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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: sq767
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400 M ('07)
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20 M ('07)
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7 Blog Posts Since 2003

There apparently is a DC Housing Authority "construction progress" meeting tonight at the Community Center at 6 pm.
I don't have more specifics from that, and I won't be able to be there, alas, but I do know that they will be displaying the renderings showing (at last) the designs for the two new buildings planned for Square 767, the block bounded by 3rd, 2nd, I, and K, in advance of a planned zoning filing early next year.
Given that it's been almost precisely one year since the specifics for this project were last discussed at a public meeting, I would prefer to wait for the zoning filing to describe any plans beyond that there will be a condo building by Capitol Quarter developer EYA on the southern end of the block, and a smaller rental building that will be some mix of affordable units and public housing units on the north end.
The above rendering shows both buildings as seen from Canal Park, with the taller condo building at right along K Street and the shorter affordable building at left along I. The drawings below show the block as seen from 3rd and I, in both wide and close-up views, along with the current state of that stretch of 3rd.
If you have any feedback for the plans, head to the meeting tonight (sorry for the late notice) or contact the Housing Authority, or just sound off in the comments.
And perhaps the meeting will also give details on the timeline for the new mixed-income rental building on Square 769, which is supposed to get underway Any Minute Now. (I'd also wager that the meeting might mention all the spiffy new sidewalks and streetlights around the DCHA lots along 3rd and also at 2nd and K.)
UPDATE: I tossed together an official project page for Square 767, now that there are purty drawings to look at.
 

At a community meeting Tuesday night to discuss the DC Housing Authority's development plans for the block between 2nd, 3rd, I, and K known as Square 767, DCHA executive director Adrianne Todman confirmed that the agency is continuing to work on a two-building plan for the site: a 120-unit market-rate condo building that would be developed by EYA and partners, and a separate rental building that would be a mix of public housing and "affordable" units.
While the designs of the buildings and specific numbers as to the exact number of units and the income-requirement structure aren't yet available (and probably won't be until the Housing Authority submits its second-stage PUD filing to the Zoning Commission), a presentation slide referred to "48-67 affordable rental units." It was also said that the design of the buildings will be the same, with the same architect and materials for both buildings, and that the rental building will have ground-floor retail facing Canal Park.
And, because I'm a sucker for the deep official detail of zoning filings, I'm going to wait until that second-stage PUD hits the streets instead of delving into too much more into the details given at the meeting, especially given that it sounds like there is still some level of fluidity in the plans (Todman quickly mentioned at one point that she asked her team to "look at adding some market-rate [units] as well") and given that their zoning encyclopedia David Cortiella was not in attendance. But at the very least it seems to be a concrete decision to "integrate different incomes" in the rental building.
Todman did emphasize the Housing Authority is still in pursuit of its "prime directive" to rebuild the 707 units of public housing that were in Capper/Carrollsburg before it was demolished (398 available so far, 309 to go), and also getting as many of the original Capper families back to Near Southeast if they wish to return. And many of the questions from audience members centered around the issue of returning families, the use of vouchers in the new buildings, and the current lack of affordable ownership opportunities.
One other interesting theme that Todman mentioned a couple of times is how in comparison to other DCHA properties, the Capitol Quarter townhomes are "mixed income on steroids," with levels of diversity in both income and race that the Housing Authority just did not expect when planning Capper's redevelopment more than a decade ago."We have to work harder to make it a more seamless community," she said.
In other Capper-related tidbits passed along at the meeting: the opening date for the Community Center is now anticipated to be April 2016, and the financing deal for the 181-unit mixed-income apartment building planned for the south side of L Street SE between 2nd and 3rd (Square 769N) is expected to be completed in the spring as well.
It looks to be early 2016 before the Square 767 second-stage PUD will be filed, so until then, further specifics for this block may remain hard to come by. But I shall remain vigilant.
 

UPDATE, NOV. 9: This meeting is now going to be on Nov. 17, still at 6:30 pm at 200 I St., SE. It was rescheduled from its original date that turned out to conflict with a public safety meeting
Original post:
There's not much detail at this point, but a public meeting has been scheduled on Oct. 27 at 6:30 pm at 200 I Street to discuss the DC Housing Authority's plans for the block known as Square 767, bounded by 2nd Place and 3rd, I, and K Streets SE.
This block, part of the Capper/Carrollsburg Hope VI redevelopment footprint, is the location where DCHA is looking to sell a portion of the land so that an as-yet unnamed developer can build a market-rate condo building. Such a plan would seem to mean that the necessary affordable rental units on that block would be confined to whatever non-condo project is also built on that block, a notion has had neighbors expressing much concern since it was first revealed nearly two years ago.
There's no agenda or materials yet released, so look for a more detailed post once DCHA makes those items available.
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More posts: Capper, Capper New Apt Bldgs, meetings, sq767
 

