Thursday, December 04, 2008

BZA Approves Mixed-Use Project for Barrack’s Row

Just prior to last week’s holiday, Old City Development LLC – the nome de plume of ICP Partners and two of its' principals, Leon Kafele and Michael Hatchett – received approval from the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment for their proposed $6 million, mixed-use project at 801 Virginia Avenue SE, at the foot of Barrack's Row, bridging the gap between the Ballpark District and Capitol Hill.

Originally envisioned as a 4-story, 17-unit condo development with a base of ground floor retail, plans for the so-called “Admiral at Barrack’s Row” have since been redrafted to convert the proposed housing into office space. As it now stands, the Admiral will feature 19,000 square feet of office space, a 3,000 square foot first floor retail center, and an undetermined amount of underground parking – which will be reserved solely for the offices’ work force and not retail clientèle. Designs for the project are being handled by Bonstra Haresign Architects.

The project at 801 Virginia is just one of the three that Kafele and Hatchett announced back in 2005. Along with the Admiral, they were planning to construct a multi-phase, mixed-use development at 810 Potomac Avenue SE and convert four historic townhomes on the 800 block of L Street SE into leasable office space. As of this writing, neither of those projects have yet materialized and, though the Admiral was initially scheduled to begin construction in late 2006 for a projected 2008 delivery, the site at 801 Virginia still houses a derelict auto-body shop and parking lot. No revised timeline for the Admiral was discussed at the hearing - though, according to, the DC Office of Planning, ANC 6B, and the Capitol Hill Restoration Society have all signed off on the project.


Anonymous said...

Thrilled to see more stuff coming to the south end of Barracks Row, but it's too bad there's a giant freeway there. It's a barrier between that region and the ballpark area, and it's quite disruptive.

Anonymous said...

The design of that building is a mess. It has unclear vision and major design conflicts. This building will offer very little value or importance.

Anonymous said...

I think that most DC architects lack vision and it is directly attributed to their limited education, experience and inability to connect themselves with the current profession outside the city. I work with firms in Philadelphia and New York when I want a responsible and current building.

Anonymous said...

Wait, really?? ALL of the hundreds of DC architects are too feeble-minded to design a building? I may agree that many don't have that much talent, focus on exteriors without giving a thought to interior layouts, or simply have bad taste. But some are very imaginative. And I don't buy that somehow Philadelphia architects are somehow just better due to our poor, small city, or that you even hire architects; I think you're just grinding your ax.

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