Last week, the DC Zoning Commission granted its initial approval to DC-based developer Akridge’s proposed mixed-use development for 5220 Wisconsin Avenue NW, over objections by the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission regarding the project. Akridge hopes to build its $30 million Friendship Heights condominium complex just south of the metro station between Harrison and Jenifer Streets NW, now home to a flower store and a used-car lot and auto body shop. The planned building would house up to 70 condo units (seven percent reserved for affordable housing), and offer 13,200 square feet of street-level retail, plus two levels of underground parking.
In unanimously approving this project, the Zoning Commission reject opponents’ claims that the 79-foot building would tower over the neighborhood, and instead saw it as a natural continuation of the larger-scale development just to the north. A final vote on this project has yet to be scheduled.
Condo units at 5220 Wisconsin (one and two bedroom) are expected to be between 1,100-1,300 sf, with an average price of $800,000. The structure would include a five-story traditional-style brick section facing Wisconsin Avenue to help mesh it in with the existing streetscape, with an additional two stories of glass set back from the street. The southern part of the structure will taper down to three stories on the southwestern side. There will also be an open courtyard at the center of the building, which is planned to be LEED Certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), with "green" features such as a roof that stores and filters storm water and the recycling and reuse of 50% of all construction materials waste. In addition to this building, Akridge plans to upgrade the existing yet foreboding PEPCO substation to the south of this site by restoring its façade, fixing the sidewalks around it, and adding windows for artwork displays. The developer hopes to start construction on this project later this year.