Posted tagged ‘Senior Housing’

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.)

More Affordable Senior Housing Being Planned for Columbia Heights

August 27, 2018

(The Samuel J. Simmons NCBA Estates at 14th and Harvard St., NW)

Last week, ANC1A Commissioners Margaret Hundley and Kent Boese were invited to a meeting with National Caucus & Center on Black Aging, Inc. (NCBA) leadership about plans to expand the Samuel J. Simmons NCBA Estates property located at 14th Street between Harvard Street and Girard Street, NW. NCBA is an organization dedicated to the physical, economic, social and financial wellbeing of low-income African American senior citizens.

The Simmons Estates property currently provides 175 units of housing for seniors. The purpose of the meeting was to inform ANC1A about their plans to expand their Columbia Heights facility and request that the Commission provide a letter of support — which ANC1A will consider at their September 12th meeting.

Based on the information that NCBA shared, I’m very existed about this development. While there are still many details currently being worked out, here is the high level overview of the project proposal:

  • The new construction would be entirely by-right and compliant with zoning;
  • The project would create approximately 159 new units of housing for seniors at no more than 60% AMI;
  • The project would eliminate the surface parking lot currently behind the building, and replace it with approximately 81 spaces of underground parking on two levels; and,
  • There is a possibility that the new building could include approximately 5,000 sq. ft. of retail space at the corner of 14th and Harvard as well at NCBA’s main office.

It is too early to tell what the new building might look like, but NCBA provided the following drawings that help give a sense of the siting, massing, and relationship of the new building with the existing apartment building.

(The new building would be constructed along Harvard Street and behind the current apartment building. It would also create a green courtyard between the current building and the new building.)

(This drawing shows the location and massing of the proposed building along with its connection to the existing apartment tower.)

(One interesting feature of the proposed building is that in order to provide an entrance to the underground parking, DDOT will need to reopen the closed alley on Girard Street. Not only does this make the need for a new curb cut unnecessary, it will improve city services such as trash collection for all residents on the block.)

Historic Preservation Review Board Approves Restoration Plans for Hebrew Home on Spring Road

January 26, 2018

At the January 25, 2018, Historic Preservation Review Board hearing, the Board approved the preservation plan for the renovation of the historic Hebrew Home building at 1125 Spring Road. The case was approved as part of the Board’s consent agenda. The hearing only focused on the overall plan for the historic structure, and not the proposed development east of the property as it does not encroach upon the historic site.

Site plan showing location of non-historic structures to be removed during renovations.

The renovation plan focused on exterior modifications. The primary exterior modifications include complete replacement of existing (non-historic) windows and doors. Aluminum-clad wood windows with simulated divided lights are proposed. The development team consulted historic photographs in order to propose new windows that match the original windows as closely as possible with respect to operation and lite patterns.

Restoration of the existing exterior masonry is also planned as part of the renovation. This will include cleaning and repair/repointing of the brick as necessary. As part of the renovation, a limited number of selective reductions of non-historic exterior elements is proposed including removal of a one-story brick shed on the west side, a one-story open carport structure on the north side, an existing two-story free-standing utility building on the north side and a one-story walkway canopy connecting to the existing adjacent Robeson School building to the east.
Two small additions were also proposed and approved. A one-story addition on the first floor within the existing interior courtyard (and not visible from the exterior) which will provide a multi-use amenity space for residents and a one-story addition on the fifth floor which will provide 2 apartments and a second means of egress from an existing amenity space overlooking Spring Road. This proposed roof addition is located on the east wing adjacent to the interior courtyard and is set back substantially from the east building face to minimize (or eliminate) its visual perception from the public right-of-way.

The existing open space along Spring Road between the Hebrew Home and the adjacent Jewish Social Services Agency building will be redeveloped to create a new pocket park accessible to the public. In keeping with the original character of this exterior space, the design will provide small passive-use spaces with minimal plantings. In order to provide access to the space from the Spring Road streetscape, a new ADA ramp and access stair will be constructed in public space. This will require minor modifications to the existing brick retaining wall at the back of the existing sidewalk.

Below are some renderings filed with the HPRB case.

(Plan showing park area with notations showing improvements.)

(Plan showing location of new additions.)

(Perspective from the southeast (front), identifying location of rooftop addition.)

(Perspective from northwest (rear), identifying location of rooftop addition.)

Victory Housing/Brinshore Development Selected to Redevelop Hebrew Home Property

August 23, 2017

(Rendering from Victory Housing proposal.)

Yesterday, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner announced that the developer selected to redevelop the historic Hebrew Home at 1125 Spring Road, NW, was Victory Housing with Brinshore Development. This was the same development team that both ANC1A and ANC4C recommended as their first choice at their July ANC meetings.

Through the community engagement process, follow up conversations with development teams, and collaboration between the two ANCs, the Victory Housing proposal was deemed the best overall proposal for the site. Following the selection, the development team will also need to come back before the ANCs as part of the Planned Unit Development/Zoning process through which design refinements can be made. Early conversations with the Victory Housing team showed a wiliness to work with the surrounding neighborhood to refine design elements.

A copy of the full press release is available here and after the jump. (more…)


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