Way back when, the Cohen Companies' plan on Square 699N was to build the Velocity
condo building at 1st and L and then almost immediately start work on a twin residential building directly to the north.
Velocity went up, but the twin did not follow for nearly four years--after Cohen sold the empty lot to Toll Brothers, which is now building the River Parc
apartment building on the site. And having a different developer build the twin has brought about a sticky situation.
Within recent days, Velocity residents have discovered that Toll's layout for the River Parc roof includes a wall that completely obscures the formerly expansive Capitol dome views from Velocity's roof deck.
In addition, the new building's design appears to place the building's 237 air conditioning units on the south side of the concrete wall, facing Velocity.
A recent e-mail to Velocity residents informed them that "[T]he ANC Commissioner, The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the offices of Planning and Zoning have all been contacted and we are being told that all construction is being done in accordance with all plans, permits, zoning, and easements" and that "Every avenue is being pursued to somehow make this situation better for us." Alas, "[A]s long as they are within all legal parameters of their construction of this building, there is little we can do."
Capitol Dome views are a sticky wicket in the neighborhood, since almost all of the buildings that have already gone up stand to eventually lose their panoramic vistas as newer projects continue to fill in the empty spaces. (Just ask Nationals Park!)
The exceptions are 70/100 I
(aka the Jefferson and Axiom) and the about-to-be-built 800 New Jersey
, all of which border the freeway and so will likely keep their views pristine, as long as Capitol Hill north of the freeway doesn't suddenly start to allow 13 stories of construction.
But an impenetrable concrete wall certainly puts an exclamation point on the issue.