Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Whitman-Walker Goes High-Rise Residential

The JBG Companies are moving quickly with their proposed redevelopment of the soon-to-be former headquarters of the Whitman-Walker Clinic. Located at 1407 S St. NW, flush with the corner of 14th, current plans call for the construction of a 7-story residential building to be complimented with ground level retail. The as-yet untitled development is aiming for a late fall 2009 groundbreaking with completion slated for two years thereafter.

The Shalom Baranes-designed building will contain between 120 and 130 residential units in its 120,000 square feet and top out at 75 feet above grade. Although floorplans and designs have yet to finalized, Andrew McIntyre of the JBG development team told DC Mud that the developer is "definitely leaning towards high design, efficient units." JBG is currently engaged in talks with the city government regarding the inclusion of affordable housing in the project.

The development should be an alluring addition for local businesses, as it will stand on a block that already houses several chic inner-city destinations such as the CafĂ© Saint-Ex, the Pulp boutique and the Black Cat nightclub - venues that are filling up the rapidly developing 14th Street retail corridor. JBG is currently vetting prospects for the site that include a grocery store, a pharmacy and a restaurant. “It will be a complement to the retail that you find up and down 14th Street and in the whole Logan Circle neighborhood,” said McIntyre. “We’re really excited to building over in that corridor. There’s a lot of opportunity at such a vibrant location in the city.”

Since the developer acquired the parcel at 14th and S Streets NW last June, designs for the development have been undergoing both internal reviews at JBG and before the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). Having made the necessary revisions according to the HPRB’s specifications, designs will once again go before the Board in October.

JBG acquired the Whitman-Walker Clinic’s administrative headquarters last June for $8 million, though the facility will remain operational until the end of the year. McIntyre characterized the developer’s relationship with the prominent local HIV-AIDS and social services organization as a win-win situation for both parties:

“They are actually condensing their operations into their other existing building. We stepped in because Whitman-Walker was looking to fund the shortfalls from their operation through other sources. This was an opportunity for us to help them out and a very mutually satisfying opportunity from the standpoint that we really believe in their mission.”


Anonymous said...

This is all very exciting but can someone start to think a little out of the box for some creative retail - I mean come on people - another grocery store? Lets see we have Whole Foods, Yes Oraganic coming, Safeway,Ellwoods and a Giant. No wonder why everyone is gaining weight. I challenge JBG to do something different and better use of the corner!

Justin from ReadysetDC on Sep 25, 2008, 8:13:00 PM said...

Yeah I think something in the creative industry would be more fitting. Perhaps an arts space or an independent fashion shop? Something like that and maybe a restaurant would be great...

Emilio Marty on Sep 28, 2008, 9:56:00 PM said...

As a very nearby neighbor, I'd be interested in knowing if there's anything historically significant about the building that will be saved and incorporated into the new structure? If not, I'm cool with that, too. Just curious. I assume they're going to have to excavate for underground parking, which I guess might militate against keeping anything existing.

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