long-awaited redevelopment following a Historic Preservation Review Board meeting on Thursday.
With limited discussion, the board voted to accept staff recommendations granting a two-year extension to the project on the southeast corner of 14th and R Streets, accepting refinements made in response to the Board's 2006 direction, and restating that it is consistent with the Preservation Act.
Developer Jeffrey Schonberger (Alturas LLC) has been planning to renovate and expand properties at 1625 - 1631 14th Ave., NW since 2006, pending relocation of the homeless shelter that now owns and operates the building. The current structure - a 5-story former Studebaker show room built in 1922 and three, 3-story brick row homes originally built in the late 1800's but remodeled after the turn of the century for commercial uses - will involve restoration and new construction.
According to the Historic Preservation Office staff report prepared for Thursday's meeting, the redevelopment will include restoring the four buildings' facades to their early-20th-century appearance, building a seven-story addition behind the rowhouses and adding underground parking in what used to be the showroom basement. The double-height auto showroom would also be restored and the buildings appearance maintained to the greatest extent possible.
The ground floor of the project will be designated for retail, said Eric Colbert of Eric Colbert & Associates, the architect for the project, predicting at least one restaurant in the mix. The upper floors of the row homes and the additional rear structure will form residential units including some two-story units, Colbert said. The Mission building was built by the Wardman Construction Company.
Delays primarily related to relocating Central Union Mission, once slated for Georgia Avenue but now scheduled to go to the Gales School, have hindered development in the past.
Colbert and Schonberger said after the meeting that construction documents would be filed next month and that they would be ready to break ground on the project in 7 to 12 months. Wayne Dickson of Blake Dickson is handling retail for the project.
Washington D.C. real estate development news