After more than one year of planning and approvals, construction on the 17th and O Street apartments is expected to begin in late December. The planned development, currently a parking lot owned by First Baptist Church of Washington at 16th and O Streets NW in the 16th Street Historic District, will include 220 residential units.
According to Eric Colbert of Eric Colbert & Associates, the architectural firm on the project, most of the units will be junior bedrooms (with a few two bedrooms) and all apartments will be rental units. DC Mud reports that developers expect the total construction time to be about 18 months. The building’s design will complement other historic buildings in the area.
In 2011, initial plans for the project were met with opposition, mostly from residents of neighboring condo and apartment buildings. Concerns were mostly about the size, density and noise created by a new building.
Colbert worked with neighbors and the local ANC (2B) to revise the plans and renderings of the project that addressed some concerns raised at earlier public meetings. Notable changes were made to the rooftop common areas and the landscaping, and Colbert showed a reduction in the number of efficiency units — the revised design will include a tier of two-bedroom apartments.
In addition to receiving support from ANC 2B, developers, Keener Squire, also received approval from the Historic Preservation Review Board and the DC Board of Zoning adjustment.