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Near Southeast DC Past News Items: Nov 13, 2014
In the Pipeline
250 M St.
1000 South Capitol
25 M
Yards/Parcel I
Chiller Site Condos
Yards/Parcel A
1333 M St.
More Capper Apts.
Yards/Movie Theater
New Marine Barracks
Nat'l Community Church
Factory 202/Yards
SC1100
Completed
99 M ('18)
Agora ('18)
1221 Van ('18)
District Winery ('17)
Insignia on M ('17)
F1rst/Residence Inn ('17)
One Hill South ('17)
Homewood Suites ('16)
ORE 82 ('16)
The Bixby ('16)
Dock 79 ('16)
Community Center ('16)
The Brig ('16)
Park Chelsea ('16)
Yards/Arris ('16)
Hampton Inn ('15)
Southeast Blvd. ('15)
11th St. Bridges ('15)
Parc Riverside ('14)
Twelve12/Yards ('14)
Lumber Shed ('13)
Boilermaker Shops ('13)
Camden South Cap. ('13)
Canal Park ('12)
Capitol Quarter ('12)
225 Virginia/200 I ('12)
Foundry Lofts ('12)
1015 Half Street ('10)
Yards Park ('10)
Velocity Condos ('09)
Teague Park ('09)
909 New Jersey Ave. ('09)
55 M ('09)
100 M ('08)
Onyx ('08)
70/100 I ('08)
Nationals Park ('08)
Seniors Bldg Demo ('07)
400 M ('07)
Douglass Bridge Fix ('07)
US DOT HQ ('07)
20 M ('07)
Capper Seniors 1 ('06)
Capitol Hill Tower ('06)
Courtyard/Marriott ('06)
Marine Barracks ('04)
 
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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.
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