by Borderstan.com May 30, 2013 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

"Mission"

Central Union Mission moving out. (Luis Gomez Photos)

In a letter to Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), Central Union Mission Executive Director David Treadwell said that the shelter is on the move. The shelter is at the southeast corner of 14th and R Streets NW. Graham released the letter on the U Street News listserv.

“Beginning in May, our homeless shelter and Spiritual Transformation Program (STP) will be housed at 810 5th Street, NW, in the former home of Gospel Rescue Ministries. We anticipate providing services to approximately 120 men while we wait for our renovation project [at 65 Massachusetts Avenue NW] to be completed early this fall.”

The Central Union Mission and its red sign “Come Unto Me” had been a staple of 14th Street since 1983. Last November, Borderstan reported that a new retail and condo development will replace Central Union Mission’s 14th and R location.

Central Union Mission has been rooted in the Logan Circle community and serving the homeless population for nearly 30 years. However, the organization is building a new home at 65 Massachusetts Avenue NW, and construction on the new Eric Colbert & Associates development project is expected to begin this spring.

The closure and relocation of Central Union Mission makes way for 50 condo units and retail spaces at 1350 R Street NW would seem to present a potent symbol of the changes and demographics of the area brought about by urban renewal.

The Washington Post reports the new development will include roughly 50 units of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom condos, ranging in space from 800 square feet to 1,000 square feet each. The Post also reports that the condos will cost around $419,900 to $849,900, and the project is expected to take 14 months to complete.

The retail businesses have not been decided for the building, but The Post article says the developers will be picky about the retailers that go into the new building to ensure the businesses are good neighbors to the residents.

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by Borderstan.com April 10, 2013 at 10:00 am 3 Comments

"14th"

Development on the 14th Street Corridor: Click above for the slide show. (Luis Gomez Photos)

See photos of the changes that have come, and are coming, to 14th Street NW.

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

The neighborhood has changed and 14th Street NW, from Thomas Circle north to Florida Avenue and beyond, is probably the best example. On one block after another for the past decade, we have seen the transformation of the 14th Street corridor.

A note to potential commenters itching to comment on “change” and “gentrification” — these are observations and you are free to make your own interpretations as to their desirability. You can always consider what the Don Draper character on “Mad Men” says: “Change is neither good nor bad. It simply is. It can be greeted with terror or joy, a tantrum that says ‘I want it the way it was,’ or a dance that says, ‘Look, something new!’ ” Or not.

Newcomers of the past three to five years are to be forgiven if they don’t remember when residential buildings at 14th and N, 14th and Q and on the 1500 block of 14th Street (east side) did not exist. The same applies to the north side of the 1400 block of P Street NW (and Church Street just to the north) where large residential buildings face Whole Foods, which opened in the fall of 2000.

We “old-timers” still consider these to be “new” buildings.

The Retail Catch-Up

More than a decade ago, older businesses began closing shop to make way for new businesses that catered to the multitudes of new arrivals in Logan Circle — and more than few of those businesses are now gone (Garden District and go mama go! are two examples). However, Cafe Saint-Ex, Pulp and Home Rule are still going strong.

Shuttered store fronts on 14th Street opened as art galleries, restaurants, posh drinking establishments and upscale home decor stores. It’s been said that it takes a decade for retail to catch up with residential changes in gentrifying neighborhoods. If that is the case, then around 2000 the catch-up began. And, yes, it is hard to over-estimate the importance of Whole Foods as an anchor store for the 14th and P Streets shopping and residential corridor.

Residential Construction Boom

The boom in residential building construction continues on the 14th Street corridor. New residents, including young families have brought a different vibe to the sidewalks. Done or nearing completion are DistrictThe Aston and Northern Exchange — the first on 14th between S and Swann, and the later two at 14th and R.

Coming in the next year are the massive Louis complex at 14th and U Streets and 1919 14th Street at Wallach Place. All will bring more residents — and more businesses to the first floors of the buildings.

