Thursday, March 10, 2011

Your Next Place

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By Franklin Schneider

This newly-built, imposing three-story house, just a couple blocks from the New York Ave. Metro, is known as Capitol Overlook Phase III/IV (Phase V involves launching the house into orbit). Fronted by beautiful, massive windows, the row house has legitimate two-story cathedral ceilings - the living area is so huge, you could fly a kite within, or erect a trapeze. Upstairs, a sort of catwalk partially encircles and overlooks the first floor, and there's an oversized stainless steel ceiling fan that looks strong enough to power a small plane (I mean that in a good way.) It's a dramatic space; for the first time ever, I didn't feel foolish wearing sunglasses indoors. Two large bedrooms with notably generous closets – a big plus if you're a clothes horse like me – and two baths, sunlit den, on-site laundry, and more.

Reading back over my description, I fear it doesn't quite do justice to the place. It's newly-built, and as much as I love the “old bones” of a renovated classic, you've got to love something that was designed and made right now. There are a dozen little touches in the house –the light fixtures in the kitchen, the offset planes of the front of the house, the aforementioned catwalk – that strike you as utterly new, but also totally sensible. Why aren't all houses like this? It's the sort of thing you really should see for yourself.

Also, if you haven't been to the area in a while you might be surprised by how much stuff is already over there; coffee shops and a Potbelly and a new Harris Teeter, even a new Capital Bikeshare station. This is your chance to get in on the ground floor and win the nonexpiring privilege of looking down your nose at everyone who moves into the neighborhood after you. I was the first gentrifier on my block in Shaw, and I work that little fact into every single conversation I have with my neighbors. They don't invite me to cookouts anymore, but then that's not the point, now is it?!

233 R St. NE Unit A
Washington, DC

2 Bdrms, 2 Baths
Parking
$429,900

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Ellsworth Slated For April Groundbreaking in Silver Spring

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Silver Spring apartment building under development by Foulger Pratt
The Ellsworth Apartments in Silver Spring is set to break ground in late April or early May, said Karl Alt, Development Project Manager of The Foulger-Pratt Companies. The apartment building, positioned two blocks from the Silver Spring Metro, will offer residents a courtyard, fitness center and pool. It was originally billed as a luxury condo Foulger Pratt & SK&I are building a new apartment in Silver Spring, 2 blocks from Metrodevelopment. The 217,655 s.f. building will be built to LEED-Silver certification levels and will offer 222 market-rate apartments and 19 low income units. Alt said the project will take over the entire block from Ellsworth Drive to Cedar Street to Pershing Drive and Veterans Drive. SK & I Architectural Group, the firm behind View 14, Union Row Flats and Arlington's Lofts 590, is steering the project's design. Foulger-Pratt is responsible for both development and construction of the project. 

Foulger-Pratt Development Executive Briggs Bunker said the apartment exterior closely resembles the drawing above, despite that the project has been retraded as rental apartments. Of course it's still being dubbed as luxury residences. "The materials used in each unit are what make it a luxury rental," said Bunker. "Marble counter tops in each unit, for example." The common spaces are also what the developers consider a notch above: "Not many rental buildings have a common courtyard, a pool, a fountain, two areas for outdoor barbecues, and an outdoor fireplace." The building will also feature a fitness center, a game room and cybercafe. The Ellsworth is one of the few projects in Silver Spring to move forward without substantial subsidies for affordable housing, which Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett has made clear is a staple of real estate development.

Projects like The Argent, an affordable Silver Spring real estate development, retail leasinghousing project developed by Perseus Realty at 1200 Blair Mill Road that opened last year, have been able to move forward with local and federal grants for below-market housing, while Galaxy will rise at 8025 13th Street, with 113 market-rate apartments and 82 subsidized units designed by A.R. Meyers & Associates. So while the proliferation of development in the suburb just north of the city may offer some sunny optimism regarding the housing economy, the roll out remains slow, with projects often scaled down and subsidized. Development of the Ellsworth, in that light, is a sign of more faith in the market forces. 

Silver Spring, Maryland retail and real estate development news

Bethesda's Trillium Site Sold, Residential Project Planned

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StonebridgeCarras and Walton Street Capital have paid $29,250,000 to purchase the Trillium site in Bethesda. The Wisconsin Avenue site had hosted a hotel, demolished in 2007 to make way a the high-end condo project by Houston-based Patrinely Group, but the ill-timed development never broke ground.

