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At Monday night's ANC 6D meeting, Monument Realty presented to the commission an early look at revised plans for the company's One M Street site on the southeast corner of South Capitol and M streets (i.e., the old Domino's site).
And instead of a third variation of the previously presented 328,000-square-foot office building, Monument is now proposing a 120,000-square-foot office building on the northern portion of the lot, fronting M Street, with a new 175ish-unit residential building immediately to the south (and just to the north of the self-storage building).
While there is no signed tenant for the office building, Monument's representative told me that they have a "user" that they "feel pretty good about," and that they hope to have an announcement within the next few months. (Note that "user" was a very specific choice of words.) In the presentation to 6D, the notion of some of the space being used for "conferences and events" was mentioned, and that they would be shooting toward starting construction in the latter part of 2016.
The residential building is not quite as far along in the design process, but the architects are apparently toying with the notion of a "townhouse"-like feel for the ground-floor units that would face South Capitol Street. There was also talk of some three-bedroom units being included in the plans.
Monument expects to file a new case with the Zoning Commission within the next few weeks, at which point there will be purty drawings and much more detailed information.
(As for the rest of the goings-on at the ANC meeting, that can wait until morning!)
Comments (7)
More posts: Development News, One M, zoning
 

Not quite six months after buying the land on the northeast corner of Half and N streets across from Nats Park currently known as Monument Valley, the MacFarlane/Jair Lynch joint venture has now submitted to the Zoning Commission its new plans for the site, a 10-story building with 461,700 square feet of residential (and possibly hotel) development, combined with at least 60,000 square feet of retail.
Back a couple of lifetimes ago, Monument Realty also planned a residential, retail, and hotel project on this site, so this filing is actually a modification to the previously approved plans. The new designs by architectural firm Hord Coplan Macht, seen in these renderings purloined from the zoning filing, would add at least 23,000 square feet of retail to what had been planned, mostly in the second-floor space along Half Street, as shown in the drawing below, as well as potentially an additional 8,000 square feet on the second floor facing N Street, depending on the all-important "market conditions."
The new project would have either 445 residential units and no hotel at all, or 365 residential units and a 80-room hotel on the north end of the site (down from a 200-room hotel in Monument's designs). The new design includes condos (apparently 130ish of them) in the south wing along N Street, with the rest being rental units.
As in the original designs, there would still be a small street called "Monument Place" running between this building and its neighbor to the north, 55 M Street, allowing the retail offerings to wrap around onto the building's north side--however, in these new plans it would be a pedestrian-only street, negating the need for a curb cut on Half Street.
In addition, the basically-an-alley Cushing Place would still be extended through to N Street, through an opening in the ground floor of the south side of Lynch's building. (If you look closely at the top rendering, you can see it.) There would still be three levels of underground parking with approximately 231 spaces. And there would be all manner of streetscape work to make the sidewalks--and the walk to the ballpark--a bit more inviting than they are now.
For you zoning groupies, there's also one special exception being requested, that the project be allowed to have two roof enclosures instead of one on the south wing of the building that fronts N Street. And note that this is all under the Capitol Gateway Overlay design review process.
These new plans will be presented to ANC 6D on Monday night (March 9), with a zoning hearing date apparently as yet unannounced. My Monument Valley project page has a few of the old Monument renderings, should you wish to compare.
UPDATE: The zoning hearing is apparently now scheduled for May 28.
 

