Tuesday, February 05, 2008

SE Developer to Go-it Alone on Robinson Place

Southeast will soon see a new pair of buildings staring each other down across Robinson Place, SE, if zoning gives it the nod today. District-Properties.com intends to build a condo building at 2825 Robinson Place, and an apartment building across the street at 2836 Robinson Place, applications for which will be reviewed today at a Board of Zoning Adjustment hearing. District-Properties currently awaits a decision before the board regarding their application for a special exemption to build these multi-family projects, a process necessary in R-5-A zoning districts.

BZA found minor flaws with each building after their last hearing on January 15th. According to BZA's review of the condo, District-Properties.com needs to "refine the project so that the building's articulation and facade are compatible with the neighborhood." Their comments on the apartment building were similar: "The board felt that the building's design does not mimic the characteristics of the neighborhood and appears not to be in harmony with the surrounding buildings." Overall, the board saw the aesthetics of the two buildings a tad too ornate. In response to these comments, District-Properties.com had to submit revised plans by last Tuesday in order to allow the Office of Planning adequate time to file their supplemental comments.

District Properties was founded in 2002 by Mohammad Sikder; over the past six years, the firm has matured in the development world from renovating single family homes to developing multi-unit condominiums and apartments. But unlike many development firms who hire outside help for the process, Mohommad likes keeping expertise under his own roof - excepting the tedious subcontracting work. Speaking with DC Mud about his plans for Robinson Place, and his focus on keeping the work in-house, Sikder stated "I have architects, engineers, project managers and assistants. We have acquired the land, designed it and will develop it ourselves. Our whole team works together."

Their plans for Robinson Place call for the two residential buildings on two vacant lots near the intersection of Jaspar Road and Robinson. The condominium will be a 3-story, 17-unit building with 11 two-bedroom and 6 three-bedroom units, on a 19,525 s.f. lot; plans include landscaped areas surrounding the building, 17 surace parking spaces and a brick cladding facade. The apartment building will also be 3 stories but will have one less unit and one less parking space on a 17,500-s.f. lot. Both will top out at 40 feet. The Office of Planning recommended approval on January 8th.


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