Davis Carter Scott had designed 3 residential towers for the project with southward facing glass sheer walls, but Stonebridge says it will create "a new plan" for the site that will have to go through the Montgomery County approval process again, and will feature a retail component below the residential spaces that will now be rental apartments. StonebridgeCarras says it will have plans ready to submit this summer for the 1.6 acre site. The building will occupy the southern end of the block (see map) northern part of the block is owned by NIH.

Stonebridge founding principal Doug Firstenberg says the team is starting from scratch to build "over 300 rental units" above 50,000 s.f. of retail, but has not selected an architect for the project. "We expect entitlements to be about 2 years, we hope to break ground early 2013, and deliver by 2015" says Firstenberg. "Its a really great opportunity to do a mixed use site, you've got a gateway site, less than a half a mile from the red line Metro station, with the medical center adding several thousand new jobs. This could really anchor the redevelopment of Woodmont Triangle."

This is the third joint venture between affiliates of StonebridgeCarras and Walton Street, which included Constitution Square in Washington DC and 8000 Jones Branch Drive in Tyson’s Corner. The previous developer began sales of the condominiums, which ranged from $500,000 to $3,000,000, but never achieved enough sales to satisfy investor requirements to start construction.

Bethesda, Maryland real estate development news

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Court Hears Lawsuit Against Wisconsin Avenue Giant Project

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The D.C. Court of Appeals heard this morning arguments by the Wisconsin Newark Neighbors Coalition (WNNC) against the D.C. Zoning Commission to determine whether development of the Wisconsin Avenue Giant will move forward as planned. The project, named Cathedral Commons as of last year, includes a new 56,000 s.f. grocery store, 55,000 s.f. of ground floor, street-level retail, 150 condos or apartments and over 500 parking spaces.

Last July, the Zoning Commission gave their unanimous approval of the project, to which WNNC responded by filing an appeal, claiming that the Zoning Commission does not have the power under the PUD (zoning change approval) to eliminate a neighborhood commercial zone designation on the subject lots. In short, WNNC objects to the changes incurred in the rewriting of the Comprehensive Plan that was first drafted in 2006 that they perceive will increase height of the project and density of the area.

WNNC wants the city to revise the PUD as a two-stage application, and have asked the court to overturn the Commissions decision to grant the PUD within a neighborhood commercial overlay zone district, in what is a fairly typical zoning decision, claiming the Commission lacked authority.

Despite vocal neighborhood opposition, many quieter residents embrace the project. Trudy Reeves, D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 3C says she moved to the neighborhood after learning about the project. "I fully back the PUD," she said. "I bought in this area ten years ago because I heard the Giant was going to expand and that the project would bring with it more retail and make the area more vibrant."

In the meantime, ground level retail that flanks the grocery - The Kellogg Collection, a dry cleaner, Starbucks and Sullivan's Toy Store, for example - are in the midst of plans to vacate the premise to make way for construction. An unnamed retailer in the project tells DCMud that the developer has given them notice to move by late May. Once the Wisconsin Avenue Starbucks closes, Cleveland Park will lose its only remaining coffee shop, with the Connecticut Avenue Starbucks location having shuttered last year.

Councilwoman Mary Cheh's office (Ward 3) has also been supportive of the project and has been advised that the likelihood of the project going forward is strong, said Chief of Staff David Zvenyach.

The Wisconsin Avenue Giant Project has been saddled by at least a decade of delay as result of planning, zoning and neighborhood protests. Though Street Works has been consulting on development of the project, Giant Spokesperson Sharon Robinson says they're in the process of deciding upon selecting a development partner.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News

