Friday, April 28, 2017

Two Waterfront Station Parcels Switching to Residential

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


Piper said...

At some point, during all this planning, will someone wise up and again allow left turns onto M St from southbound 4th St?

Ewa said...

More ugly looking boring buildings. Please design something of style, architects!

Ewa said...

And these buildings are just too huge! There should be some height restriction; it is a residential neighborhood not an office district.

Andy Merlo said...

Ewa, these buildings were originally zoned for office, so it actually is in an "office district" We live in a mixed-use neighborhood, not a single family home neighborhood and besides, it's not like "residential" and "tall buildings" are incompatible. I'm all for more people and activities here. At least having more people should improve on the underwhelming retail landscape currently found on 4th Street.

Wizzyliz said...

Who remembers those lovely EPA towers and Waterside Mall back in the 2000s? Not to mention the CVS and Bank of America trailers ... we've come a long way baby and it's progress.

Unknown said...

Ewa, if you want to see ugly buildings look across M st at those solid concrete monstrosities. This is city not a suburb- "tall buildings" will be built here and are welcomed as progress by most except those resistant to any/all change

Ewa said...

Do you refer to Tiber Island and Carrolsburg buildings as concrete monstrosities? With all due respect I dare to disagree. I find these buildings architecturally interesting, very well designed and just right in size. They are no more than seven story tall, placed on stilts that give a sense of spaciousness and light around them, and they are mixed with lower town houses and a lot of green spaces. What's not to like.

The new proposed structures (near the metro and at the Wharf) lack on "human"-friendliness, they are too tall and too wide, monotonous, do not account for sufficient green space around them. However, I do respect your taste in architecture:"de gustibus non est disputandum".

Sultan of SW said...

Ewa, they are placed on stilts because they are squarely within a flood zone. Additionally, every argument you make against the new structures in your 2nd paragraph can be applied with equal force to Carrolsburg, Tiber Island, et al. It's all a matter of perspective. Luckily, SW makes everyone happy - there's a mix of new buildings and older ones.

runwaysmack said...

No. Left turns are unsafe for pedestrians crossing southbound because of the angle of the intersection. Next, 4th ST is not a thruway for traffic turning east on M ST, and would cause a massive backup along 4th during rush hour and nats games. Just look what South Capitol and I St turns into during these times. You can't have a turn only arrow because the timing would impact the time pedestrians are given to cross, which is actually a pretty large distance to cover for somebody who has mobility issues.

The majority of the SW community stands by this setup. This is a topic the ANC6 knows very well. I'd prefer if that section of 4th street was cut off completely, with only turnabouts at the entries from M Street and I Street to allow traffic to the metro station (drop off) and Safeway garage respectively.

MPD should increase the fines for people who illegally make the left turn!

Anonymous said...

Retail is collapsing and once the Fed rate is above 5% the Fed money printing/debt accumulation will lead to a ghost town in D.C.