Archive for the ‘Development’ category

Fish in the Hood Close to Re-Opening, Still Needs Your Support.

October 9, 2018

I know that many neighbors in the greater Park View area have been watching Bill White make repairs to Fish in the Hood and wondering when this beloved restaurant will reopen for business. It has been a long road since an April 14, 2017, fire shuttered Fish in the Hood, but now based on a reports on Petworth News and NBC4, most of the repairs have been made. The only major hurdle left if funding to make the necessary final tweaks and to stock the restaurant with delicious fish.

To that Bill has been selling personal items to generate funds and also has a GoFunMe Campaign running to help achieve the goal of raising the $16,000 dollars needed to reopen his doors.

Fish in the Hood has been an excellent neighbor and business. Donating $20 or more to this campaign is a good investment in Fish in the Hood, and in Georgia Avenue. I’m positive that Bill can reach his goal and as of Tuesday, 10/9, he had less than $3,000 to go.

Neighbors can help Fish in the Hood reopen by making a small donation at GoFundMe.

ABRA Fines Kraken Axes $12,000 on Six Violations in September 26th Order

September 28, 2018

Kraken Axes has opened in the former Murray’s at 3400 Georgia Avenue.

On August 3rd I shared that Kraken Axes had gotten into trouble as part of an ABRA investigation, which resulted in investigators recommending denial of issuing them a liquor license and citing three counts where Kraken had violated the DC Municipal Regulations.

Kraken Axes representatives were ordered to appear before ABRA on August 15, 2018, to demonstrate their qualifications for licensure. All parties appear to have agreed to certain conditions to resolve the matter and ABRA issued its Order outlining this agreement on September 26, 2018.

In the ABRA Order, Kraken agrees to pay $12,000 in fines — $2,000 for each of six first level primary tier violations outlined in the order. The violations range from:

  • engaging or permitting another party to engage in the illegal sale of alcohol;
  • holding or permitting another party to host events and invited members of the public on the premises, and storing alcohol at the premises even though they lacked an appropriate Certificate of Occupancy; and,
  • interfering or attempting to interfere with an investigation.

In addition, Anna Valero and the Applicant agreed not to have a direct of indirect ownership interest in District Still, LLC, Foggy Bottom, LLC, or any other D.C. licensed off-premise retailer so long as the parties hold a direct or indirect ownership inters in an on-premise retail licensed business.

Additional details are included in the ABRA Order.

More Housing Proposed for 727 Kenyon Street, NW

September 25, 2018


(727 Kenyon Street, NW, is on the left of the driveway in the photo above.)

A rather straight forward BZA Case that will be before ANC1A on October 10th is the proposed conversion of the single family house at 727 Kenyon Street, NW, into a three-unit apartment building. The structure is on a large lot with the proposal meeting the requirements of the properties RF-1 Zone with the exception of a third unit. Properties zoned RF-1 only permit two units as a matter of right, but allow 3 units by special exception.

The developer presented the project at the September ANC1A meeting and will return in October for a vote. As presented, benefits of the proposal in addition to an additional unit than otherwise allowed are:

  • the property is large enough for off street parking, and three off street parking spaces will be created;
  • the curb cut would be removed, increasing on street parking by at least one space; and,
  • each of the new units would be three bedroom plus den, meaning they would be large enough for families.

Below are some drawings of the plans from the BZA case and developer.

(Reconfigured façade)

Floor plans after the jump (more…)

Marrakech Restaurant Coming to Georgia Avenue

September 13, 2018

(Marrakech Restaurant will be moving into the old Waters space at 3632 Georgia Avenue, NW)

According to an ABRA notice that will be placed at 3632 Georgia Avenue on September 14th, a new tavern called Marrakech is planning to open in the old Walters space between Looking Glass Lounge and DC Reynolds. The description of the tavern is that it will be specializing in Moroccan cuisine with 62 seats inside and a 20 seat Summer Garden, for a total of 82 seats and a Total Occupancy of 100. The licensee is requesting an Entertainment Endorsement to include Live Entertainment, Dancing, and Cover Charge.

Housing to Replace Former Church on Holmead Place, NW

September 6, 2018

(Former Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints building at 3423 Holmead Place, NW)

On Wednesday, September 12th, ANC1A will review and consider a zoning case requesting support to convert the vacant church at 3423 Holmead Pl, NW, into a new building containing 7-units of family sized housing (see plan set here).

