Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Riverside Baptist PUD Vetted by ANC

At last Monday’s ANC 6D monthly meeting, PN Hoffman presented their plans for a mixed use development at the site of Riverside Baptist Church, located at 7th Street and Maine Avenue. Plans call for a 7- to 9-story, 164,000 SF rental apartment building on the north end of the site with approximately 170 units, ranging in size from 450 to 1,500 SF. There is space on the ground floor for community-serving uses, such as a daycare center. On the south end of the site along Maine Avenue, a new two-story sanctuary for Riverside will be built. 

Some changes have been made to the design from Geier Brown Renfrow (GBR) Architects and Studios Architecture since the PUD was filed several months ago. The top two floors of the apartment building are now slightly more transparent. The church’s design has also been revised – there is now a richer level of materiality. 

During the presentation, Bao Vuong from PN Hoffman stated what the community benefits are for the project, including the following: 
  • A total of 10% of the Gross Building Area will be set aside as affordable housing at various levels of Area Median Income (AMI): 
  • 2% for up to 50% of AMI 
  • 6% for up to 80% of AMI 
  • 2% for up to 100% of AMI 
  • Along 7th Street, there will be 1,700 SF of private space available for public use with bench seating, landscaping, and a water wall, which will serve as a gateway to The Wharf development to the south.  
  • The intersection of 7th and I streets will be reconfigured and simplified by the removal of the median that currently exists, as well as the addition of more crosswalks and a parking lane on 7th Street. 
  • Residents of the apartment building will not be eligible for Residential Permit Parking (RPP) spaces. 
  • The developer will work with a resident group to determine which neighborhood-serving uses should be placed on the ground floor – $25,000 will be set aside to help subsidize a daycare operator in the space, or other tenant type chosen by the resident group. 
  • In addition, residents have requested that the developer install a dog park within the property to minimize the amount of dogs in the surrounding neighborhood; PN Hoffman is exploring the idea of placing a dog run on the roof of the apartment building. 
After some discussion, the commissioners voted unanimously to support the conceptual public space design, but deferred support of the consolidated PUD until their November meeting. The reason for the delay is that the commissioners would like PN Hoffman to draft a construction management plan for the development since it is located across the street from Jefferson Academy and AppleTree’s temporary home (AppleTree used to have facilities at Riverside and Amidon-Bowen, but moved to trailers on Jefferson’s campus last year). In addition, there was some concern about whether a one-time $25,000 subsidy would be sufficient to allow low-income children to use the proposed daycare facility. The PUD hearing is scheduled with the Zoning Commission on November 30.

Above rendering is of old design, courtesy of PN Hoffman

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