Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Braddock Gateway Residential Plan Gets Initial Approval

Alexandria-based Jaguar Development has received preliminary site plan approval for the first phase in its 5-phase Braddock Gateway development, paving the way for a 270-unit, 277,000-s.f. apartment building.

Jaguar managing partner, Eddy Cettina, says that the next step, final site plan approval, will take place within the next 9 months to a year.

Although the entire Braddock Gateway development plan was approved in 2008, its developer laid low through the recession, and approached the City with amendments to Phase I in July. Preliminary approval of these amendments was granted by City Council on September 17th.

Phase I's acre-sized parcel is at the southernmost end of the development property, located 1000 feet from the Braddock Metro station.

Jaguar chose to lead with rental apartments on the site because "[i]t is the closet [building] to the metro, and will cater to renters who want easy transit access."

As a transit oriented development, the first phase will also include the construction (by Jaguar) of a "high capacity" bus/transit stop along First Street, just east of Payne Street, with a covered waiting area and LED touchscreen offering rider info.

Designed by Rust | Orling Architecture, the residential-and-retail building will vary in height from 50' to 150' - from 6 to 15 stories - with the tallest section being the central tower (the focus), which is flanked by "two lower shoulders," the eastern 6-story wing with pool deck, and the western 13-story wing.

During design revisions, the western wing was taken down by two stories in order to further stagger height overall, emphasize the "shoulder" appearance of the building, and better relate the design to that of the entire development, according to the city. The staff report, recommending preliminary approval of Phase I, stated the importance of the design review, "Given the site's strategic location... and the pronounced vertical nature... the 2008 development review process placed considerable importance on the quality of the architecture, as the site truly serves as a gateway into the historic portion of the City."

The first completed building in the development will be surrounded by 14'-wide sidewalks, featuring decorative brick and dotted with trees; pedestrian oriented street frontage will be built along Fayette Street. Open space included in the development will total 14,000 s.f., consisting of a 6,000-s.f. central green on the ground floor and a 8,000-s.f. roof top area. Two levels of underground parking will offer 243 parking spaces, with another 26 spaces located on a surface lot off of Fayette.

As for the rest of the 5-building development, "[w]e are concentrating on phase one right now," said Cettina, although she did confirm that the plan for the entire 7-acre development site has not been changed; the plan is for 770,000 s.f. of new development that includes 630 residential units, 70,000 s.f. of office and 15,000 s.f. of retail.

Patricia Escher, principal planner with the City Dept. of Planning and Zoning, offered that the development a considerable improvement to the site, currently holding two vacant warehouses and a surface parking lot. "The entire five phased development of Braddock Gateway will improve an underutilized portion of the City." The project, to be LEED certified, will also conform to Alexandria's green standards.

Escher added that "the first phase will be providing a combined total of $1.6 million to the City’s affordable housing fund, the neighborhood’s streetscape fund and [include] improvements to a local park."

Alexandria, Virginia real estate development news


Jaybird on Sep 28, 2011, 11:41:00 AM said...

With places like The Monarch and a few other new places open, and construction started on 621 N. Payne and Old Town Commons, and soon to start Braddock Gateway and The Madison, some are calling this part of Old Town, "New Town."

Anyone else hear that?

Anonymous said...

Um, a Mansard roof? Really? What year is it, 1885? No, the cheap brickwork suggests 1972. . .

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's 2011, and this is what passes for architecture in Washington.

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when planners and neighborhood committees write architectural design guidelines.

Anonymous said...

so if 1885 is a mansard roof, wouldn't a grid of windows with a flat roof be 1950's, of 1920's Germany? Please, we've heard that argument one too many times. I'm not saying it's the TajMahal, but it's 2011 and that's some of what they're building.

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