Friday, March 25, 2016

New Standalone SW Branch Library; PN Hoffman Wins Waterfront Station Project


At this morning’s “March Madness” economic development event, DMPED and other District agencies offered several parcels across the city for development. One such parcel is located in Southwest – the Southwest Branch Library at 900 Wesley Place. The current Southwest Branch Library is a 21,600 SF building with three levels and was built in 1965. A mini-makeover was done in 2011, but funding for an extensive renovation was removed from the budget a few years ago. The library will be replaced with a standalone facility designed to achieve LEED-Silver certification.

The library’s future was hotly debated in 2014 when DMPED, OP and DCPL proposed to move the library to the city-owned NE parcel at Waterfront Station, which would have been part of a mixed use building with residential, retail, and the library. That proposal was shot down by the community in favor of keeping the library at its current location and build a new, standalone library, which the city intends to do. 

Earlier concept for a SW Branch Library on 4th Street.

As a result, DMPED released a RFP after last year’s “March Madness” event for the Waterfront Station site at 1000 4th Street without the library requirement. Several redevelopment teams responded to the RFP with three of them making the final cut last summer. While a decision was expected back in November, DMPED finally announced today that PN Hoffman’s bid was selected. 


PN Hoffman’s presentation was unique in that the amount of proposed retail space was more than double the amount proposed by the other teams and prospective retail tenants were announced. The development plan includes 443 rental apartment units, 22,500 SF of community-oriented retail, and a 10,000 SF, 200-seat black box theater, all in a LEED-Gold building designed by Torti Gallas. The 133 units of affordable housing includes 34 units at up to 30% of AMI and 99 units at up to 50% of AMI. Retail would be located on 4th Street, wrapping around to a new private drive on the north end of the site. A letter of intent has been signed by Constantine Stavropoulous, the owner of Tryst, Open City, The Diner, and The Coupe to open a diner at the corner of 4th Street and the private drive. Other retail uses such as a daycare center and artist space could be located on the north side of the development along the private drive, which serves as a connector between the Southwest Library branch and the SW Duck Pond. The private drive could be closed off at times for arts-focused events. The proposal was the preferred choice of ANC 6D, which will get to weigh in again once PN Hoffman goes through the second stage PUD process. 


The RFP for a design-build contract for the new library will be released this fall. A flyer about the project says the following: 
The new Southwest Neighborhood Library will reflect the program and goals of the library and the needs of the District of Columbia residents who use it. The building will incorporate forward-thinking approaches to urban design, architecture, engineering, and environmental technologies in the public realm. The new Southwest Library will be a destination that will attract and support hundreds of users per day, and promote a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood and active street environment. 
According to SWBID Director Steve Moore, DCPL will receive $1 million in next year’s budget for planning the new library. There will more than likely be community involvement in that planning process. 

Renderings courtesy of DCPL and PN Hoffman

Greenleaf Redevelopment Community Meeting TOMORROW!


A second community meeting to discuss the latest on the redevelopment of Greenleaf will be held tomorrow from 11am to 2pm. The meeting will take place at the SW Family Enhancement Center at 203 N Street. DCHA is spearheading the redevelopment of Greenleaf, despite not receiving a HUD grant back in 2013. At the first community meeting in October, five design principles were laid out to guide redevelopment: 
  1. Utilize a mix of tall and low buildings. 
  2. Create a well-defined public green space. 
  3. Use trees to beautify, help make place, and create a healthier living environment. 
  4. Connect the new Greenleaf to other areas of the city. 
  5. All new construction must first and foremost be exemplary urban architecture. 
An additional community meeting will be held before the final master plan is completed around the middle of this year, with an RFP to be released later in 2016.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

1900 Half Street PUD Filed


A PUD was filed by Douglas Development for 1900 Half Street, which is currently an office building located along the Anacostia River on Buzzard Point. The building is visible as one crosses the Frederick Douglass Bridge. Douglas proposes to redevelop the nine-story structure into a multifamily building with 462 residential units and 24,032 SF of retail space. The current building is rectangular in shape, but the developer proposes to remove portions of the building to create two large open courtyards on the second floor, resulting in an “E” shaped building facing the river. The building as designed by Antunovich Associates, will be reskinned with a vision glass curtain wall, blue and white colored metal panels, and terracotta rain screens. 