Next Up

The remainder of 2013 as well as 2014 will see even more residential-retail and business buildings on the 14th Street corridor:

I have undoubtedly missed some changes and some projects here. But the main point is that the 14th Street corridor is far from done. Expect to see something more in 2014 and beyond — there are still plenty of empty lots and one-story build-ins just itching for something new.

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by Borderstan.com March 21, 2013 at 11:00 am 1 Comment

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com. 

"District"

Now leasing: Apartments at the District. (Courtesy of District)

On Wednesday, Bozzuto Management Company announced that District, a mixed-use seven-story apartment building at 14th and S streets NW, sold and is now leasing. Both Ted’s Bulletin and Doi Moi are slated to open on the ground-floor of the building.

Urban Turf reports that District was originally planned as condos, but ended up being smaller units: 85 percent are studios and one-bedrooms, and the remaining 15 percent are two-bedrooms. The construction on the building wrapped-up in January.

“We are pleased to soon open District, a unique and urbane residence in DC’s vital Logan Circle neighborhood,” said Julie Smith, president of Bozzuto Management Company, in a press release. “At the crossroads of luxury living and smart growth, District offers outstanding amenities and an ideal location for residents who enjoy a walkable, urban lifestyle near retail, restaurants and Metro.”

The building also includes a roof deck with an outdoor living area, outdoor bar, dining cabana, entertaining kitchen, gas grills, fire pit and water feature and underground parking.

For more information, visit District’s website.

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by Borderstan.com March 13, 2013 at 9:00 am 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"14th"

The former Latino Auto Sale car lot will become an apartment building. (Courtesy of Douglas Development)

These days in the District, what isn’t getting turned into a new apartment complex, restaurant or both?

Now, Elevation DC reports that Douglas Development is two weeks away from starting construction on an apartment building on the site of a former 14th Street NW car lot at the intersection of Florida Avenue.

The six-story mixed-development building, planned for 2221 14th NW, will feature 30 residential apartment units, underground parking and ground level retail and restaurant space.

Elevation DC says the developers have not selected a retailer as of yet, but if the space were to be a restaurant, it would be able to seat up to 100 people indoors and 32 outdoors in a potential patio space on Florida Avenue.

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by Borderstan.com February 19, 2013 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Central Union Mission on 14th Street. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Central Union Mission on 14th Street. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com. 

In November, Borderstan reported that a new retail and condo development will replace Central Union Mission’s 14th and R location.

Central Union Mission has been rooted in the Logan Circle community and serving the homeless population for nearly 30 years. However, the organization is building a new home at 65 Massachusetts Avenue NW, and construction on the Eric Colbert & Associates development project is expected to begin this spring.

The Washington Post reports the new development will include roughly 50 units of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom condos, ranging in space from 800 square feet to 1,000 square feet each. The Post also reports that the condos will cost around $419,900 to $849,900, and the project is expected to take 14 months to complete.

The retail businesses have not been decided for the building, but The Post article says the developers will be picky about the retailers that go into the new building to ensure the businesses are good neighbors to the residents.

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by Borderstan.com November 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,626 0

"mission"

Central Union Mission’s  home at the southeast corner of  14th and R Streets. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com. 

Central Union Mission has been helping serve the DC homeless population for more than a century, and has been rooted in the Logan Circle community for nearly 30 years.

But now the organization – a faith-based non-profit that offers shelter, food and a variety of counseling services – is building a new home at 65 Massachusetts Avenue NW, leaving behind its building at 14th and R Streets NW. When Central Union Mission moved to Logan Circle in 1984, just south of the U Street corridor, many people in the neighborhood relied on services provided by Central Union Mission and other social service organizations.

However, the area’s real estate boom and socio-economic transition brought in a wave of wealth along a street that replaced drug dealers, prostitution and crime. For example, the Aston and Northern Exchange luxury condo buildings are entering the final phases of construction across the street.

“I remember when 14th Street had, what you might want to call ‘streetwalkers,’ ” said Shirley Johnson, director of social work at Central Union Mission, in an article for WAMU. “But, you know that people we serve…. could not afford anything around here now.”

