Archive for the ‘Development’ category

Heads Up!, More Food Options Opening in Park View

May 28, 2019

Brand new and coming soon to the 3600 block of Georgia Avenue, residents and visitors will soon have two more eating options to choose from. Located between local favorites Looking Glass Lounge and DC Reynolds,  Tsehay Ethiopian Restaurant is sporting a Grand Opening banner. I haven’t had a chance to check them out yet, and they appear to be closed on Monday’s so I didn’t get a chance to pop in yesterday. I’m looking forward to doing that soon and reporting back.

Right next door to Tsehay, at 3632 Georgia, Mr. Braxton is finishing up its renovations and should also be opening up in the next couple of weeks. I did have a chance to pop in and chat with the restaurateurs, and I like what I saw. Most importantly to anyone who is familiar with the space, and the businesses that have preceeded Mr. Braxton, is that the property now has a full kitchen, so I’ll be looking forward to seeing their menu soon.

As you can see from the photos below, the refresh of the Georgia Avenue facade and the patio are also welcoming and a good indication of the personality that will be found inside. Mr. Braxton was written up in the Washingtonian a couple weeks back (read article here).

(Mr. Braxton: Georgia Avenue (above) and rear patio (below).)

 

38 New Housing Options Being Added in Historic Church Conversion on Park Road, NW

May 14, 2019

The redevelopment of the historic Park View Christian Church on Park Road is nearly complete.

The conversion of the historic Park View Christian Church building and parking lot is quickly nearing completion, with the new construction now on the market and some of the condos in the historic building still receiving finishing touches. In all, the project is adding 38 new condos (including Inclusionary Zoning units) to the Park View community.

The buildings were open over the weekend and I managed to swing by and check them out. According to the developers Web site, units start at $290k, and from what I saw they go up to about $900,000, depending upon the unit size and location. I noted that five of the condos already have contracts pending.

You can see the range of prices and floor plans here.

There are a lot of things I like about this project. Top of my list is that it adaptively reuses a history building (and they are doing a good job of this). I also like the fit and finished that have been used throughout, that there is a range of unit sized, including two-level units, and that many of the upper units have dedicated outdoor space. I also like that this project was large enough to include units that are more affordable to the neighborhood than many developments bring.

You can see images of the units on their Web site, or I have included a few below I took on my visit.

New Tavern, Smitty’s, Now Open in Park View

May 1, 2019

Yesterday, Smitty’s soft opened in Park View at 3549 Georgia Avenue. I was able to pop in and welcome them to the neighborhood.

Smitty’s is small but inviting. Inside there is seating for 20, and eventually there are plans for a rear summer garden. Based on my conversation, they plan to be closed on Monday’s.

The Arcade Sunshine Apartments Turned Out Great

March 26, 2019

(Lobby at entrance to 715 Lamont Street, NW.)

Over the weekend, I had a chance to catch up with 1A09 Commissioner Michael Wray and tour the Arcade Sunshine apartments at 715 and 735 Lamont Street, NW. As many may recall, this is a project that has been in the works since mid-2014 and when fully completed will add about 225 units of housing and 102 parking spaces for its residents. I’m particularly please as I was able to negotiate the preservation and reuse of the Lamont Street facades into the new development creating an interesting mix of old and new.

The site was originally constructed as an industrial cleaners ca. 1919 and was in continued use as such until its recent conversion into new housing. It is currently leasing providing the opportunity to schedule a tour.

I’m providing photos here so you can get some idea of how well it turned out. You can also review the apartment floor plans here.

715 Lobby and common areas

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Brief Report on Tuesday’s Hebrew Home Update Meeting

March 21, 2019

(Neighbors at the Petworth Library listening to updates on the Hebrew Home project, Tuesday, March 19th)

A good number of neighbors attended the Hebrew Home redevelopment update meeting at the Petworth Library on March 19th. The primary objective of the meeting was to learn where the project for 1125 Spring Road, NW, is and what progress has been made since the project got the green light to move foreword. While the development team is still fine tuning the project, key updates shared focused on approvals the project has received to date, design element refinements, and the basic timeline for when construction would begin.

Current status of approvals as of March 2019.

The plans for the historic Hebrew Home building were approved by the HPRB in January 2018, following Victory Housing and Brinshore being awarded the project in August 2017.

When completed, the development will include the creation of 187 residential units through a mix of townhomes and apartments. The project will include the creation of 88 units of affordable housing for seniors at or below 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI) through the adaptive preservation of the historic Hebrew Home building as well as the creation of 62 units of affordable housing in a newly constructed building at the current site of the Paul Robeson School.

