Developing the only unused and deteriorating corner at 7th and H Streets, NW in the heart of Gallery Place - Chinatown has long been on many minds. Finally, a design by Sacha Rosen of R2L:Architects, which combines the preservation of the six historic structures on site with contemporary new additions, has materialized and is moving through the approval process.
Granted unanimous ANC2C consent last Wednesday, Rosen will introduce the design to the Historic Preservation Review Board on September 22nd. Of the design, Rosen said, "This is a very contemporary, but respectful treatment of [the site's] important historic fabric."
Owned by McCaffery Interests and Douglas Development, the property includes the corner site (801 7th St, actually two buildings combined in the early 1900s), an adjacent structure to the east (675 H St), a rear carriage house, and two buildings on 7th Street to the north of the corner (807 and 809 7th St).
The joint venturers obtained the last piece of the puzzle - 675 H St - at foreclosure this past February, for $9.1 million.
Rosen explained there will be a new one-story addition on top of 675 H St, and a two-story addition on top of the rear carriage house, however nothing will rise above the existing four-story corner building except for a rooftop mechanical penthouse (set back on the new construction portion). Structurally unsound portions of 807 and 809 7th Street will be demolished and replaced with new four-story additions.
New facades, set back from the historic facades along 7th and H Streets, will be primarily glass; a glass elevator will also be contained within, rising up to a rooftop deck. A four-story atrium will enclose an existing exterior courtyard between 675 H St and the rear carriage house.
The entire project will contain approximately 60,000 s.f., and Rosen said that the project's main objective, in addition to honoring the history of the intersection, is to "make the overall development as flexible as possible to accommodate an exciting mix of retail and office spaces." Owners are asking for some of the most expensive retail rents in the city at the site. R2L is also currently working on designs for the Wonder Bread building in Shaw.
Washington D.C. real estate development news