Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Douglas's Takoma Park Apartments Approved


Yesterday morning, the Board of Zoning Adjustment granted Douglas Development Corporation subsidiary Jemal’s TP Land, LLC final approval and entitlements for its paired apartment buildings at Maple and Willow Streets, NW, in the Takoma Park neighborhood. The development site sits about two blocks east of the Takoma Metro station, within a few feet of the Maryland border.

The 102,000-s.f. site sits in the middle of a block bounded by Maple, Willow and Carroll Streets and Sandy Spring Rd. NW; the future buildings will run parallel to Maple and Willow Streets, fronting Maple for 420 feet and Willow for 407 feet. The site is now occupied by three single family homes and a parking lot; the rest is vacant. In order to clear the way for the apartment buildings, Douglas will renovate and relocate the three homes to the south side of the site to "reinforce the transition between the existing community and the proposed development," according to the BZA application.


Douglas' now-approved buildings, designed by GTM Architects, are planned to top out at 40 feet, each with roughly 41,000 gross square feet, and each having 38 units - scaled back from the original 55,000-s.f. buildings with 40 units each. Douglas will have its landscapers provide more than 25,000 s.f. of green space on the site and plant a wall of evergreen trees on the north end of the lot - apparently to shield neighbors from views of the large surface parking lots that will dominate the complex. The BZA files describe the project as "incorporat[ing] details from the traditional Washington DC apartment buildings from the early part of the twentieth century. A belt course and decorated cornice line visually reduces the mass...while adding architectural interest to the building facade."

Albeit a few minor bumps regarding a roof stairwell that was a little too high and a little too close to the building's facade, Douglas' project has smoothly sailed through the application process, taking just 18 months from start to finish. The Historic Preservation Review Board, required to approve because the site since it lies in the Takoma Park Historic District, gave their assent in February of 2007, and the Office of Planning gave its benediction on November 5th.

A few neighbors complained of potential "flooding, traffic and street parking, [an] absentee landlord, crowding of existing homes and noise and the loss of green space," but the Office of Planning weighed in, saying that the project would have a "positive impact on the immediate neighborhood."

The project site sits across from the long-awaited Ecco Park condominium project, which SGA Architects had designed and planned for development at 235 Carroll Street, purchasing the site of the former gas station and remediating the soil in 2006, but which has yet to see construction begin despite several predictions of an imminent groundbreaking.

3 comments:

poo poo said...

no!!

he needs to get started on some of his NE DC projects first!

DG-rad on Feb 7, 2008, 11:23:00 AM said...

and his Anacostia project!! (corner of MLK and Good Hope)

Anonymous said...

Ecco park is turning into rentals.

 

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