Currently the team is continuing to work on design and financing stages of the project. They anticipate several more months of work  before construction can begin, and that will be once all the financing is in place. Optimistically, construction could begin in late 2019. Conservatively, construction could begin by January or February 2020 at the latest.

Both the renovation of the historic Hebrew Home building and the new construction next door would begin at the same time, though they would likely be completed at different times. Once construction begins, the historic renovation should take approximately 14 months to complete, while the new family building would take approximately 18 months to complete.

(Current design for the Spring Road side of the new construction.)

(The 10th Street elevation, incorporating more brick.)

Overall, most residents who asked questions and commented on the 1125 Spring Road site expressed a spirit of support for the effort. The chief area of frustration centered on the issue of neighborhood parking and frustration with the District Government for not doing more to leverage District resources to assist with the parking needs of Raymond Elementary, the Raymond Recreation Center, and neighbors.

For example, Raymond Elementary has a large surface parking lot to the east of the building, yet DCPS has expressed that the parking lot is for the sole use of the school and not open to either the community or rec center to use. I, along with others, expressed that this is unacceptable as the school is District property. Furthermore, the recreation center was rebuilt as an extension of the school so that the school has use of the rec center during school hours as an extension of their programs. When the school is not in session, the school property must equally be flexible  and available to support the needs of the rec center. Clearly there is more work to do regarding the parking issue and DCPS’ rigidity with access to their property.

In reviewing the boards and other information that was available, I also noticed some programming and rough plans for the pocket park that is located to the west of the Hebrew Home building. I’m including that image below to show the progress on that aspect of the project.

(Programming diagram for the pocket park on Spring Road.)

 

Reminder! Hebrew Home Development Update Meeting Tonight at Petworth Library

March 19, 2019

The development team working on renovating the historic Hebrew Home and developing new housing on the remainder of the property is hosting a community meeting tonight.

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm at the Petworth Library. See flyer below:

Notes from February Park Morton Steering Committee Meeting

March 1, 2019

Aimee McHale from the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development’s office sharing information with the Committee.

Last night’s community Park Morton Steering Committee Meeting offered and overview on where things stand regarding the plans to replace and rebuild Park Morton in three phases over two sites. The key information points that were shared centered around the following.

Bruce Monroe Zoning Appeal

As people may recall, the Park Morton redevelopment effort broke down into two zoning cases, one for the current Park Morton site (ZC 16-12) and one for the former Bruce Monroe site (ZC 16-11). Zoning Case 16-12 was not appealed, but Case 16-11 was. Oral arguments for the zoning appeal were heard before the Court of Appeals on February 14, 2019.

There was no decision following oral arguments and there is no required time by which the Court of Appeals must render a decision. Based on past cases, a decision could be between 2-18 month. It is estimated that construction could start 6-9 months after the appeal is resolved.

The primary issues challenging the zoning order shared at the meeting can be seen in the slide below:

Interim Control Funding

The second significant update that was presented was the DMPED funding assistance to the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) to perform interim controls. In 2018, DCHA did environmental studies at its properties throughout DC. At Park Morton, they discovered lead which required remediation. Due to the expense and with redevelopment looming, DCHA initially indicated that it wanted to move residents out and just replace existing buildings. This would have resulted in displacing families which the ANCs, Council, DMPED, and New Communities Initiative are all dedicated to preventing. The current plan is for a phased replacement that does not displace our neighbors.

In order to keep the promise of a development that is constructed in phases without displacement, DMPED agreed to assist DCHA with $4.5M in funding to address the lead and other maintenance issues present at Park Morton that must be addressed between now and the start of the redevelopment.

Housing Mix Review

Another focus area of the meeting concerned the number of units, the affordability of the units, and how many bedrooms each unit had. This was largely a review, but emphasis was made that families living at Park Morton would move into new units once constructed that were appropriate to their needs. Currently, every Park Morton apartment is a  two-bedroom apartment. Some families only need a one-bedroom apartment and others need apartments that are three- or four-bedrooms.

To determine the right size apartment for each family, DMPED has been conducting household surveys and using data from DCHA to identify the various apartment sizes that are necessary to meet the needs of families living at Park Morton. At a very high level, the slide below shows how many housing units will be produced during each phase and where.


The meeting closed out with a Q & A session where questions were asked about job training programs and neighborhood investment in addition to additional information in the areas from the presentation.


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