At tonight’s ANC 6D meeting, David Smith from Forest City Washington gave the commissioners an update on their planned 365-unit apartment building at the northwest parcel of Waterfront Station at 1001 4th Street. Since the developer received permits last month and it was announced last week that financing has been secured, construction is imminent. In fact, excavation is expected to begin this week – the construction trailer will arrive on Wednesday and a fence will go up around the site on Thursday. As a result, there will be a loss of six parking spaces along 4th Street for the duration of construction. Construction will last about 22 months with substantial completion scheduled for November of 2016.
In other Waterfront Station news, Vornado and Forest City have requested a two-year extension of stage one PUD approval for 425 and 375 M Street, the two planned office buildings on the southwest and southeast parcels. Currently, PUD approval is set to expire on April 15 – the southwest parcel will be the expiration of an extension while the southeast parcel is the expiration of the original PUD approval. The office market is still challenged in the District and the developers have been unable to find tenants for the proposed buildings. Vornado and Forest City had a hearing scheduled with the Zoning Commission on February 9, but the hearing would have been on the same evening as the February ANC meeting and the commissioners wanted to meet with the developers regarding their concerns about the lack of maintenance and interim uses of the vacant parcels. There has been limited activity on the vacant parcels thus far – there was a bocce tournament and fashion truck event in 2014 and Souper Bowl (a soup competition) will take place on January 24; however, there are plans to host an event moving forward at least once a quarter. The developers agreed to push back the hearing date to March, so the commissioners tabled the resolution until next month.
Marc Bleyer from DMPED also asked for support for extending stage one PUD approval for the District-owned northeast parcel, which also expires on April 15. A RFP has already been written for the parcel and will be released once the PUD extension has been granted, sometime this spring. A 400,000 square-foot residential building with 20% of the units set aside as affordable housing and ground floor retail has been approved for the site during the phase one PUD approval. It will take about 12 to 18 months to choose a developer and close on the sale of the parcel, which means the full two-year extension may not be necessary. The ANC also decided to table consideration of this extension request until next month.
Rendering courtesy of Perkins Eastman