Archive for the ‘Development’ category

Is the Hebrew Home Redevelopment Project Still On? You Betcha!

January 18, 2019


(Bird’s Eye View of Hebrew Home project from 10th and Spring Rd., NW.)

I’ve had a number of people ask lately if the Hebrew Home project at 1125 Spring Road is still going forward due to the site being quiet for the last several month. The answer is yes!

Here is what the Victory Housing and Brinshore Development team have been doing to get the project shovel ready. They are currently in underwriting with the Department of Housing and Community Development for the historic senior building and have passed the threshold (meaning they are going to underwriting) for the new family development . The property has been subdivided and they’re going through all the normal details required for predevelopment with the lenders/financers/engineering, etc.

As a recap, 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.

 

729 Princeton Place Gets Permits, Potentially Ending 3+ Years of Vacant and Blighted Conditions.

January 2, 2019

The days living with the vacant and blighted rowhouse at 729 Princeton Place appear to be coming to an end. With a new owner, a new design, and newly approved building permits, the property looks like a go for being completed and back in productive use soon.

As nearby residents may recall, the issue dates to the Spring of 2015 when the then owner constructed a third story addition with no permits to do so (either filed or issued). Making the issue more complicated, construction began days prior to changes in the Zoning Law that would require the as-built addition to require a Special Acceptation and Board of Zoning Adjustment approval. Rather than apply for the appropriate building permit or file a BZA case to seek approval, the owner repeatedly continued to work in violation of DCRA’s Stop Work Orders. Ultimately, this created an impasse leading to the current state the building is in today.

729 Princeton Place as of January 2019.

Now it appears that the days of seeing this property vacant and blighted may be coming to an end. In June, 2018, the property was sold to a new owner. Unlike the previous owner, they have found a solution that will rebuild the third story in a way that is compliant with ZR-16 and will not require a BZA Special Exception (NOTE: the previous owner could have gone this route as well).

According to the plans shared with me and the language in the DCRA PIVS system, the new design conforms to the 35′ height allowed by right, restores a section of the original roof, and allows for the property to be converted into two living units. The third story as currently constructed is higher than the 35′ limit.

The new permit was approved on December 19, 2018, and scope of work is described as follows:

EXPEDITION REVIEW

Complete interior remodel to existing 3 story structure.  Rebuild existing third story addition to comply with zoning and building code requirements.  New rear 3 story addition.  Conversion to a two-family flat.  All new electrical, mechanical, and plumbing.  Exterior work to also include landscaping + new parking pad off alley.

… and here is the newly proposed plan for the building.

Newly proposed elevations for 729 Princeton that comply with ZR-16.

At Long Last, Project at Georgia & Otis Pl, NW, is Moving Forward.

November 27, 2018

After four and a half years, and a long break following an initial start, the project planned for the corner of Otis Place and Georgia Avenue is finally active again. In visiting the site over the past several days it is clear that an active crew continues to install rebar and forms that are necessary to pour the concrete foundation (see photos below).

A review of the 2013 details of the project show that the building will have 20 new apartments along with 3,440 sf of retail space evenly split on the ground and lower levels.

Its refreshing to see stalled Georgia Avenue development getting back on track.

Georgia Avenue Development Beginning to Move Forward

October 30, 2018

Nearly four years in the making, the development approved for 3619 Georgia Avenue has finally progressed to the point where we’ll start to see  a building rise above grade. Below is a photo of the current state of construction.

(Construction at 3619 Georgia, the week of October 29th, 2018.)

… and below is what the finished building has been designed to appear.

(Rendering of 3619 Georgia as it will appear upon completion.)

Fish in the Hood has Reopened!

October 29, 2018

(Fish in the Hood, a long-time beloved restaurant, is back open for business. Located at Georgia Avenue and Otis Place, NW)

Fish in the Hood reopened quietly on Wednesday, October 24th, and I’m happy to report the community response was immediate. They plan to be open on Monday through Saturday from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm (perhaps a bit later on Friday evenings). As before, Fish in the Hood will not have regular Sunday business hours.

Fish in the Hood closed due to a fire that occurred on April 14, 2017. Owner Bill White has been working to repair the damage and reopen since day one.

So check out this great local business and welcome them back to the neighborhood!

(Fish in the Hood’s counters are stocked and ready for customers.)

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.


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