Northwest One's race for the first residential project is showing some contest. The development team for the SeVerna had forecasted earlier this year that their 60-unit affordable housing project would get moving this summer, which DCMud reported last spring, but construction has not yet taken place, and now William C. Smith & Co claims their $80 million, 314-unit "classy, rental building" will in fact be the first to break ground - next spring. But not so, says Jose Sousa, a spokesman with Mayor Adrian Fenty's office, the SeVerna's developers settled on their property August 12 and will be breaking ground, at least officially, "in the next couple of weeks."
The District has already built the Walker Jones Education Campus, a school and recreation center, officially the first successful portion of the redevelopment plan, but it remains unclear where its next students will come from, as neither the Severna developers ( MissionFirst Development, The Henson Development Company and Golden Rule Apartments, Inc.) nor William C. Smith have offered a definitive date for actual construction. William C. Smith's proposed building will stand twelve stories tall upon completion, Northwest One Initiative (part of the New Communities Project), a $700 million redevelopment project in Ward 6, providing a makeover for the scarred, crime-infested real estate extending from K Street in the
south to New York Avenue in the north, and stretching from North Capitol Street in the east to New Jersey Avenue in the west. In 2007, the Mayor and DMPED awarded the rights to the redevelopment project to One Vision Development Partners headed by William C. Smith & Co in partnership with Jair Lynch, with Banneker Ventures and affordable housing provider Community Preservation and Development Corporation also involved with portions of the larger project. As promised, the building will offer 93 affordable units, 30% of the total apartments.
The first parcel (out of a total of 5 or 6) will be situated on the corner of North Capitol and M Street, NE, technically in NoMa. Architectural designs are courtesy of Eric Colbert & Associates; William C. Smith-affiliated WCS Construction will build the structure. Architect Brian Bukowski says the industrial nature of this part of DC was the major inspiration for a unifying aesthetic theme. "We wanted to give the building an updated post-industrial flavor," Bukowski explained. The exposed fixed post steel, generous use of red brick, and angular, geometric fenestration seem to bear out his claim. But if on whole the building brings to mind a downtown warehouse, the ten two-level townhouses serve as a friendlier introduction to the large facade on the M Street side of the building. The townhomes and accompanying courtyard will help relate to the residential-nature of the immediate neighborhoods. Loading and and parking access will be relegated to the opposite site of the building on Patterson Avenue. A roof penthouse will crown the building.
The main rooftop will not only provide panoramic views, but will also be ornamented with a landscaped green terrace and lap pool. A rain harvesting cistern on the roof will conserve run-off and curb water consumption; low-flow showers will further aid the conservation effort. On what will likely be a crowded roof are several solar panels, funneling electricity to the building's energy grid. In the end, residents will be able to brag about one of the greenest roofs in the city, collecting water, converting the sun's rays into usable energy, and deflecting thermal load with it's organic plant life, all aspects in an effort to earn a LEED Silver certification, with the possibility of becoming the first LEED Gold-rated multifamily residential building in the District.
Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News