Southwest Waterfront Gets Stadium

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The newest stadium in Washington D.C. will indeed be in southwest, but it won't be soccer. The Washington Post has reported that the Washington Kastles have a deal to build a stadium on the southwest waterfront, replacing the temporary stadium on the site of the CityCenterDC project, which is scheduled to begin construction within the next month. The new stadium will also be temporary, with the hope that a more permanent stadium will be incorporated into the plans for the greater waterfront redevelopment project.
The southwest waterfront project, headed by PN Hoffman, Madison Marquette, and design firm EEK, has been long on plans but short on specifics, though developers have put forward a late 2012 start date for development. The two-year deal with the Kastles therefore won't interfere with any development plans, though the "stadium" - small and temporary - could allow it to stay until the moment other construction is underway. The Kastles won't release details of their lease - which has not yet been signed - other than to say it will cost them "$10m over 2 years for construction and programming," according to a team spokesperson. The tennis season runs only from July 4 through July 24 this year, designed to begin after Wimbledon and before the U.S. Open, so the current contract ties up the space only until July of next year, in plenty of time for the redevelopment project even under the most optimistic projections. At the same time, the spokesperson indicated this was a positive indicator that the team could work out a longer term deal to remain on the waterfront.

The stadium will occupy the former Hogates site with a 2700 seat, "semi-permanent" structure that will entail pouring a concrete pad for the court with "high end bleacher seating" akin to scaffolding, with concessions and even waiter service to some of the seats. A spokesperson for the project called the size "a little larger than most" of the tennis stadiums in the league. "We were approached by many developers," said the spokesperson, who declined to offer other developers or sites, but it was "very important to us to stay in Washington D.C." Neither contractors nor a designer have been named, but the deal could be signed "any moment," and construction will have to start quickly, so that announcement should be days away.

Washington D.C. real estate development news

Monday, March 07, 2011

Bridging the Waterfront in Southeast

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Everyone loves a great bridge. Planners in southeast D.C. will capitalize on that sentiment as they begin work on a bridge, possibly as early as this week, that will extend the Anacostia riverwalk between Diamond Teague Park and the Park at the Yards. The 611 foot structure will surmount the DC Water facility now dividing the two parks, furthering the pedestrian path that will eventually parallel the Anacostia River and wrap around Buzzards Point, connecting northeast D.C., the southwest waterfront, and the tidal basin.

The bridge - a slightly arched, elongated pier with wood planking and steel cabled rails - is being designed by Paul Friedberg of MPFP LLC, a New York landscape architecture and urban planning firm that designed the neighboring park and eye catching footbridge, both completed last year, which have achieved both critical acclaim and public success.

MPFP Managing Principal Rick Parisi says the new span, a pier with piles, will feature an Ipe deck to match the boardwalk, with stainless steel cable rails, gently arcing from elevation 13 (above median water line), rising to elevation 18, and sloping back down to elevation 7, allowing service boats to access the O Street pumping station, where DC Water manages overflow from sewers and rain. The incandescently lit pier will offer wayfarers an overlook opposite the pumping station with interpretive graphics, some in the ground, some in vertical planes. Parisi says the graphics will "talk about the use of water and history of DC water, improving the quality of water and uses of water today." The architect says work could start as soon as this week, as piles have to be completed by end of March, before the start of spawning season (for fish, not architects).Though the bridge will enhance park aesthetics, the ultimate goal is linking the piecemeal trail along the riverfront and its federal, District, and private property owners. The capitol riverfront trail has already opened between Benning Road and the 11th Street Bridge, the next obstacle is the Navy Yard, where the trail is built but not yet open to the public.Claire Schaefer, Deputy Executive Director for the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, says the bridge "will start to create that feeling of promenade." Soon pedestrians will be able to stroll from the old soccer stadium to the new baseball stadium and on to the new soccer stadium in Buzzards Point without ever leaving the waterfront. Well, maybe. The newest installment of that promenade is being cosponsored by the D.C. government, DC Water, and Forest City.
Bridge photo courtesy Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District

