Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Christmas Tree Giveaway Returns

Need a Christmas tree? St. Matthew’s will be doing its annual Christmas tree giveaway again this year. It will be held on Saturday, December 9, starting at 10am. A total of 130 Christmas trees will be given away and only people who have made a reservation will be able to pick up a tree during this time. On the day of the event, reservations can be made for any leftover trees starting at 10am for pick-up at noon. Reservations can be obtained by either calling (202-484-3189) or emailing ( Although the trees will be given away at no cost, there will be the opportunity, for those who wish, to give a tax-deductible contribution to Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR). LDR is responding to the aftermath of this year’s hurricanes in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and wildfires in California. 

The mixed-use church and apartment development had its “topping off” last month and is scheduled to be completed in 2018. It is the hope of Pastor Huber that the tree event can be held next year in the church’s courtyard, but this year’s giveaway will be done in front of the new apartment building along M Street next to the construction elevator. 

Renderings courtesy of St. Matthew’s

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Raze Permits Filed

Raze permits have been filed for two sites that will soon become mixed-use developments. One is the Unity Health Clinic site at 850 Delaware Avenue, which closed back in October. In its place will be a 50-unit temporary housing facility for homeless families, with a maximum occupancy of 166 people in a seven-story building. A new health clinic will be in the basement of the building, with its entrance on I Street. This is the Ward 6 location of the Mayor’s Homeward DC initiative to place smaller family homeless shelters in each ward of the city to replace the DC General facility. The Zoning Commission approved the 850 Delaware Avenue project in March and the new facility is expected to be completed in 2019. 

The second site is the former home of Engine 13 at 555 E Street. E Street Development won the bid to develop this site and another District-owned parcel at 4th and E streets several years ago. The latter was developed into a Hyatt Place with a fire house on the ground floor – the hotel just celebrated its two-year anniversary. On the 555 E Street site, the developer plans to build a 253-key citizenM hotel, a 194-unit mixed-income rental apartment building, and 10,750 SF of ground floor retail. This project is also expected to be completed in 2019. 

Renderings courtesy of Studio 24 Architecture and E Street Development

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Bard: Act II

More than a year after withdrawing a PUD application for The Bard development at 501 I Street due to neighborhood opposition, the development team of Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) and Erkiletian recently submitted a new PUD, making several changes to their plans in the process. The site is currently zoned R-3 and the development team through the PUD process is requesting a change of zoning to MU-4. 

The current plan calls for a five-story building (four stories plus a habitable penthouse) and a five-story annex structure on the northeast portion of the site. The main building is U shaped and will contain 29,425 square feet on the first level and below-grade for STC administrative space, four rehearsal spaces, a costume shop, space for educational activities, as well as five actor housing units. On the upper floors, there will be 85 rental apartments. In the annex building, there will be five two-story duplex units for STC fellows on the lower floors and 15 units on the upper floors for STC actors. Within the project, approximately 11,400 SF of space will be set aside as affordable housing under inclusionary zoning, at 60% and 50% of AMI. At least one of the IZ units will be a three-bedroom unit. Additionally, two units will be set at 40% of AMI for the first 10 years of the project and will be reserved for teachers or staff at Amidon-Bowen Elementary or Jefferson Academy. 

There will be two entrances to the STC-controlled space, one on 6th Street and another on I Street. Meanwhile, the main residential entrance to the building will be on I Street. Actor housing units will have entrances on 6th Street in order to maintain a residential character on the street. Along I Street, there will be public art – including art panels and murals. Parking will be provided for 39 vehicles on-site in a below-grade garage as well as at least two electric charging stations, and 15 off-site spaces. There will also be 70 bicycle parking spaces. 

According to the PUD application, the following public benefits will be offered: 
Free performances aimed at young audiences and development of long-term curriculum for Amidon-Bowen and Jefferson Academy Schools; free performance tickets and scholarships and tuition discounts to Camp Shakespeare and Adult Master Acting classes; support for community arts programming; and public access to use assembly spaces/conference rooms within the Project for community meetings. 
The developers intend to work with ANC 6D to refine the list of public benefits. If approved, construction is expected to start in 2018 and finish in 2020. 

Renderings courtesy of Shalom Baranes Associates

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Peninsula 88 Groundbreaking

According to the Capitol Riverfront BID, a ceremonial groundbreaking for Peninsula 88 condos in Buzzard Point was held late last month. The condo project site from Capital City Real Estate is located adjacent to the shuttered Buzzard Point Marina at 88 V Street. There will be a total of 110 units with a mix of 1BR, 1BR/den, 2BR and penthouse units. Prices will range from $500,000 to $2.5 million. 

This is the first residential building to start construction in Buzzard Point south of Q Street. Other proposed projects include Riverpoint, the redevelopment of the former Coast Guard headquarters located to the west of Peninsula 88; 1900 Half Street, a former office building that will be converted to a 462-unit apartment project; 1800 Half Street, the site of warehouses and Ziegfield’s/Secrets that will be redeveloped as an approximately 300-unit apartment project. In addition, the vacant “Parcel B” adjacent to Audi Field may one day contain a residential component. Akridge’s 100 V Street parcel may also include residential (if Amazon H2Q doesn’t locate there). 

Even though a groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 26, actual construction has still not started. Sales at Peninsula 88 are expected to begin in 2018 with delivery in about two years.

Renderings courtesy of Eric Colbert & Associates

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Mayor Bowser to Speak at ANC 6D Meeting

With a little less than a year until the mayoral election, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser will be a guest at Monday’s ANC 6D meeting. The mayor is scheduled for about 50 minutes near the beginning of the meeting, with time for her opening remarks, questions from the commissioners, and questions from the community. This month’s meeting will be held at the new community center in Navy Yard, located at 1000 5th Street, SE at 7pm.