Monday, November 10, 2008

A Scaled Back Utopia on U Street

Robert Moore of Georgetown Strategic Capital LLC (GSC) and Eric Colbert & Associates have gotten the go-ahead from two of the District’s governing bodies – the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) – to move forward with their mixed-use Utopia development at the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW.
Utopia has been in the approval queue for more than a year, but only now able to move through the approval process after obliging several variance requests. As such, the building will no longer feature a rooftop pool, and will top out at 90 feet, instead of the proposed 100. The building’s design was also tweaked to allow for varying levels of density throughout the parcel, which occupies two adjoining historic sites at 1912-1944 14th Street NW and 1400-1418 U Street NW.

Nonetheless, the project is still an eagerly anticipated addition to the U Street corridor. GSC intends to bring 230 rental apartments and 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail – an amount that will double the amount of shopping and dining on the block – to complete what it has dubbed an “urban living experience.” Accordingly, Utopia is being pitched as the new home base for young professionals who clog the area on Friday and Saturday evenings – not surprising, given its proximity to Donatelli’s similarly-envisioned Ellington building (and election night’s impromptu Obama street party - aka "Change-fest '08"). The project will include an affordable housing component, the extent of which is yet to be determined.

As of now, the project is still on track to hit its intended 2009 start date, with grand opening scheduled for 2011.


Anonymous said...

What is the status of the Taco Bell? Is it going to be demolished, or will it remain? Its one of the only ones I know about in the district, and it serves its purpose (**please it let it stay!!**). I noticed they got a new sign and remodeled a few months ago, so maybe they don't think they're moving?

Mr. Q on Nov 10, 2008, 3:59:00 PM said...

Unrelated question...well, other than another development that's supposed to break ground in 2009?

Any idea on the current status of the O Street Market development? Have they run into issues with financing given the current environment? Any updates with timetables would be appreciated!

Kerry said...

I hope they are removing that nasty McDonald's that attracts the low-end transvestites, but from the looks of the drawing that's the one thing that will stay. That corner needs to be cleaned up so badly, and the retail replaced.

IMGoph on Nov 10, 2008, 7:29:00 PM said...

oh jeez, i'm sure taco bell will be just fine. sheesh!

Tim on Nov 11, 2008, 4:44:00 PM said...

what a timetable! impressive feat it will be if they can have a significant amount of the project ready to go in 2011.ellingotn seemed to have worked out quite well, so i trust the powers that be on this one.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure the pool has been nixed?


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