The proposal is requesting zoning relief in the following areas:

  1. The RF-1 Zone allows for a conversion of a property from a non-residential building to an apartment house by way of Special Exception for a project not meeting one or more of the matter of right criteria. This project as designed does not meet two of those criteria, which requires that the addition be limited to thirty-five feet in height and which prohibits the removal of architectural elements original to the structure (such as the steeple in this case);
  2. Relief from the criteria governing the front setbacks for residential dwellings in the RF-1 Zone. In this case, the existing structure currently does not conform with this criteria and the development is not proposing to change the existing setback of twenty-five feet;
  3. Relief from court and nonconforming structure: The existing building has an existing court on its northwest corner. The proposed addition will extend this nonconforming court and also create two new courts on the southwest and southeast corners of the building. As the building will be forty feet in height, the minimum open court width is eight-point-three feet. As the proposed courts are nonconforming, relief is required for the proposal to proceed; and,
  4. Relief from height and number of floors. In the RF-1 Zone, 35 feet in height is allowed as a matter of right, with 40 feet in height allowed with a special exception. The building is designed to be 40 feet in height (which is still shorter than the existing rowhouses to the north and south of the property). Additionally, as designed the new apartment building would be four-stories, yet the RF-1 Zone only allows three-stories by right. So zoning would need to approve the fourth story.

(Rendering of apartment building proposed for 3423 Holmead Pl., NW)

All in all, the proposal strikes me as being reasonable and beneficial to the community. The new structure is not seeking relief from parking requirements, maintains the current set back of the existing structure, and is shorter than the rowhouses on the block. It also proposes to create six 3-bedroom units ranging in size from 1,290-1,522 sq. ft. and one 4-bedroom unit with 2,805 sq. ft. of living space on the top floor. Family sized housing is rarely proposed by developers and a housing type and its something that many neighborhoods are loosing as rowhouses are converted into condos.

Armed Forces Retirement Home to Renovate Vacant Grant Building for Senior Assisted Living

September 4, 2018

(The Grant building entrance at the AFRH.)

Earlier today, the Armed Forces Retirement Home announced with a press release (read the full release) that is plans to sign a letter of intent on September 6, 2018, with Gragg Cardon Partners, LLC, to renovate and convert the historic and vacant Grant Building at the north end of the campus for use as an affordable assisted living facility for eligible seniors.

The press release states:

“We are excited about this proposal to revitalize this beautiful building, and put it to a use that fits so closely with what we’re already doing at the Armed Forces Retirement Home,” said Chief Operating Officer James M. Branham. “We look forward to working with Gragg Cardona and their partners over the coming months as we each conduct due diligence and, we hope, reach agreement on a lease later this year or early in 2019.”

The restoration and adaptive re-use of the historic Grant Building as an Affordable Assisted Living Community for low to moderate income seniors is a wonderful solution, and will be an asset to both the AFRH’s long-term goals as well as the greater communities surrounding the home. In the District of Columbia, there is an unmet and growing need for affordable assisted living for the DC senior community.

The Grant Building is a grand renaissance revival structure bordering Rock Creek Church Road and Harewood Road. It opened in 1910 to provide dining facilities, residential rooms, and community facilities for the AFRH’s veteran residents. It closed in 2001. The building is in the Home’s historic district which includes a national monument and historic site. Gragg Cardona approached the Home in July with the proposal and intends to pursue bonds and historic preservation and housing tax credits to offset some of the renovation costs.

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit the AFRH which included a tour of the shuttered Grant building. Below are some photos of the great spaces that will be incorporated into the new facility.

(The entry foyer of the Grant Building.)

(Balcony in the former dining hall of the Grant Building.)

(Looking down toward the entry foyer from the mezzanine.)

DCRA Director Bolling to Engage Neighbors at Wednesday’s Park View UNC Meeting

September 3, 2018

The September 5th meeting of the Park View UNC has special guest, Director Melinda Bolling of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), better known as the agency that approves building permits and sends out inspectors when construction exceeds permitted work.

In neighborhoods like Park View where a large majority of housing stock is rowhouses, major construction can have — and often has — an impact on property owners next door.

If you live next to a construction project, or just have questions and want to know more about the process, join the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition this Wednesday evening for their special meeting:

“The problem next door: What to do when development, illegal construction or a vacant property affects your home.”

When/where: Wednesday, September 5, 7-8pm, Park View Rec Center (Warder St. and Otis Pl. NW)

The discussion will feature Melinda Bolling, Director, DCRA and neighborhood residents who will share their experiences dealing with neighboring property issues

This is a great opportunity to join the UNC and neighbors for an informative meeting to learn from neighbors who’ve been through these experiences and from the director of DCRA about your rights, responsibilities, and tips for what to do.


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