceased him. One of the three current general
partners of David Nassif Associates is David W. Nassif, who represents the third generation of his family to hold that position. The other two
general partners are Donald E. Jenkins, who is the last remaining of the original general partners, and Timothy D. Jaroch, who also serves as
general counsel for David Nassif Associates. Limited partner interests were given to approximately 25 people who had assisted over the years in
the development of various Nassif projects, including the David Nassif Building. The structure of David Nassif Associates has remained essentially
unchanged over the past 43 years, although in many cases the current partners are the children or grandchildren of the original limited partners.
For 37 years after its opening in 1970, the David Nassif Building was leased to the General Services Administration for use as the headquarters
of the U.S. Department of Transportation. When DOT completed vacating the property in June 2007, David Nassif Associates promptly began overseeing
the total renovation project that had been in planning for the previous four years. Although the David Nassif Building has been renamed
“Constitution Center” in connection with its total renovation, the property’s 43-year ownership by David Nassif Associates has remained
DESIGN INTENT FOR CONSTITUTION CENTER
In the course of planning for the total renovation of the David Nassif Building, the remarkably creative and farsighted aspects of the building’s
original structure became abundantly clear. With an exceptional platform already in place, David Nassif Associates elected to take the original building
down to its frame and use that structure to create an essentially new building. To signal that rebirth, the owner decided to call the renovated property
“Constitution Center,” and four specific goals were set for the design and engineering efforts that would create Constitution Center:
1. To have it be an extraordinarily comfortable and efficient place for people to work, fostering high levels of morale, productivity and operational
2. To make it the most secure private office building in Washington, D.C., exceeding the Level IV standards established by the Interagency Security Committee.
3. To create the most energy efficient office building in the entire Washington, D.C. area.
4. To have it become a benchmark for sustainability and “green building” design under the LEED Program of the U.S. Green Building Council.