Anyone Know Why (if) They are Saving This Building?

I’m all for historic preservation but this seems like a pretty ordinary structure to me. Anyone know why it would be preserved? It’s on Shepherd St, NW just east of Georgia Ave.

6 Comment

  • That isn’t a historic district so they should be allowed to demo the building. Often times an existing building is kept and renovated, even if in rough shape, in order to take advantage of the less strict requirements of the existing building code.

  • It’s kept not because of the building code, but the zoning code. The shell looks like it was built before the 1950s zoning, so it probably has lots of grandfathered benefits.

    For instance, one thing zoning controls is lot coverage. In some residential zones the limit is 40%. Only 40% of your lot can be covered by a building. In such a zone if you buy a building that covers say 70% of the lot, you’re grandfathered. You can keep that extra coverage as long as you don’t demolish it. But if you demolish it, even to replace it exactly as it is, you have to go to BZA for a variance. BZA could add 4 months to your development schedule, and worse, require you to go back to 40%.

  • Sometimes it is just more economical and ‘green’ to reuse instead of demolishing and rebuilding…

    • Yes, the LEED rating system offers Material Reuse credits for, as you might guess, reusing materials from the original structure. Whether this building is going for LEED certification or just being built responsibly, a lot of embodied energy can be saved by reusing the existing shell.

  • I live around the corner and walk by it every day, but no signs have ever been posted. I’ve been really curious myself.

  • I’ve heard second-hand that you get different loans and/or tax benefits depending on how much of the original structure you use.

Comments are closed.