The Cohen Companies’ Union Place, the first of several residential buildings planned for the NOMA Business Improvement District (BID), held their ceremonial groundbreaking this week. At the project’s completion, the development will include 700 residential units two blocks from both Union Station and the New York Avenue Metro Station at 3rd and K Streets, NE.
Designed by Bethesda-based GTM Architects, the project will be built in two phases; the first, named the “Loree Grand” after Loree Murray, a neighborhood leader and activist, is slated for completion in mid 2009 and will include 212 apartments in a 10-story structure, some of which will be voluntarily designated as affordable workforce housing by the developer. Though not bound by the affordable housing requirements that accompany deals with the DC government, the developer has allocated 11 percent of all apartment homes as affordable. Phase one will also deliver an interior public courtyard, "green" roof, childcare center, fitness center, 4,000 s.f. of retail space, and underground parking that will allow one space per unit. Phase two is planned to raise the height to 14 stories. Rick Conrath, principal of GTM and project architect, says the K Street frontage will allow an attractive street presence, with wide sidewalks permitting a generous separation between vehicular and pedestrian traffic; conforming to DC's vision of the avenue as a walkable boulevard with cafes and shopping.
At the completion of both phases, the project will have seven different floor plans that range from junior one-bedroom units starting at 516 s.f., to two-bedroom-plus-den units of more than 1,400 s.f., as well as an indoor/outdoor swimming pool opening onto the courtyard. Cohen has acquired 42 separate properties and is in good company among other large-scale developments likely to begin soon, including Archstone Smith’s project at 1st and M, and MRP Realty’s Gateway Project at the intersection of New York and Florida Avenues.
Elizabeth Price, President of the NOMA BID, tells DCMud that almost 3 million s.f. of development will break ground in the now-vacant neighborhood by the end of the year, including the neighborhood’s first hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott. Plans for a grocery store are also in the works, the name of which has not yet been announced.
With 1500 rental apartment planned for next year, Price noted, “Everything that is planned as residential in NOMA for the next 6-12 months is rental, which is not a surprise given the condo market. The first phases are planned as apartments, but many have second phases that may change to condos.”
The seventh in the District, the NOMA BID was established in March and is bounded by Massachusetts Ave. on the South, North Capitol Street on the West and Q and R Streets on the North. It extends beyond the CSX/Metrorail tracks on the East.