Last month, Forest City Washington filed to extend stage one PUD approval for 375 and 425 M Street, two office buildings proposed at the southern end of Waterfront Station. It was anticipated that the extension request would be followed by another filing to change the proposed primary use at the two development sites to residential since the developer made their intention known at the February ANC meeting. That filing was made earlier this month. The developer is now proposing two buildings with 41,870 SF of ground floor retail, 38,110 SF of commercial space on the second floor, and a total of 605 residential units above. The East building (375 M) will contain 309 units, 21,930 SF of retail and 18,660 SF of commercial space; the West building (425 M) will have 296 units, 19,940 SF of retail and 19,450 SF of commercial space. A minimum of 8% of the gross floor area will be dedicated to households earning up to 60% of Area Median Income. Four of the affordable units will be 3-bedroom apartments.
|425 M Street|
|375 M Street|
Perkins Eastman has designed the buildings, the same architect that designed Eliot on 4th. From the PUD application:
The architectural design for the East and West M buildings has been revised to accommodate residential use, incorporate effective urban design strategies, engage the surrounding public spaces, and support the unique town-center environment created by the overall project. The proposed mix of uses and architectural design for the East and West M buildings will benefit the community, enliven the streetscape, and provide additional services for residents, employees, and visitors who live and work in the neighborhood.
Above the third floor, each of the buildings opens up as a C-shaped tower that faces M Street. A south-facing courtyard is located at this fourth level, with access provided to individual terraces for units facing the courtyard and to a communal outdoor recreation space for building residents. The courtyard is elevated above the three-level podium of retail, office, and residential uses, which creates a pedestrian-scale street wall with vibrant retail storefronts that maximize transparency.
|Retail next to Metro plaza|
|Retail along M Street|
Parking will be provided below-grade for both buildings, with entrances off of the private drives around the site, removing the need for curb cuts along M Street. A total of 363 parking spaces will be provided, split between the two buildings. The Capital Bikeshare station currently located on the west side of 4th Street will be relocated to the east side adjacent to the Metro plaza.
|Looking south on 4th Street|
Originally, Waterfront Station was planned as mostly office buildings with a minor residential component. Over time, the plans were modified – first, the site where Eliot on 4th apartments now stands changed uses from office to residential. Now, the planned office buildings along M Street may now proceed as residential. The reason for the changes in use are due to evolving market conditions. The office market is not as strong as it once was, while rental apartments are now the preferred asset type. This new proposal will be brought to the ANC to garner their support; however, Chairman Litsky had concerns about the change in use when it was mentioned at the February meeting.
Renderings courtesy of Perkins Eastman