In true 14th Street fashion, the old the building of Central Union Mission will be transformed into a residential unit, shortly after the Mission vacates the area. Urban Turf reported in March that “the wheels are in motion” for a 51-unit condo building from Eric Colbert at the site of the Mission.

Eric Colbert of Eric Colbert & Associates, the architect on the project, said he is hoping to start construction on the development this spring, with a projected building time of 14 months until the project is complete. Colbert told Borderstan that the building will have first-floor retail, in addition to the upper-level residences. The owner of the project has not decided if the residences will be to own or rent.

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by Borderstan.com October 15, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,315 0

"Northern Exchange"

Northern Exchange condos and  retail at the northwest corner of 14th and R Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com. 

Progress is moving rapidly on the Northern Exchange building at the northwest corner of 14th and R Streets NW, according to a spokesperson for PN Hoffman, the developer. Originally constructed by Chesapeake & Potomac (C&P) Telephone Company in 1902, the newly renovated landmark will soon serve as home to D.C. condo dwellers. An Italian cafe is also expected to open on the first floor of the residential building.

This weekend, Northern Exchange hosted a grand opening of two model units and a limited release of units on the second and third floors. The building will have 36 loft-style units comprised of studios, one and two bedroom condos. Units at Northern Exchange come equipped with:

  • Open loft floor plans with ceiling heights up to 15 feet
  • Original exposed brick walls
  • Contemporary kitchen designs and Bosch stainless steel appliances
  • Modern bathroom finishes featuring Porcelanosa tile
  • A common area rooftop deck with a residents’ lounge and outdoor grilling area
  • A secure bike storage room
  • Retail on the first floor

According to the PN Hoffman, the roughly 1,000 square feet of retail space will be home to Bar Bari, an Italian restaurant and espresso bar serving espresso, cocktails, gelato and food including charcuterie, lasagna and cannoli. The cafe will have both indoor and outdoor seating for diners. City Paper reports that the new cafe (expected to open in spring 2013) is from Aaron Gordon of Drafting Table.

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by Borderstan.com October 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,029 0

"Rent"

Developers continue to build in DC’s most sought after neighborhoods. (“Construction” is by luisgomezphotos in the Borderstan flickr pool)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com

The area’s escalating rent prices are not new news for Borderstan residents. Yet DC’s rising cost of living continues to make the headlines in publications such s The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week and now, The Washington Post. (We even wrote a piece on the topic this summer – see “DC rent prices: How high is too high?“).

Erica Champion’s recent article in The Post, “DC’s hottest neighborhoods pull in region’s highest rent averages” discusses the District’s cost of living dilemma with regard to the city’s most popular living destinations.

“If ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ helped crystallize the notion that addresses do matter, stratifying the Washington area to analyze average apartment rent at the zip code level illuminates that fact,” wrote Champion in September.

DC’s Area’s Expensive Zip Codes

So where are the most expensive rental areas in DC?

On the list of the DC Metro area’s top 10 are zip codes 20008, 20009, 20001 and 20005, all of which encompass the entire Borderstan area (and its surrounding neighborhoods), from Dupont Circle to U Street and Shaw, and even Logan Circle, Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan. (See Census Frenzy: Ward 2 Population Up 16%, Ward 1 Up 4% and DC’s Population Boom.)

According to the article, most apartments located in these zip codes charge more than $2,000 in monthly rent, requiring a household income of at least $75,000 (43 percent more than the median renter household income in the region).

But despite high price tags, demand for apartment units in the region’s most sought after neighborhoods remains high, with an average occupancy rate of more than 96 percent, which is precisely why developers continue to build in these areas.

Champion attributes the demand in these areas to Metro access; a plethora of bars, restaurants and nightlife options; and retail establishments that cater to young affluent professionals.

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by Borderstan.com August 29, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,436 0

"Jefferson 14W"

The 14W Jefferson at 14th and W NW is nearing completion. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Groundbreaking got underway in December 2010 on the Jefferson 14W project, and the massive residential-retail complex will open in stages during the next few months. The massive complex at the northeast corner of 14th and W Streets NW will also include a new YMCA on the 1400 block of W Street.