Washington D.C. real estate development news

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Masters of Illusion

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By Beth Herman
For a West Coast family accustomed to sun and space, a new, bicoastal life with D.C. digs required a considerable adjustment. Downsizing, when in D.C., from their primary Orange County, Ca. residence to a two-story, 2,500 s.f. N Street Georgetown house, the homeowners charged JDS Designs Inc. with making visually larger rooms out of small ones, primarily without demolition that would alter the circa 1920 wood frame structure.
“We wanted it all to feel bigger, so we took the entire main floor living space and created a dining room/living room, putting it all in a very soft, muted blue-grey,” said Principal David Herchik, connecting the entire floor through color. Using one large carpet and leaving a wood border for emphasis, as opposed to employing multiple rugs, also opened up the main floor to emulate one large space. To add width, carpeting was selected with horizontal stripes, behind a pattern of vines, visually expanding the narrow rooms.
“Everything we did in the home on both floors was scaled and proportioned,” Herchik affirmed, noting the home’s relatively low, 9-foot ceilings were visually heightened with the use of sheer, light weight window treatments. “They had color, texture and pattern, but we started from the ceiling,” he explained, adding that walls were of the same blue-grey hue as the rug so as not to break up the space.
Size matters
Where furniture and art were concerned, and with scale and proportion essential, large pieces of art will often make a space feel large, rather than using a lot of smaller pieces, according to Herchik. “It’s a balance to create the feeling of space by using large where you can and small where you need to,” he explained, adding that situating as much toward the wall as possible is also key. To that end, some furniture of a slightly smaller scale that included Donghia and Louis Mittman/Edward Ferrell wing chairs, lounge chair and sofa, was used. A large dining room table was paired with exceptionally tall dining room chairs, creating the illusion of height.
The structure itself, resembling a farmhouse that had undergone a renovation in the early ‘90s, according to the designer, also warranted reconfiguration of the staircase. This included replacing “little oak railings” to make it more authentic to the era in which it was built, and finding a more period-appropriate fireplace.
With both the master bedroom and family room part of an addition during the previous renovation, the more modern family room was defined by an exposed brick fireplace wall which the architects left. Furniture and art were scaled bigger and taller, and seating was stretched to accommodate six or seven with the inclusion of bar stools that connected the family room through an opening to the kitchen. A tall family room shelving unit and tables with lower shelves increased storage space. “It was a different way to store things without using a big cabinet,” Herchik said. In addition to effectively manipulating space, unexpected objects like a French carousel pig over the fireplace punctuated the room, with Herchik and his team commissioning an iron hoop from Anvil Ironworks in Kensington, Md. so the pig appears to jump through it.
In the galley kitchen, a glass mosaic backsplash climbed to the ceiling, with the cabinets affixed to it, making a narrow space that wouldn’t even accommodate a breakfast table feel more expansive.
Turn on the lights
Upstairs, vibrancy was added to a 180-s.f. front bedroom (one of three) with bright orange paint. Floating wood bookshelves were selected so that wall color was revealed through the back, which made the room feel larger and lighter. A low-styled, 64-inch armoire provided storage without taking up a lot of extra room, leaving the wall space above it free for artwork. With both children now away at school, another bedroom became a home office with sleep sofa, desk, easy chair and TV.
Where the home’s lighting was concerned, sconces were used upstairs and original recessed lighting was augmented with tailored, smaller scale fixtures. In the dining room, eschewing a traditional large chandelier, the designers used an undersized, antique globe over the table. “It was smaller than most chandeliers but had a very large presence,” Herchik said. “Overall, to keep things cleaner and simpler is always a better answer.”

Friday, March 04, 2011

West End Hotel, Waiting for 2

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It may be up to three years before Starwood Capital Group moves forward on with a hotel at 22nd and M in the District's West End. The project that was to have been developed by Perseus Realty has been on hold for several years, having been slated for the city's first eco-luxury, LEED-certified 1 Hotel, a brand that would have offered 150 rooms, 23 suites, an organic day spa, fitness center and restaurants.

"My sense is they are waiting for the financial markets to thaw out a little more," said ANC2A Commissioner Rebecca Coder. "From the neighborhood perspective...there would be a preference for multi-family housing, but we're open to the hotel that's approved as well." Coder said she knew of other developers having approached Starwood about purchasing the land to develop as part of Eastbanc's redevelopment of the post office, library fire station, but the offer was declined.

In phone calls yesterday, both Starwood Capital and Perseus would not comment on the development. But sources say the hotelier has been talking with other operators about possibilities for the site. When asked, Perseus said the company is still the developer for the project.

The two formed an agreement in 2007 to build the hotel. The site was the former location of the Nigerian Embassy and Asia Nora, both demolished in 2008 - no architectural loss - to make way for 1. The project never got off the ground. Last year, Starwood abandoned the 1 Hotel concept, and has since considered other brands. Starwood and Perseus had hoped to decide upon a direction by the end of 2010.

But locals are unhappy that the choice site has become a weed garden. "We are talking to people to decide what to do with the land in the interim, something that may generate money," said Coder. She mentioned the possibility of parking, but the PUD may prevent the developer from such a plan for temporary use. "It's really long time for the neighborhood to put up with an empty lot."