With unanimous agreement that the need to get former public housing residents back to the neighborhood is paramount, the Zoning Commission on Monday gave first approvals to the DC Housing Authority's request for flexibility in how it allocates 206 affordable units still to be built within the Capper/Carrollsburg PUD boundaries, while still being required to have no fewer than 15 percent and no more than 50 percent of the units on any square be affordable.
ANC 6D remains adamantly opposed to the flexibility idea--or at least to the idea that this flexibility would then allow a possible all-affordable building next to a market-rate condo building on Square 767--saying it "would circumvent the theme of HOPE VI revitalization and the goal of the PUD."
But Zoning Commission vice-chair Marcie Cohen disagreed, saying that the success of Capper's revitalization is that "the area is mixed income, the neighborhood is mixed income," and that she doesn't have a problem "when public housing is a single project within a mixed-income neighborhood." Noting that some of Capper's previous residents were relocated from the site now more than 10 years ago, Cohen said that "the people who have been displaced have a right to come back"--and given that "financing vehicles are now driving housing policy," meaning that getting affordable housing units financed has become so difficult--the Housing Authority has in her view come up with a plan that is "satisfactory," and should be able to go ahead and "secure the proper financing, build the project, and get some of the people back if they choose."
Her fellow commissioners concurred, with both Robert Miller and Michael Turnbull also noting that all projects on the three remaining residential squares at Capper will need to come to the Zoning Commission for review before moving forward.
And in its response to the ANC 6D letter, the Housing Authority emphasized this point, saying that the concerns raised by 6D will be addressed at that time, and that the reviews "will also demonstrate that the design of the buildings and distribution of the units in those applications are consistent with the PUD's overall goal of providing a vibrant, mixed-use and mixed-income community."
This case also will allow 30 of the Capper affordable units to be relocated to Square 737, to be included in both the 800 New Jersey/Whole Foods building and the eventual third-phase residential building on the eastern portion of that block.
My previous post on this zoning case gives plenty of additional detail if you desire.
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More posts: Capper, Development News, sq767, zoning
 

It's been just over a year since the DC Housing Authority initially filed with the Zoning Commission a request for "flexibility" in the location and percentage mix of affordable units on three remaining blocks within the Capper/Carollsburg Planned Unit Development (PUD), and tonight the hearing was finally held.
The request has been altered a bit since I last wrote about it in February, but the gist remains the same.
First, DCHA is looking to move 30 affordable units outside of the Capper PUD boundaries and onto the block where WC Smith is developing the Park Chelsea, 800 New Jersey, and a third as-yet unnamed residential building.
Second, instead of being held to the originally approved unit counts on the blocks known as squares 767, 768, and 739 (as described in the fuzzy graphic above that I snagged from the Office of Planning report), the Housing Authority requests the flexibility to change the configuration of the 206 total affordable (ACC) units on each square while not ever going below 15% of the total number of units for that square.
Agency representatives testified at length about the progress at Capper, including that the community center is finally underway. But they told the commission that the current "financing atmosphere," especially for mixed-income residential projects, is increasingly constraining, and so having some flexibility built in could make it easier to work with potential development partners and financial institutions on designing projects before coming to the commission for Stage 2 approvals. (The four-year process and convoluted solution that included a "mountain of documents" to secure financing the mixed-income Lofts at Capitol Quarter was used as an example.)
However, it's been known for a year that one of the creative scenarios that DCHA has come up with to move forward on Square 767 would be to sell half of the block to EYA (developers of the Capitol Quarter townhomes) so that a market-rate condo building can be built, and then taking those proceeds to fund a second building on the block that would be all affordable units.
And while this particular zoning case does not specifically cover that not-yet-finalized plan, and putting aside that any plans for that block will have to come back to the Zoning Commission for approval before moving forward, a number of Capper/Capitol Quarter residents along with incoming ANC 6D07 representative Meredith Fascett used the hearing as a forum to make clear their displeasure with the idea of segregating incomes in separate buildings, saying that it violates the spirit of the entire Hope VI mixed-income vision that the Capper redevelopment has been based on. (Fascett's written testimony is here.)
David Cortiella of DCHA did say that the agency believes many of the issues with the two buildings/two incomes plan on Square 767 "will be addressed" once a "community engagement process" about the project gets underway, specifically mentioning a "shared courtyard" for the two buildings so that a "more friendly environment takes shape."
The zoning commissioners did not seem overly troubled by the requests covered the current zoning case (though Michael Turnbull made sure to say that they "will look very carefully" at future second-stage submittals).
The Office of Planning supports the flexibility request--however, DCHA is still wanting to further modify the modifications that OP put forward in its most recent report, both because of some concerns about the wording about the units to be constructed by WC Smith but also because the Housing Authority wants to come up with a cap on the number of ACC units on each square that is different from OP's suggested 50-percent cap.
It's expected that the commission will vote on this case at its January 26 meeting; if and when this case receives its final approval, there would then be a vote on a concurrent case to grant a five-year extension to the Capper PUD (which I didn't even talk about here because no one is reading at this point anymore anyway).
One other Capper-related tidbit coming out of the hearing is that movement is continuing on the planned 171-unit rental building on the south side of L between 2nd and 3rd, with work on the financing "well underway" (helped no doubt by getting a cut of a $142 million funding pot.)
(Editor's Note: Leading off with a convoluted post about zoning after an extended holiday layoff is not optimal.)
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More posts: Capper, sq767, zoning
 