A spokesperson for the developer, Perseus Realty, said, “We are currently planning to open the residential portion of the project in late November or early December. The first three floors will open with the initial delivery. The top four floors with the subsequent turnover three to four weeks later.” It is anticipated that the YMCA will open sometime in January.

According to Perseus, the approximately 320,000 square foot project will include 231 rental apartments, an all-new 44,000 square foot YMCA facility, and more than 11,000 square feet of ground-level retail space.

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by Borderstan.com August 21, 2012 at 10:30 am 1,506 0

"1919 14th Street"

Demolition work is underway for the residential-retail building at 14th and Wallach NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

Demolition started on the old Post Office building on the 1900 block of 14th Street NW this week. The brick building that used to house the branch, along with Yum’s, was fenced off last week and construction signs were posted. Level 2 Development is starting construction on 1919 14th Street, a mixed-use apartment building of seven stories at the southeast corner of 14th and Wallach Place NW. That branch of the Post Office has reopened at the Reeves Municipal Center at 14th and U NW.

"Matchbox"

Work is underway at the Arena Stage building where Matchbox will open another restaurant. (Luis Gomez Photos)

The entire block running north from T Street to Wallach Place on the east side of 14th Street is undergoing some major changes — and new businesses. In addition the building at Wallach Place, renovations are underway at the Arena Stage Theater building, where Matchbox restaurant will add another location (wood-fired pizza, anyone?) According to Zagat, the estimated opening date is late September.

Level 2 Development had to make changes to its original design after facing opposition from neighbors of Wallace Place on the height and design.

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by Borderstan.com August 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"14th Street"

14th and W Street ready to be developed. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Development along the 14th Street corridor continues, and a new residential building on 14th and W Streets NW may soon join the long list of ongoing projects. UrbanTurf first reported on the plans earlier this month.

At last month’s ANC 1B meeting, Valor Development introduced potential plans for the northwest corner of 14th and W Streets NW, a space currently occupied by a parking lot and an old two-story building. The concept includes 25 residential units (ranging from 500 to 1,100 square feet) and a fast-casual dining establishment.

The project is across the street from the much larger 14W Jefferson, 300,000-square foot project, where work is well underway. A Perseus Realty project, it will have 231 rental apartments, an all-new 44,000 square foot YMCA (on the 1300 block of W Street with a pool), and more than 10,000 square feet of ground-level retail space.

Valor Development has a number of projects (new and rehabs) in the area, including the Aston at 14th and R NW, 1617 Swann NW and 7th and P NW.

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by Borderstan.com August 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,221 0

"Borderstan""14th Street NW" "People Walking"

14th Street NW: The two sides of gentrification in DC. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com. 

The topic of gentrification in the District is generating some buzz — as it often does. Last week, the Root DC’s Stephen A. Crockett Jr. introduced us all to the term “swagger jacking,” which then triggered a slue blog posts (including our own) on the subject of DC’s economic, cultural and racial shift.

Shortly after Crockett’s piece, The Atlantic published a follow-up story that exposed a series of counter arguments to Crockett’s commentary. In the article – “The Politics of the Urban Comeback: Gentrification and Culture in DC” – writer Garance Franke-Ruta argues that DC’s developmental boom [aka: gentrification] should not be seen as such a bad thing.

Yes, DC is changing; but the once dubbed “Chocolate City” has been undergoing this major transition for more than a decade. And according to Franke-Ruta, development in the city (especially in the U Street area) is not to blame for the loss of DC’s black population – that happened long before the “culture vultures” swooped in with construction cranes and hipster ambiance.

“A close look at the Census data shows that black population loss in the neighborhood actually slowed as gentrification picked up, dropping almost in half from the previous decade’s rate,” writes Franke-Ruta.

The article also emphasizes the importance of the District’s continuing development for tax revenue and population retention purposes. (I don’t know about you, but I am sick of being referred to as a “transient city.”) Encouraging revitalization, development, small business establishments and residential space in DC (especially in the U Street corridor) has been a major priority for the District’s last four mayors.

