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JBG's planned 290-unit residential building at 1244 South Capitol had its Capitol Gateway Overlay zoning review hearing this evening, with the project receiving mostly favorable comments, though of course there were some very zoning-y issues brought up.
Commissioners used words like "handsome," "attractive," and "unique" to describe this 13-story building that would be situated just north of Nats Park on the northeast corner of South Capitol and N streets. Robert Miller called it as a "definite asset for the neighborhood and for the city," while Michael Turnbull described it as a "very elegant-looking building" that "I like very much," while also wryly thanking the design team for not trying "to pick up on the architecture of the {ballpark} garages across the street" (in case anyone thinks that the Zoning folks have forgotten that the garages were designed and built without their approval). Even noted stickler Peter May said that there are "a lot of great things about the architecture and the project overall."
But this didn't mean that there weren't still concerns the commissioners want to see addressed. Marcie Cohen expressed her concerns about the project's LEED certification, wanting it to at least meet Silver, preferably Gold. Chairman Anthony Hood wanted to see clearer indications of where the signage for the project's 25,000 square feet of retail will go. A slight concern was raised about the positioning of the residential lobby entrance on Van Street between the entrance to the two-level parking garage and the loading bays. And there was a worry or two about the rooftop pool's decking perhaps needing a handrail.
A somewhat more substantial issue was the design of the building's north face, with "at risk" windows that could end up staring across only a 10-foot space right into any building that eventually replaces the Self Storage building. (The image at right from the updated zoning submission gives a view of this wall and the windows at issue.) JBG's Bryan Moll testified that the storage folks show no interest in selling (and that JBG would be very interested in buying if and when they do), but that should a building go up, JBG would be prepared to reconfigure the units to turn them into two bedrooms with den or three bedrooms, so that the units along the north wall would become a part of larger units with (presumably) better windows and positioning away from that wall. Commissioner May grumbled his skepticism about the storage site not being redeveloped anytime soon, but the issue was not a showstopper for him.
The issue that was a showstopper for him (and for Michael Turnbull) was the design of the penthouse and the proximity of the cooling-tower wall, which he called "really really problematic." May emphasized that while he understands the desire to maximize rooftop amenity space, "setbacks for mechanical uses have to come first." (Don't ask me to go into more detail beyond parroting that commissioners want to see how JBG can "push the penthouse back from the north wall of the courtyard"--my inch-deep understanding of DC zoning regulations got left in the dust during this discussion, and I'm guessing any of my readers versed in zoning already have a better understanding of the issue than I ever would.) May was however pleased with the general design of the penthouse, saying it was exactly what they "had in mind with the change to the Height Act."
The Office of Planning strongly supports the project. DDOT has given its blessing as well, with JBG agreeing to the conditions that it will building the missing sidewalk on the west side of Van Street up to M Street, will erect a transportation information screen in the lobby with real-time arrival/departure times for nearby offerings, will include one electric-vehicle charging station, and will install 11 "short-term" bicycle racks on the sidewalks near the building's entrances. (This is in addition to the 110 secure bicycle parking spaces within the building.) ANC 6D had unanimously supported the project last month.
JBG will return to the drawing board on the penthouse issue, and it's expected that the design will come up for a vote at the commission's Jan. 12 meeting.
For more about the building itself, see my recent posts and also my 1244 South Capitol project page.
Comments (8)
   
 
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JD says: (11/14/14 9:47 AM)
And, in other development news, a permit was just issued for a construction fence at 801 New Jersey, which is also the 82 I Street lot. I've heard through the grapevine that they are expecting to start construction soon, and at least the shoring permit looks close to being approved.

So, if that's about to start, and Ballpark Square is starting soon as well, that may be it for the current explosion of apartment buildings. (Though then I'll probably still be keeping an eye on 909 Half Street for the not-quite-near term.)

Then there's 50 M/Homewood (and the hotel in Ballpark Square). And perhaps the 99 M office building, but I'm not convinced on that one yet, even though permits are in process.

But we might be good on new construction for a little while anyway. :-)





NavyYardGuy says: (11/14/14 2:00 PM)
Go JD w/ all the updates!!!


JD says: (11/14/14 2:03 PM)
And, on the ballpark garages, my "Today in (Recent) Near Southeast History" box shows that it was actually eight years ago today that the council voted to override the Zoning Commission:

link


JD says: (11/14/14 2:06 PM)
@NavyYardGuy - :-). (But be prepared for a fair amount of radio silence for next week.)


ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (11/14/14 2:39 PM)
I heard rumors that 802 New Jersey Ave/ 82 I lot will be a hotel instead of the initial planned apartment.
By the way, the address 802 New Jersey Avenue makes more sense than 82 I.

There are seven apartments under construction. Another two supposed to start before the end of year. I am hoping they won't built any more apartments for a while with the exception of 1244 South Capitol. Over building is not a good idea.

Building more hotels makes sense. I will give Forest city an idea. You can build 4 star hotel at the lot between Foundry loft and DC water pump station (W hotel or something like that).


JD says: (11/14/14 3:34 PM)
(801 New Jersey, not 802)

I really doubt it's going to be a hotel. Greystar is an apartment developer, and 82 I is listed on their web site as being an apartment building.

Plus, the shoring/sheeting permit for 82 I has its zoning approval for "sheeting and shoring on private property only (sq. 0695 lot 0032) for a multifamily building in the c-3-c zoning district." So they'd have to refile and do everything again if they are wanting to change.

Don't forget that Ballpark Square has a hotel in addition to the residential building--perhaps your rumor-er got something conflagrated in that.



JD says: (11/14/14 3:47 PM)
Also, 82 I would actually be one of the two apartment buildings still to start by the end of the year, along with Ballpark Square. There's nothing else, since I'm considering Florida Rock as underway.

Parc Riverside - Almost Done
Park Chelsea - Spring
800 New Jersey - vertical soon
Arris - Now above ground
Lofts at CQ - above ground
1111 NJ - underway
Florida Rock - underway

Ballpark Square residential/hotel - technically Any Minute Now, but probably early 2015 at this point
82 I - Ditto

No other residential projects anywhere close, except maybe 909 Half, but there's not even been an announcement made on that one. I would doubt that 1244 South Capitol will start until late 2015 or early 2016.






ZoolanderANDtheBoYz says: (11/14/14 4:25 PM)
My rumor-er is the owner of Harris liquor store. Perhaps his rumor-er got conflagrated in that!

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