Washington, D.C. real estate development news

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Former J.P.'s Night Club Shows Signs of Life

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Glover Park gentlemen's club, Washington DCThose who don't count themselves among the Good Guys may once again have access to an old stand-by in in the lap of Glover Park. Though J.P.'s Night Club hasn't seen any action, lascivious or otherwise, since January 2008, when firefighters scaled a burning building to rescue a (fully clad) employee from the roof, the former location of the 20-plus year-old night club is showing signs of life.
JP's, a Glover Park night club, Washington DC
This past fall, the former owners of J.P's Night Club applied to have their liquor license taken out of safekeeping with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Commission (ABRA). The holdup?  Protests, of course, with no sign of a quick resolution, said ABRA. Despite the fact that J.P's was a nice family-owned business, some neighbors never embraced it, and ABRA held a hearing last week to undress complaints from the community. ABRA confirms that the license renewal application is for the same address and that the owners of the license have not applied for a transfer of the application. This could mean a go-ahead for the club, or it could suggest that the owners of the building, local landlords Alafoginis Family LP will simply retain the bare license once renewal is approved. DCMud contacted Deoudes-Magafan Realty, who punted to owner Barbara Alafoginis, who has not responded to inquiries.

In the meantime, construction continues, which began in May of 2009, with the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs having renewed the building's construction permit in September of 2010. The Construction Guild LLC has been the contractor for the site.

Washington, D.C. real estate development news

A Place in the Sun: The Orioles Dress for Success

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By Beth Herman

Brooks Robinson, your table is waiting. Well, almost. If he had one, it would (no surprise) be located just behind third base, in a sparkling new climate-controlled pavilion lounge. In fact, right about now, and because it exists, we can all sit there.

Felicitously fronting Euclid and 12th Streets in sunny Sarasota, Fla., the newly redesigned Ed Smith Stadium propelled the Baltimore Orioles to a 12-6 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday – opening day of the 2011 exhibition season. Designed by D.C.-based David M. Schwarz Architects and architect of record Sarasota-based Hoyt Architects, the 85,000 s.f. addition to a nondescript precast concrete existing building went up at breakneck speed, about 18 months from firm selection to opening day. With up to 150 Hunt Construction workers logging double shifts, and the team having signed a 30-year agreement with Sarasota County last spring, the opening of the spirited new stadium came not a moment too soon.

“The best thing you can say about the (old) stadium is that it was utilitarian,” said Michael Swartz, David M. Schwarz Architects principal and project manager. “Though it was sound, it looked like it was picked out of a catalogue. It was 7,500 seats and a place to play baseball.”

Expanding to 9,000 seats, Swartz said the best thing about the former stadium was that it was set back far enough from the edge that the architects had room to extend and engage the street, reusing the existing structure to preclude filling yet another landfill. LEED Silver- or Gold-bound and boasting sustainable features that include light colored paving and Cool Roof Council-approved cement tiles for sun and heat reflection, the stadium’s redesign embraces both the players and the fans in robust and equal measure. With a 21st century spin on the classic peanuts-and-Cracker Jacks stadium model, that features an air conditioned cafĂ©, two-level concourse and triple the number of concession spaces, the Ed Smith Stadium also forges a new identity that reflects the dignity and architecture of the community that supports it.

“Sarasota basically has two architectural traditions,” Swartz said, affirming that both were incorporated into the project. The first, a Mediterranean or Spanish Revival style characterized by the region’s stucco buildings and gracious hotels of the 1920s, cues the stadium itself. The other, a 1950s modern approach referred to as the Sarasota School of Architecture, defines a renovated 20,000 s.f. Buck O’Neil minor league clubhouse a couple of miles south of the ballpark at Twin Lakes Park. An even more expansive project than the ballpark, Swartz said the clubhouse was long and low with no personality but now has a Sarasota Modern theme.

Of sweet spots and sun spots

With shade, or the lack of it, a popular caveat of the former stadium which critics in one publication called “depressing,” the architects embarked on an earnest series of sun studies in the redesign phase. The result is the use of lightweight, economical canvas to extend the existing roof, as well as “sympathetic” landscaping that involves the use of trees between the stadium and street to create and extend outdoor patio areas.

