Since 2015 the Commission and community have been involved in (overwhelmed by?) a number of development projects that will add up to more than 500 condos and/or apartments to SE Capitol Hill. Three of the projects went through the Zoning Commission’s Planned Unit Development (PUD) process; others through the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) process. Some–if located within the Capitol Hill Historic District–needed historic preservation approval thru the Historic Preservation Review Board. All of these projects have or will come through the ANC for review at various stages. If you are interested in participating, sign up on the ANC 6B website to receive automatic notices when meetings are announced.
Here’s an October 2017 update:
- Buchanan School (former IGU) located between D and E Streets on 13th (aka Peterbug Way). Developer: Insight. Plans are to retain the historic school building and one 1920’s addition, demolish two other buildings on the site, and build a series of townhouses along D and 13th Streets. The ANC voted on June 9, 2015, to support the project’s BZA application. The balance of the project will be “by right” (i.e., not need zoning relief) but a DDOT public space plan was reviewed by the ANC and, subsequently the ANC approved a curb cut for 13th Street SE. The fences around the project went up and demolition of the two buildings began in mid-March 2016. ~ As of May 1, demotion of both buildings was completed and in September full construction got underway. In late 2016, the townhouses began to rise. In mid-2017, some of the 13th Street townhouses went on the market. In September a second row along 13th Street is finishing up and construction of the D Street townhouses are underway. ~ Insight also now plans to go ahead with the final set of townhouses on D Street that will have elevators. Meanwhile, the condos in the Buchanan school building that was renovated are on the market.
- Watkins Alley on the 1300 block of E Street and the alley behind. Developer: OPal. Plans are to build townhouses on 13th Street and others in a type of mews off the alley that cuts through from D to E Street SE. This project went through a PUD process (ZC #15-13). A ZC hearing was held on April 4, 2016. The ANC testified, based on its vote at a Special Call meeting on March 29, 2016. The ZC asked the applicant to return in June 2016 with responses to various questions asked at its April 4 hearing. Go to Commissioner Burger’s blog for more info. Or, search under the term 15-13 on the Office Of Zoning’s IZIS system. The ZC issued it order on this PUD in late 2016. ~ In mid-2017, the Ditto firm took over development and construction and, at the end of September 2017, is in the permitting stage prior to construction.
- Bowie … Developer: Insight Property Group. Another 1300 block of E Street project and PUD case (ZC #15-33). This 1337 E Street apartment project will be built on the lots currently occupied by Bowie’s Trash and Signature Auto across from the Safeway parking lot. Insight submitted its full plans to the ZC, which held a hearing on June 30, 2016. The building is 4 stories in height (plus a penthouse) around a central courtyard with a about 150 units (a mix of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units). An underground parking garage will have space for about 90 vehicles. The details are in Exhibit 15 filed with the ZC in April 2016. The ANC held meetings in May 2016 to discuss community benefits and voted its final positions on the project at its June 14, 2016, meeting. The Zoning Commission issued an order finalizing this PUD on September 12, 2016.
- 900 11th Street SE. Developer: Madison Investments. This 49-unit project was reviewed by the ANC and thoroughly (i.e., several times) by the Historic Preservation Review Board in 2014. A raze permit was requested in late 2015 and approved by the ANC. On site work began in June 2016 with an expected completion date in Summer 2017. I have reported on this one before, see Planned Condo Building for 11th & I Streets SE and am now posting progress photos at Construction Progress: 900 11th Street SE Condo. ~~
As of mid-September 2017 the project is in the final stages of construction and the condo units are on the market.
- 818 Potomac Avenue SE. Developer: Murillo/Malnati Group (Westside Development Companies originated the project in 2014 and sold it to MMG in early 2017). Total number of condo units: 61. Initially, this project was to be done in two phases. Phase I was to be the renovation of the existing apartment building at 816 Potomac Ave. Phase II was to involve the construction of two new buildings on either side of the apartment building with the one on the east side to occupy the existing surface parking lot site. The ANC voted on June 9, 2015, to support the Phase I and II public space plan and the HPRB approved the apartment building renovations in 2015. Subsequently, the original developers decided to build the entire project in a single phase. However, MMG plans to start the apartment building renovation in Spring 2017, while its architect designs the new building that will cover the existing parking lot at the corner of 9th Street SE.
- 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Developer: CAS Riegler. One of the largest projects in 6B with approximately 190 apartment units and ground floor retail. This is another PUD project (ZC #15-12). In January 2016, the ANC approved the PUD and testified at the ZC hearing on February 4, 2016. For details on the project, check out Commissioner Burger’s blog or go to the Office of Zoning IZIS and enter the search term 15-12. A Zoning Commissioner order was issued in April 2016. A raze permit to demolish the building on the site was issued in late 2016.
- 1333 M Street SE. Developer: Cohen Siegel Investors. This large, 4-building project went (successfully) through a PUD process in 2014 and in mid-2015 applied for a raze permit to remove the 11th Street Bridge Project office mobile units that had occupied the site for several years. In the first of several planned phases, a 218-unit apartment building will be constructed. In February 2017, the developer requested a 2-year continuance of the ZC order. This allows the developer to wait 2 more years before construction must begin.
- Frager’s Hardware at 1115 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The initial development deal was a bust when, in early 2015, Roadside Development and Frager’s agreed to disagree. Then, in late August 2015, news accounts reported that Frager’s and Perseus Realty LLC were in negotiation. Perseus bought the property in Fall 2015 and held a community meeting on February 25, 2016, to reveal its conceptual plans for developing the site. See my The Return of Frager’s Hardware Plus … article published on February 29th. The historic preservation application was reviewed by the ANC and HPRB in April 2016. The ANC letter in support is here. Subsequently, the ANC approved the DDOT public space plan in July 2016. Any work on site awaits a permit to do the structural bracing of the remaining brick walls. Perseus estimates that work will begin in March 2017.
- 801 Virginia Avenue SE. Developer: was Northfield but project was sold to Buzzuto. This will be a 4-story 22-unit condo building. As it sits on a corner of 8th Street SE, the ground floor space will be retail (a continuation of Barracks Row). The ANC voted to support Northfield’s HP application on October 13, 2015. The developer planned to start construction in Summer 2016 despite the fact that the property abuts the CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel project. However, this did not occur as Northfield sold the property and project to Buzzuto in Summer 2016. Estimated start of construction is now March 2017.
- Safeway Store, 14th & Kentucky Avenue SE. Developer: Foulger-Pratt. Plans are to demolish the existing grocery store and replace it with a 4-story building and underground parking garage. The grocery store will be on the ground floor of the new building, which will occupy the entire site, with 3 floors of dwellings (condos or apartments) above. This project is “by right” but because of the large lot will need to go through the Office of Planning’s Large Tract Review process. This process will proceed during 2017 with involvement of the ANC and the community.
Two other pending developments are the proposed Washington Humane Society (now: Humane Rescue Alliance) building project at 11th and M Streets SE and a possible development at 1123-1129 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, on the same block as Frager’s. More on these when info is available.