Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Church Maximizes Rhode Island Ave / Shaw Metro Location


The United House of Prayer for All People is planning another development on one of their many properties, this one on Rhode Island Avenue in Shaw. The applicant is going before the Zoning Commission on September 10th to rezone the property at 625 Rhode Island Ave., NW, from R-4 (short residential) to the C-2-B Zone District. The change will allow for the planned 48.6-foot building, rather than the maximum of 40 ft allowed in an R-4 Zone.

Suzane Reatig Architecture has designed a 32,125 s.f. multiple-family building comprised of 16 units, eight of which will be affordable to households earning 60%–80% of the AMI, with a mix of two and three-bedroom units, ranging from 1,150 sf. to 2,200 sf.

Additionally, there will be 11 surface level parking spaces, open green space at ground level, a green roof, small rooftop deck, and developers will shoot for LEED certification. According to Megan Mitchell, a Project Designer at Suzane Reatig, the firm has worked with United House of Prayer for All People before and was a natural partner in this new project.

The PUD application was first submitted to the Zoning Commission on March 23, 2009, the hearing is set for September 10, 2009.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain to me how a normal PUD process works? How many times do you need to go before zoning? Is BZA involved? How long does it take?

IMGoph on Jul 29, 2009, 3:35:00 PM said...

well, it's interesting to finally see the drawings for this building. in my opinion, it's positively hideous.

first of all, it just doesn't fit in with a lot of the traditional architecture in the neighborhood, especially on that immediate block. i know that's just my opinion, but the front of this building has ZERO character.

secondly, the second photograph used to illustrate this leaves out an important detail when discussing this block. there are four houses currently on this lot which will be torn down for this project (which DCmud fails to mention in this article). they are a mirror image to the four houses on the other side of the spanish-tile roofed catholic charities building. when they're torn down, the unique symmetry of this block will be lost forever.

third—those ghostly looking full-grown trees in the photos will not be able to exist with a building that big on that lot. guaranteed. it'll just be another spot where trees are planted, grow for a year or two, die, and are replaced. rinse, lather, repeat.

i wish there was some way the church could save at least the facades of what's there and work with that. but, they've hired a starchitect who probably doesn't see much value in preservation.

i say it's a shame, a failure of preservation, and a big mistake. YMMV, but that doesn't mean i'm necessarily going to respect your choice...

Anonymous said...

its a stretch to suggest those rowhomes are worthy of preservation. the extreme view that nothing old should be torn down is a disservice to the notion of preservation and pushes people away from caring.

building apartments with 2 and 3br is a huge plus to the neighborhood.

The design is a bit canned but its more thoughtful than the row that exists now, plus it will settle nicely next to radio one....

IMGoph on Jul 29, 2009, 4:00:00 PM said...

anon #2: (if you'd at least use a pseudonym, it would be easier to identify one of you from the other)

i'm not saying save the entire buildings as-is. i'm asking for at least the facade so the look of symmetry from the street is saved.

and radio one (if it ever really happens, and that sure as hell is no guarantee now that they're more than a few years past when they were supposed to deliver) will be one block further up. these buildings won't be next to each other at all...

Anonymous said...

Will the front door of the building be on Rhode Island Ave or in the back at the parking lot? Churches built many suburban style apts in the neighborhood after the 1968 riots and the front doors all face the inside of the block where the parking lots were placed. I think this disassociates the residents from the neighborhood. I also don't like looking at the back of suburban style apt blocks.

IMGoph on Jul 29, 2009, 5:57:00 PM said...

anon: it appears that the front door will be on rhode island avenue, but i'm sure that, if there is a parking lot included (which they seem to be planning), then a hell of a lot of activity will be happening back there as opposed to at the front door.

Anonymous said...

UHOP is a special client to DC and they get what they want, when they whant, where theyh want and how ever much they want. They were here b4 all of us and no-one should DARE to question them. Same goes for shildoh. And if you do ask something, one of they're Kings in the $234,000 cars will come down on you like a bad habit.

si on Jul 30, 2009, 1:24:00 PM said...

Another Suzanne Reatig monstrosity - i am not a fan of her prefab concrete, glass block & cinderblock prisons..however lightfilled.

Anonymous said...

At least in this case, uhop is putting their money where their mouth is. I'm glad to see one of these groups actually trying to do something. Unlike Shiloh and the owner of the dirty whore cafe

Anonymous said...

Watch out for the neo-preservationists...they seem to like the scale and proportionality of the existing 7-11 and the parking lot.

Mark said...

Crap. Not another dreadful Suzane Reatig design in Shaw!

jescowa said...

I will never understand why so many people hate Susan Reatig's designs so much. Houses and neighborhoods are organic, they should not be trapped in time. I think her designs are beautiful and modern while still respectful of the surrounding environs without feeling the need to emulate them.

Nolan on Nov 11, 2010, 12:52:00 PM said...

Holy crap, THAT is a one ugly f'n building.

Is that facade on Rhode Island Avenue corrugated tin?

WTF are they thinking with this disgusting, ugly box of a building?

 

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