Architect Eric Colbert will take his revised design for L2 Development's residential and retail project at 1905-1917 14th Street NW back to HPRB this week, two months after the rejection of his initial design.
This time around, the U Street Neighborhood Association made a motion, on August 11th, to "provide a letter of support [for the project]."
In early August, Wallach Place residents - many of whom opposed the project at the HPRB meeting in July - were also largely in favor. Craig Brownstein of U Street Dirt said, "Almost uniformly, the Wallach folks found the new iteration of the design a marked improvement. It was a huge step forward."
On August 15th, the Design Review Committee of ANC1B supported (6-1) a motion to recommend that the ANC give its full support of the revised design at its meeting on September 1st, which it did. However, as noted in the Design Review report, committee member Joel Heisey felt that the "Georgetown red brick is out of place on 14th Street" and requested that there be a consideration of "something more in keeping with the limestone and beige appearance of most of 14th Street’s structures."
Steve Callcott, HPO staff reviewer for the project, has recommended the HPRB approve the revised conceptual design, but continue to work with Colbert on "the storefront design, development of window specifications, and detailing of the masonry and metal cladding."
Callcott also praised the revised design: "Both in massing and design, the compatibility of the project has been significantly improved. With slight reductions in the building mass and the use of different architectural vocabularies, the weight of the building is broken down into smaller scaled elements that will coexist much more compatibly with the surrounding smaller historic buildings."
Although the building's height (7 stories) and 16,000 s.f. footprint remains unchanged, an approximate reduction in mass of 4,000 s.f., due to more significant step-downs, has taken the number of residential units from 154 to 144 units.
Washington D.C. real estate development news