Now that I've come out of my snow bunker (being a weather geek is a terrible disease), I'll pass along these notes from the past week or so in Zoning Land:
* VET: The commission on Feb. 6 approved 5-0-0 Forest City's request for a wording change to allow a veterinary hospital to operate in the Southeast Federal Center Overlay area (basically, the Yards).
As I wrote a week or so ago, a vet is a potential tenant in Twelve12's retail space on Tingey Street, but before a lease can be signed, "veterinary boarding hospital and veterinary hospital uses" needed to be added to the SFC overlay's allowed uses, subject to a number of conditions (no more than 50 percent of the tenant space can be for boarding, that any animal legally sold in the District can be boarded, incidental boarding of animals for convalesence is allowed, order and waste handling requirements, and that grooming and supplies can only be "accessory" uses). There was some back-and-forth about the word "incidental," and it was agreed that that wording be better phrased before the final vote.
Forest City does not announce tenants until a lease is executed, so the name of the potential vet has not been released.
* CAPPER: On Feb. 10, the commission voted to "set down" for a full hearing the Housing Authority's request to modify the Capper PUD to allow 30 of the affordable housing units planned for squares 739, 767 and 768 to be transferred outside the Capper boundaries to the block where the Park Chelsea is currently under construction. (See the this map culled from the Office of Planning Report to help you visualize.)
The planning folks have a number of issues they want DCHA to address before the hearing on this modification, but not among them is the biggest issue that ANC 6D has with Square 767: that the Housing Authority is thinking about a plan that would change the original plans for a single 147-unit mixed-income building to two buildings, one a market rate-only condo building and the other an affordable housing-only building. (This plan is not mentioned in the housing authority's filings with the zoning commission.)
During the discussion, commission chair Anthony Hood noted that ANC 6D is "one of the ANCs that this commission knows is very engaged," which was in reference to the strongly worded letter the commission received with 6D's concerns that they and the community still need to be "appropriately briefed" about DCHA's plans, and that the commission be able to "fully vet our concerns with them regarding the request for modification." Hood also said, "Let's make sure the next vote we see shows that everyone is working together."
Concurrently, the commission's vote also deferred action on DCHA's parallel request for a five-year extension to the PUD covering these same three squares, saying that the extension request decision hinges on the modification case's decision. The Office of Planning is recommending just a two-year extension, and zoning commissioner Marcie Cohen said that DCHA needs to provide much more detailed information on the steps taken up to this point to secure financing, since it is her opinion that the initial filing doesn't seem show a "compelling need" for an exemption.
The hearing date isn't yet set, and DCHA will have to go to ANC 6D (and probably 6B as well) in order to request support before its zoning commission appearance. The Housing Authority and 6D have had a pretty contentious relationship over the years in regards to the Capper redevelopment, and it's unlikely that the deliberations over this zoning request will change that.
 

City Paper's Housing Complex blog reported last week that the DC Housing Authority is investigating the possible sale of 10,000 square feet of Capper/Carrollsburg land on the Square 767, the block bounded by 3rd, 2nd, I, and K, "to a private developer to construct market-rate condominiums, and then to use that money to help build an all-affordable apartment building, with 48 units, on an adjacent parcel."
CP: "The plan would speed up the construction of the delayed replacement units, for which funding has been a sticking point. But it would also mean separating the affordable and market-rate units into separate buildings, which some neighbors see as a violation of the spirit of the Hope VI redevelopment, which has seen low-income and market-rate units blended together throughout the neighborhood."
While no developer has officially been named, I would note that an observant blogger noted back in March that a soil boring permit on the block now in question had been issued to EYA, developer of the Capitol Quarter townhomes that make up the bulk of the reconstructed Capper footprint.
ANC commissioner David Garber has made clear his displeasure with the Housing Authority's lack of pursuit of community input on this plan, and is also quoted by City Paper saying that the proposal is "a pretty big change from people's expectations." At its December meeting, ANC 6D voted to "express our disapproval of the planned sale."
In response to the article, DCHA emphasized that this move would not change the overall mixed-income approach for Capper's redevelopment, and added, "we believe additional homeownership options will be good for the community."
This is not as yet a done deal, with DCHA saying that at this point they have just asked their board for permission to explore the possibility.
In the Hope VI plans for Capper as approved by the Zoning Commission back in 2004, this block and the two blocks to the south, which run along the eastern edge of Canal Park, are to house for apartment buildings totaling 613ish mixed-income units. Two additional buildings--on the former site of the trash transfer station at New Jersey and K and on the old Capper Seniors site at 7th and L on Square 882--would add another 510ish mixed-income units.
 




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