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.
Comments (54)
More posts: Capper, Development News, zoning
 

On Monday night the Zoning Commission gave final approval to first-stage plans for the Cohen Companies' 1333 M Street residential project, along with second-stage approvals for the development's first phase, a 10-story 218-unit building.
The final approvals had been slowed by a number of items that concerned the commissioners. Among them:
* While a memorandum of understanding detailing benefits and amenities of the project had been worked out earlier in the process between the developer and ANC 6B, neighbors that live along L Street SE north of the project continue to have objections to various aspects of the project, such as there only being 220 parking spaces for a 673-unit development, as well as the impact of the standard hours of construction on their "quality of life," which Chairman Anthony Hood keyed on as an item where there could have been some "negotiating," though commissioner Peter May noted that the building is not particularly close to L Street SE (with the new Southeast Blvd. and the CSX train tracks separating the two).
* The lighting plan for the building, which had originally been shown with a fair amount of up-lighting but is now all down-lighting after the commissioners objected.
* The plan for a "place-making sign" on the building's penthouse had gotten Peter May up in arms at the Proposed Action stage, and so the developer came back with additional options. (If you click to enlarge the rendering at the top of this post, you can see up at the roofline a smidge of the BROOKLAND-like sign facing north.)
May and the other commissioners still sighed a bit over there being a sign up there at all, but did agree that Option 1 is a "more subtle" version that is an "improvement." I have a notion that some readers might disagree:
In the end, though, there were no showstoppers, and the commission voted 5-0 to approve both the first-stage PUD for the overall project and the second-stage PUD for the first residential building.
My 1333 M project page has additional renderings and information--and if you are new to the story and can't quite visualize where 1333 M even is, it's on the part of M Street that proceeds eastward underneath and past the 11th Street Bridges.
UPDATE: Forgot to include that the project made it past the National Capital Planning Commission as well.
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More posts: 1333 M, Development News, 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, zoning
 

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.
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More posts: 1244 South Capitol St., zoning
 

Last week the Zoning Commission heard Forest City's request for more height (and thereby additional density) in what is being called "Yards West," specifically four sites along N Street between 1st and New Jersey.
The early questions from the commission centered mainly around Peter May's contention that granting this density--which the applicants refer to as an additional 1.0 FAR but which May was happy to always refer to as "264,000 square feet"--was akin to "incentivizing something that's going to get built anyway." May expressed that the additional height and additional density were "perfectly appropriate" but that he was "not seeing the greater good that comes out of this," i.e., what Forest City would be providing in return.
Initially May zeroed in on proposed language he felt was too weak, that the eventual review of any building proposed along the Yards West M Street frontage would ensure that its design and site plan would "facilitate the provision of a public entrance to the Navv Yard Metrorail Station" on the southwest corner of New Jersey and M. (He also mentioned as an aside concerns he said he had heard recently that the explosion in residential development in the neighborhood instead of office projects was restricting the amount of available evening and weekend garage parking for stadium events.)
But then ANC 6D chair Roger Moffatt testified, noting that while the ANC voted 6-0 to support Forest City's request, it did so while strongly encouraging the Zoning Commission "to require units have more than two bedrooms as a condition of this added height and density." He continued: "ANC 6D supports growing DC into a larger population, but we don't want to exclude families who have children from being able to live in our section of the District. We believe this is an issue whose time has come and we hope that Zoning will take a step in the right direction here tonight."
A light bulb then seemed to go on, with each commissioner supporting May's request that Forest City work with the Office of Planning and the Office of the Attorney General to come up with stronger language not only on the Metro issue but on a "greater mix." Marcie Cohen spoke of families being pushed out of the city, and that Forest City needs to offer "compelling evidence" that there is no market and will be no market for units with more than two bedrooms. Michael Turnbull discussed how if a family has a boy and a girl "you are looking at a three-bedroom unit to make things work" and that "two children is not unreasonable for a lot of families."
While agreeing with the desire to have the language of the proposed text amendments looked at, commissioner Robert Miller did say that the board shouldn't treat lightly that granting the additional density would result in an additional 350 residential units to the area beyond what's already allowed, 70 of which would be affordable housing units, which is "something we need."
Finally, chair Anthony Hood admitted that the commission hasn't concentrated on the issue of units with more than two bedrooms ("I don't call it derelict because I'd call myself derelict"), and that it is something that the board needs to "start looking at this in other projects across the city." However, he seemed a bit skeptical that anything could really come of taking the extra time for the Office of Planning to work on the language in this particular case to achieve that end: "Let's see what happens. Make me wrong."
This case is scheduled to be back in front of the commission in late November.
Comments (0)
More posts: Development News, Parcel A/Yards, zoning
 