Entrances to the residential lobby and retail will be along Water Street – one section of retail will be two levels. Ground floor units will have lofts and some second floor units will have private terraces facing the river. A fitness center and other amenity space will also be on the second floor while on the roof, an indoor lounge, rooftop pool deck and infinity pool will be installed, which should have great views of the river, Capitol dome and Washington Monument. Parking will be provided in the existing garage with 324 spaces accessed only from the north (the southern access point and curb cut will be removed). The building currently has 691 parking spaces and the Capitol Gateway Overlay regulations require only 182 spaces. 


Although the project won’t have a 75-foot minimum setback from the Anacostia bulkhead since the original building was completed prior to 2005, the river side of the building will have a promenade ranging from 14 to 24 feet (the larger promenade on the northern part of the site will be in two sections, divided by a 10-foot bioretention barrier). The project will seek LEED-Gold status. 


This PUD application was expected since the Office of Planning listed it as one of six major projects planned on Buzzard Point in the Buzzard Point Design Framework Plan document. 1900 Half Street is less than two blocks from the site of the new DC United soccer stadium and catty-corner from Ziegfeld's/Secrets, which was purchased by MRP Realty and will be redeveloped as a multifamily building. It’s also north of Marina Place where Capital City Real Estate plans to build about 100 condos and near the Transpoint Building, which is under contract to Redbrick. 1900 Half should be before the ANC later this year. 

Renderings courtesy of Antunovich Associates

Monday, March 14, 2016

Portals Residential to Start Construction in Second Quarter


Construction on the residential phase of The Portals is expected to start in the second quarter of this year. Republic Properties owns 1399 Maryland Avenue and originally planned an office building there, but switched course in 2015. The Commission of Fine Arts approved the project last year, which will include 290 rental apartments and 75 condos on the top four floors, designed by WDG Architecture and Robert A.M. Stern Architects. Due to its location at the end of Maryland Avenue, units will have views of the Jefferson Memorial, the Tidal Basin, the Potomac River, and the Capitol. According to the Washington Business Journal, a sheeting and shoring permit was just granted for the project. Aside from the planned residential building, a fourth office building (Portals IV) is planned on the remaining vacant parcel between 1399 Maryland Avenue and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Rendering courtesy of WDG

Friday, March 11, 2016

New Restaurants Announced at The Wharf


The initial lineup of eight new restaurants opening at the first phase of The Wharf in 2017 was announced today by Hoffman-Madison Waterfront. None are national chain restaurants, although some local chains are represented in the list. They include the following: 
  • Requin: cuisine inspired from the French Riviera situated on the edge of District Pier from Mike Isabella and Jennifer Carrol 
  • Del Mar: Spanish and seafood restaurant in a two-level space at VIO condos from Fabio Trabocchi 
  • Hank’s on the Water: “Urban beach food” in small and large plates along 7th Street Park and Wharf Street 
  • Kirwan’s: an authentic Irish pub honoring the Irish heritage of the SW Waterfront from Mark Kirwan 
  • Rappahannock Oyster Bar: an oyster bar to be located at the historic oyster shucking shed at the Municipal Fish Market from Travis and Ryan Croxton 
  • Potomac Distilling Company: rum distillery and two-story tavern near the Municipal Fish Market from Todd Thrasher 
  • Taylor Gourmet: Philly-style hoagies coming to District Square from Casey Patten  
  • Dolcezza Gelato: serving gelato, sweets, coffee, beer and wine on Wharf Street from Rob Duncan and Violeta Edelman 
This is just the initial list - at least 20 restaurants and bars are expected to open in phase one, starting in October 2017 and extending to 2018.

Rendering courtesy of The Wharf

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Riverside Baptist Redevelopment Gets the Nod from Zoning Commission


Last week, the Zoning Commission took final action to give approval to Riverside Baptist Church’s consolidated PUD. A new sanctuary for Riverside will be built at 7th Street and Maine Avenue while PN Hoffman will build a 7-9-story rental apartment building with 170 units at 7th and I streets. About 10% of the units will be set aside as affordable housing for households earning up to 50%, 80% and 100% of Area Median Income. There will be space on the ground floor of the apartment building for community-serving uses, such as a daycare center. 


The main issue that held up Zoning Commission approval was funds proffered to help attract a daycare facility. The developer offered $25,000 to help attract a daycare provider, but the ANC wanted flexibility to use the funds for other potential users if a daycare center ultimately didn’t occupy the Riverside site. The Zoning Commission was uncomfortable with this open-ended solution and asked that the developer come back before the Commission with a different recipient of the $25,000 in the event a daycare center provider was not found. With PUD approval now in hand, the project is scheduled to start construction in the fourth quarter of this year.

Renderings courtesy of PN Hoffman