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Another piece of the puzzle that has been Half Street directly north of Nats Park is falling into place, as JBG filed plans last week with the Zoning Commission for a 424ish-unit combination condo/rental project at Half and N Streets, SE, with more than 65,000 square feet of retail on two floors, in a design that most assuredly can't be described as a typical Washington, DC "box."
The Capitol Gateway Zoning Overlay requires buildings just north of the ballpark to "minimize unarticulated walls," and there is no doubt that this design, by ODA Architecture of New York, passes that test, with "extensive modulation" through the use of "balconies [and] extensive landscaping incorporated into the elevations." (This mondo-articulated approach to building design seems to be an ODA hallmark, as you can see from the company's portfolio.)
The condo portion, on the south side of the building at Half and N facing the ballpark, would have approximately 224 1- and 2-bedroom units, while the rental portion on the north end would have 200 units, mostly studio and 1-bedroom units but also with about 10 3-bedroom units. (And the units will have irrigation systems for the balconies, to keep that greenery nice and lush, though I'd still suggest branded watering cans placed strategically as well.)
The rendering above is the view at Half and N, like you were standing at the Nats Park ticket booths looking to the northwest, on the site currently home to the southern portion of the Fairgrounds. Here's a few more drawings, looking down Half Street toward the ballpark (maybe from just a little south of Buffalo Wild Wings) and looking down from On High.
The residential entrances would be on Van Street, facing JBG's just-underway residential building at 1244 South Capitol, which also has two stories of retail, as you can see in the rendering at below left, looking north on Van from N. In the below-right rendering, you can see at left the "Via," a wide pedestrians-only alley that will run along the north end of this project and the south end of Brandywine's planned 25 M Street office building.
For zoning geeks, this filing is actually a modification, revising the design that Akridge received approvals for back in 2009, which planned one office building and one residential building for this portion of the west side of Half Street. A graphic included in the new filing gives a handy siteplan comparison of the modifications, and made me laugh as I realized the line drawing of the new design looks like it could have been drawn on an Etch-a-Sketch. These massing drawings are also worth a look, to give an idea of exactly how the building undulates along Half, as well as how the condo (green) and rental (orange) units are situated.
The only thing that will probably dismay observers is that it's likely the project won't get underway until after the 2016 baseball season ends, making it likely that it won't be completed by the time the Major League Baseball All-Star Game arrives at Nats Park in July of 2018, though the exterior should at least be finished by then.
And because JBG gets a gold star for the thoroughness of its filing, I'll just toss in a few more of the renderings they included, showing the building's interior courtyard (open to Van Street and the west) and the anticipated view from inside the ballpark, with the view of this new building flanked by 1244 South Capitol and the Jair Lynch condo/rental/retail project coming to the Half Street Hole site.
I've added a few of these renderings to the project page, which of course also has a big pile of Before photos and some history of the lot--part of the corner of Half and N has a history that's a bit spicier than we normally discuss around here.
Next, we'll wait to see how the zoning commissioners feel about such an outside-the-box design.
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JD says: (12/14/15 10:45 AM)
PS: It's the first day of school for the masses at the new Post building. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of the weeks and weeks of move-related angst and work.


JHUGrad says: (12/14/15 11:34 AM)
Wow... this project looks amazing. This will be the project that solidifies the fact that DC's investment in funding Nationals Park was well worth it!


FromTheTurret says: (12/14/15 2:24 PM)
JD, do you know where the entrance to the garage will be for these buildings? With Half street closed during Nats games, I would think it would be from Van Street...but I don't want to assume.


JD says: (12/14/15 2:25 PM)
Yes, Van. (I mentioned the residential entrances but didn't think to say "garage" as well.)


FromTheTurret says: (12/14/15 3:35 PM)
Reading hard. Thank you!


Mark says: (12/14/15 7:05 PM)
I'm disappointed they're not planning any three bedroom condos.


dude says: (12/14/15 8:44 PM)
Wow, that's pretty attractive in an ugly sort of way.


Blue says: (12/15/15 5:43 AM)
Makes me want to sell my place and move! I love it!


Jaybird says: (12/15/15 11:33 AM)
JD,

If I recall correctly, this block used to be called the "Ballpark District."

Is that still used?


JD says: (12/15/15 11:36 AM)
That was never really any sort of official name--the city tried to use that when starting to plan for the area right around the ballpark (not just this block in particular) but it never really stuck.


202_cyclist says: (12/15/15 1:53 PM)
The new buildings look great and they look like a vast improvement over the proposed Akridge buildings.

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