Materials filed with the Zoning Commission earlier this month are giving a first glimpse at JBG's plans for 1244 South Capitol Street, on the northeast corner of South Capitol and N, just across from Nats Park's Parking Lot C.
It will be a residential building with 290ish units and about 26,000 square feet of retail, and the renderings indicate that the design by architect Eric Colbert and Hariri Pontarini isn't a "typical" Washington DC box-like building. Images show the building's west side, facing South Capitol Street, with only six floors of height at its middle, allowing the interior courtyard to be open to South Capitol from the 6th floor on up, breaking up the pure U-shape that is so often employed 'round these parts. A few more views (click to enlarge):
At left is a stylized version of the view that you'd see standing at Van Street one block west of the Center Field Gate, looking toward the big self-storage building and points to the northwest. At right is a closer view of the South Capitol Street facade and the courtyard, upper floors, and roof. (Note that in these three drawings you can see hints of Akridge's proposed Half Street residential building on the perimeter, though that's not appearing to be getting underway anytime soon.)
The 26,000 square feet of retail will of course warm the hearts of stadium-goers, and the filing indicates that the retail spaces will wrap around on three sides of the building. This rendering depicting the corner of South Capitol and N (with a certain dome in the distance) shows two stories of retail along both streets, with more ground-floor spaces designed along Van Street.
There would be 176 parking spaces on three levels below ground for vehicles and and 100 spaces for bikes. Residential units would range from studios to 2 BR/den. The courtyard and 6th-floor open space would have plantings and seating areas, while the roof would have a pool, lounge areas, and a bocce court (!). These plans also show "rooftop dining" at the far northwestern corner. (And will residents be able to sneak a peek at games while hanging out poolside? The image up top seems to show an angle for that to work, but it's hard to tell if the entire field would be visible.)
The design will get its Capitol Gateway Overlay District Review hearing on November 13, and it will be interesting to see how the Zoning Commission members react to the design.
 

On Monday night, the Zoning Commission voted to approve the design for the proposed Homewood Suites hotel on the northeast corner of Half and M, just across from the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station.
According to the Washington Business Journal, "Commissioners were not thrilled with the hotel design, specifically the rooftop trellis, but it wasn't a 'show stopper' for any member of the panel."
The commission also okayed the 175-room hotel's plan to only have 40 parking spaces (instead of the mandated 53), but to get that approval, developer Englewood LLC agreed to various transit-related requirements, including offering full-day Circulator passes to guests, designating a "transportation coordinator," partnering with Bikeshare, and installing an information screen in the lobby showing transit status.
Earlier reporting said that it was hoped that construction could begin later this year or early in 2015, though building permits still need to be secured.
While the Courtyard by Marriott at New Jersey and L has had the Near Southeast hotel market to itself since 2006, this Homewood Suites is not the only new entrant--a168-room Hampton Inn at 1st and N is already under construction, and an additional 170-room hotel is expected in that same block once "Ballpark Square" gets underway.
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More posts: Homewood Suites, Development News, zoning
 

With its Capitol Gateway Overlay Review hearing now less than two weeks away, the developers of the Homewood Suites hotel planned at 50 M Street SE have submitted to the Zoning Commission new drawings of the building. Click to embiggen.
The angles are from Half Street (left) and Cushing Street (right). The site is directly across M from the west entrance to the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station.
The building is planned to be an 11-story, 140,000-sq-ft structure with one level of underground parking with a requested 40 vehicle parking spaces instead of the mandated 53, and 12 spaces for bicycles. I wrote more about the plans a few weeks back, or you can check out the project page for more details and photos of the current location.
 
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