So there you have it – two sides of the city’s decade-long great divide. Crockett longs for a city that dodges a disheartened sense of “faux black ethos,” while Franke-Ruta longs for a less dodgy city. Is one argument better than the other? And is there a way for the city (and for U Street) to continue to develop and evolve in a way that pleases the majority of the District’s residents?

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by Borderstan.com July 12, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,265 0

"14th and T"

New project of Perseus Realty to bring a facelift to 1728 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com

The 14th Street area between Logan Circle and Columbia Heights has seen a revitalization like no other area of DC over the past several years. The neighborhood is filling up with new restaurants and boutiques, while preserving and restoring older, historic landmarks.

And while it seems like another new business is opening weekly, there are still some buildings and blocks on the strip that could use a little TLC.

Take, for example, the abandoned Granger warehouse at 1728 14th Street NW. The windowless and vandalized brick building is a bit of an eyesore among its bustling neighbors, including Redeem, Cork and the Black Cat. But not for long — the warehouse at 14th and S Streets NW is getting a facelift and makeover.

The project developer, Perseus Realty, hopes to begin an exterior façade renovation in January 2013. The architect, Bonstra|Haresign, intends to leave the interior floor plan intact, for the most part, but will completely remodel the exterior of the building for commercial and retail space.

“The area is maturing and has lots of apartments and residences,” said Robert Cohen, president of Perseus Realty. “Now the local population needs other services, and that is what we are hoping this renovated building will provide.”

While the developers have an idea of the types of businesses and retailers they hope to attract, there are no firm lease plans in place.

“We know that neighborhood retail [in the renovated building] will be a great addition to the services already established in the area,” said Cohen.

Stay tuned for more information as the project continues.

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by Borderstan.com May 16, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,587 0

"Store""Mila""Borderstan""14th Street"

Mila at 2015 14th Street. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT]borderstan.com and follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

Mila Clothing store owner Zahir Rahimi recently sent out a plea for support for a zoning variance for his store to Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B, and also appeared before the U Street Neighborhood Association at their monthly meeting last week.

Rahimi explained that he plans to close his 3,500-square-foot store at 2015 14th Street NW due to changing demographics in the neighborhood. His plans to lease the property are complicated by the decades-old Uptown Arts-Mixed Use Overlay District centered around the 14th and U Streets NW intersection.

Rahimi says the only tenants interested in his space are restaurant owners, so he hopes to obtain relief from the Board of Zoning to lease his space to a restaurant.

In a nutshell, the arts overlay limits the amount of eating or drinking establishments to 50% of the ground floor retail on a block within the  Uptown Arts District. The goal of the overlay is to “encourage retail, entertainment and residential uses that require pedestrian activity; an increased presence and integration of the arts and related cultural and arts-related support uses.”

When first conceived, the overlay had a limit of 25%. When that cap was reached the limit was raised to 50% in an effort to spur development along 14th Street.The problem now for landlords like Rahimi is that the  2000 block of 14th Street where Mila is located has hit the 50% limit. The strip is home to Busboys & Poets, Marvin, Gibson, Blackbyrd and Lost Society, to name a few.

The zoning decision is sure to be closely watched by both residents and developers. The area comprising the Uptown Arts District is undergoing rapid change with major development on nearly every block. Most of the larger projects in the pipeline are mixed-use — ground-floor retail space and residential units on upper floors — which make the retail spaces prime locations for restaurants and bars. It is now common in the neighborhood for developers and restaurants to commit to leases long before projects are complete, rather than face being shut out if no zoning variances are approved.

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by Borderstan.com April 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm 1,937 1 Comment

JBG, Cos., U, Street

Architect’s rendering of the proposed residential-retail complex at the southwest corner of 13th and U Streets NW. (Courtesy JBG Cos.)

From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email at Tom[AT]borderstan.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.

See list of related stories on JBG Cos. projects and development in the area at the bottom of this story.

Nearly 50 people turned out Tuesday evening for a community forum at Busboys & Poets on 14th Street to hear the latest plans for the development at the southwest corner of 13th and U Streets NW. The presentation was by the developer of the project, JBG Cos. and the architect, David M. Schwarz Architects.