At the Orioles’ Camden Yards in Baltimore, a lack of connectivity to the game ensues when fans visit the concession stand or restrooms and have to follow the action on a monitor. In Sarasota, Swartz said because the stadium was an existing structure with the same issue it couldn’t be entirely eliminated, though an upper concourse was added off the top deck and seating bowl. Fans accordingly can avail themselves of another concession stand and restrooms without forfeiting the live experience.

In left field, a special picnic area Swartz called “the park in the park,” and which the Orioles reportedly were very keen on creating, became an instant success with fans on opening day. Two hundred feet long by 100 feet deep, the elevated space boasts terrace seating and palm trees along with a slightly different concession menu. “We went through a lot of different design iterations until we got it the way we wanted it,” Swartz recalled.

Of bullpens and baselines

Prior to the redesign, and not unlike other parks, bullpens at Ed Smith Stadium were behind the outfield wall. “This is spring training,” Swartz affirmed. “We wanted it to be a lot more interactive between the players and fans so we moved the bullpens to the baselines.” In this respect, fans have the continuous advantage of looking down into them, watching the warm-up, among other things.

All four practice fields – three full-sized baseball fields and a smaller diamond designated for end field drills – received upgrades that included new grass and infields, increased foul territory, new backstops and dugouts, ameliorated drainage issues, an improved batting tower and new fences in the outfield to prevent balls from traveling to the street: a community issue.

With left and right foul poles pulled in a few feet and the outfield wall lowered from eight to six feet, Swartz indicated it’s fun to facilitate more home runs in the Grapefruit League. “Spring training is really about being festive and inviting the community to watch baseball, but in a much more relaxed setting,” he explained.

At a price tag of $31.2 million, in addition to the stadium and the minor league clubhouse, a major league clubhouse gutting and renovation will commence on May 1. Sited next door to the stadium, the redesigned structure will boast a state-of-the-art weight training room, sauna, whirlpool and everything else to accommodate and/or rehabilitate injured players. “If someone sustains an injury in Baltimore during the season, more than they can accommodate at Camden Yards, they’ll send them down to Sarasota,” Swartz said.

Despite the fact that Ed Smith Stadium is not their first rodeo, with the firm designing such entities as Arlington, Texas’ Rangers Ballpark, Swartz said the firm doesn’t have a prototype. “We treat every project differently. We treat it as if it’s the first one we ever did. We really strive to find out what works for that particular team on that particular site in that particular community,” he affirmed, adding that with an eye to sustainability, Sarasota now has a facility they will probably never want to tear down.

Has anybody called Brooks Robinson?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Church Ready to Build Subsidized Housing in Shaw, Tear Down Old Homes

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A church in Shaw is closer to knocking down a small swatch of DC history to make way for a public housing project on Rhode Island Avenue. The United House of Prayer for All People, at 601 M St, NW, owns a vacant lot and 4 row houses at 625 Rhode Island Avenue, and plans to demolish the latter in order to build a 4-story, 16-unit subsidized housing project.

According to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, the church has applied for a raze permit, not yet issued, to replace the townhouses and begin construction "within the next couple of months." The homes are not in a historic district, according to DCRA, which means no exemption is needed to raze the property despite their age - which was not available within District government records. The property is adjacent to the vacant lot known as Parcel 42, where protestors staged a demonstration last year criticizing the level of subsidies intended for the lot, complaining that the District, which had planned a subsidized housing project, was not providing enough subsidies and that Washington D.C. had insufficient low-income housing.
The application to demolish the buildings has not yet been approved, though the fact that the land falls outside the historic district means approval is perfunctory and a matter of paperwork. Suzane Reatig Architecture has designed a 32,125 s.f. building comprised of 16 units, eight of which will be affordable to households earning 60%–80% of the AMI, with a mix of two and three-bedroom units, ranging from 1,150 sf. to 2,200 sf. The District government approved a planned unit development (PUD) for the zoning change, with LEED certification. "We're going to have some awnings on the top, that will be an interesting feature. There will be a wedge shaped private garden on the west side that will be a visual amenity" said Megan Mitchell, a project designer at the architecture firm, which has worked with United House of Prayer for All People on previous projects.

The Church was contacted but would not comment on the proposed building or the razing of the townhouses.

Washington D.C. real estate development news
 

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