Douglas Development hope that the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) are equally kind to their concepts to demolish a forlorn auto shop and build a six-story, 30-unit "apartment house" at 2221 14th Street, NW (see map, left). The development will feature ground floor retail and one level of below grade parking, with spaces for only ten cars and several bicycles.
Courtesy of architects at the relatively new DC firm R2L, the bright and busy concept design draws from a contemporary assortment of glass, metal, brick and terra cotta panels. Sharply angled bay windows protrude from the facade offering apartment dwellers views down both the historic 14th Street and Florida Avenue corridors. Long glass shop windows front the ground floor facade, which will eventually house retail. The environmentally friendly rooftop will feature green landscaping, a lounge deck, and possibly decent views. Architect Sacha Rosen, a principal with R2L, explained that "the massing, form, and rhythm are in the Washington historic tradition, but the details are contemporary." Being located within the Greater U Street Historic District, HPRB will offer feedback shortly, as the project is likely to be included on the Board's next meeting agenda for the 18th of this month.
In early 2009, Jemal, under the guise of "Jemal's Hookers, LLC," was in the process of acquiring raze permits for the vacant auto lot to make room for a new 10,000 s.f. retail development designed by George Myers of GTM Architects. Clearly those plans were scrapped, and this time the metrics are grander. Rosen described the project site as "wonderfully prominent...as one of the historic entrances to the District's core." But given the site's small and irregular shape,
Interestingly, a large mural has been proposed for the back wall of the building, facing southwest. The development team has been in contact with G. Byron Peck, a locally based and nationally respected muralist about commissioning the mural's creation and installation. Peck is responsible for the "Black Family Reunion" mural which has been on the wall
The often painstaking approval process should be finished by February 2011, with design documents complete in late Spring 2011, and developers are optimistically planning for a Summer 2011 groundbreaking.
Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News