Things heated up a few weeks ago when JBG announced at the March meeting of the U Street Neighborhood Association that they were indeed going forward with a plan — originally presented back in 2008 — for a boutique hotel at the site. About a week later information was circulated that suggested a hotel was off the drawing board and the building would instead be residential.

The hotel concept is indeed off the drawing board. JBG’s James Nozar explained that the proposed 250-room hotel would not be financially viable given the pressure from neighbors to reduce the size of the building. JBG is exploring other sites in the area for a hotel.

Not entirely surprising for JBG; the nimble developer has been known to react quickly to market demands. Late last year JBG announced that they were changing course on the 14th and S project and would market the units as luxury apartments rather than condominiums.

History of the Site

The site is a one-story commercial strip built about 20 years ago at the corner of 13th and U. The corner is anchored by the Rite Aid drugstore and sits opposite the Ellington Apartment building. The last storefront impacted on the western end of the site would be Al Crostino restaurant at 1324 U Street NW, which is about mid-block.

The back of the site faces the rear yards of the residential row of two-story townhouses on Wallach Place. James Nozar of JBG, and now a frequent fixture before Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and community groups, started things off with an update on their plans. The hotel concept is indeed off the drawing board. Nozar explained that the proposed 250-room hotel would not be financially viable given the pressure to reduce the size of the building. JBG is exploring other sites in the area for a hotel.

Plans for Residential Building

The residential design presented Tuesday night would have 138 units, 72 underground parking space and ground floor retail. Rite Aid would remain as the primary tenant at the corner. The floor plans would be a mix of 1- and 2-bedroom apartments with potential to combine units. No efficiency units are planned. The overall building height would be 90 feet with an 18-foot mechanical penthouse.

Many people inquired about the possibility of an office building for the site; given the need for more daytime foot traffic to support businesses. Apparently the lot dimensions would not allow a floor plan suitable for office suites.

The plan will allow for a 20-foot alley along the rear. David Schwarz, the architect, said the facade of the building will have the same spirit and character of the  earlier hotel design, with a few changes to the overall massing. Specifics on the material and color are still being developed. Schwarz explained that the building will have almost have three front facades given the site — U Street, 13th Street and the alley-facing facade, since it would be so visible as you head north on 13th Street.

Residents Wary of Project

Attendees asked pointed questions to the presenters — some barbs were even directed at other attendees. Only a few people asking questions identified where they live, but it was obvious residents from Wallach Place and the adjoining blocks of 13th Street were well represented. Questions were raised about the building’s alley access, planned retail tenants, roof deck and affordability.

Many people inquired about the possibility of an office building for the site; given the need for more daytime foot traffic to support businesses. Apparently the lot dimensions would not allow a floor plan suitable for office suites. There were grumbles of protest when Schwarz suggested that the new building is better than the current uninspired strip of retail with a row of dumpsters along residents rear yards. The new building will have an enclosed loading dock in the rear for deliveries, which only seemed to impress a few people.

Many inquiries concerned zoning variances that JBG will need to proceed, the presenters explained that they will pursue a Planned Unit Development (PUD). for the project. The DC Zoning Commission defines a PUD as “a planning tool which allows a developer greater flexibility in site planning and building design. This flexibility permits the developer to incorporate amenities in the project that exceed those that could have been achieved under the general provisions of the Zoning Regulations.”

Other Nearby projects in Pipeline

Wallach Place residents and nearby community groups went through several rounds of negotiations with another developer over the appearance and size a planned residential building on the stretch of 14th Street between Wallach Place and T Streets NW. Plans were eventually downsized by about 10 units.

The effort and surrounding development in the area even prompted the creation of a new neighborhood blog, U Street Dirt. JBG is embarking on a building frenzy in the blocks surrounding 14th and U. At least five projects are either underway or in the development pipeline: The District apartments at 14th and S, The Louis at 14th and U NW, an unnamed project at 8th and Florida NW, the 13th and U project and another planned for the “Atlantic Plumbing” lots near the 9:30 Club.

The developer will continue to make the rounds of neighborhood meetings and DC agency reviews, and adjust plans to respond to the recommendations.

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