A church in Shaw is closer to knocking down a small swatch of DC history to make way for a public housing project on Rhode Island Avenue. The United House of Prayer for All People, at 601 M St, NW, owns a vacant lot and 4 row houses at 625 Rhode Island Avenue, and plans to demolish the latter in order to build a 4-story, 16-unit subsidized housing project.
According to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, the church has applied for a raze permit, not yet issued, to replace the townhouses and begin construction "within the next couple of months." The homes are not in a historic district, according to DCRA, which means no exemption is needed to raze the property despite their age - which was not available within District government records. The property is adjacent to the vacant lot known as Parcel 42, where protestors staged a demonstration last year criticizing the level of subsidies intended for the lot, complaining that the District, which had planned a subsidized housing project, was not providing enough subsidies and that Washington D.C. had insufficient low-income housing.
The application to demolish the buildings has not yet been approved, though the fact that the land falls outside the historic district means approval is perfunctory and a matter of paperwork. Suzane Reatig Architecture has designed a 32,125 s.f. 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. The District government approved a planned unit development (PUD) for the zoning change, with LEED certification. "We're going to have some awnings on the top, that will be an interesting feature. There will be a wedge shaped private garden on the west side that will be a visual amenity" said Megan Mitchell, a project designer at the architecture firm, which has worked with United House of Prayer for All People on previous projects.
The Church was contacted but would not comment on the proposed building or the razing of the townhouses.
Washington D.C. real estate development news