Demo Finally Begins at 11th and V St, NW

Thanks to everyone who sent emails that demo had begin on the old auto repair center at 11th and V St, NW. JK took these great photos.

In July 2011 we saw a rendering and description from Zahn Architects:

“Located on a corner lot in the U Street Corridor, the Cardozo is a 28-unit new construction proposal that is completely free-standing. By raising the level of the front yard, an English basement level was created allowing for additional levels above. With an average of six units per floor, nearly every unit is a corner unit.”

34 Comment

  • What on earth is with the massive and above-grade setback?

    • If you look at the aerial map of 11th Street, all of the buildings along these few blocks of 11th have significant setbacks and are not built right to the sidewalk. I’m guessing there is a wide right-of-way for 11th Street.

  • Say goodbye to afternoon sun in my back yard! Small price to pay to clean up the corner.

  • Amen! This eye sore from my rooftop view at The Beauregard will be no more.

  • this is hideous.

  • I agree, it is a big and overdue improvement for the corner, but the buildiing’s design looks awful in the rendering. Let’s hope it looks better in reality.

  • Why are none of these buildings attractive? This city is being infiltrated by hideous VA soul-less buildings. UGH

  • Does anyone know if this is condo or rentals?

  • I live on 11th between V and W, and have called the cops several times after seeing graffiti “artists”, drunk dudes looking to fight, etc. troll that lot. Good riddance.

  • Regarding the rental or condo question, this project will be condo’s with sales likely starting in just after the first of the year!

    • brookland_rez

      I was talking with a construction crew that is remodeling the house next door to mine. They said they’re about to start work on a big condo conversion. I guess the market is starting to switch back to condos from apartments.

  • Is the contruction getting started right away, or is this one of those projects where they do the demo work and then leave an empty lot for few months/years before they start the actual construction?

  • What the hell is wrong with the architects in this area? This thing looks like it belongs up Rockville Pike somewhere. Where are the guys that are working on the project at Vermont & T? Let them design it. Oh well, maybe it will look better in person or maybe I’m just looking at it from a bad angle. At least the corner will finally get cleaned up.

    • The guys at 10th and T are busy right now dealing with the delay caused by pricing their units about $300K above market…

  • Oh no @anon 6:45. Is that why only one of the buildings has gone up?

  • Anybody know what the history of the old auto repair shop was? I always found the architecture to be interesting and not characteristic of other free-standing garages around the city. Wonder whether it was once part of a chain of repair centers or perhaps an adaptive re-use of a property that originally served another function?

  • I actually think it looks pretty nice. I like the curved front, the inviting entryway and the balconies, which are a huge plus. I don’t understand why so few places in DC lack balconies.

    • er, why so *many* places lack balconies.

    • brookland_rez

      I think it looks fine as well. Seems like everytime there’s a post about a new building all the Debbie downers come out of the woodwork to complain.

      It looks a hell of a lot better than what was there.

  • I always dreamed of a beer garden on that corner. Oh well.

  • I concur about the unimpressive design.

    And why no first-floor retail?It’s replacing a business, and so (as I understand it) has the right to have business use. It’d be nice to have a restaurant to tie together the ones coming on 10th & V to the ones coming on 12th & V.

    • Having a mixed-use (both residential and commercial) building can make things more complicated on the condo-selling side as far as financing.

    • There are still a ton of empty retail spaces along this end of U Street. The focus should be to fill the commercial corridors with retail first, before venturing into residential areas. Otherwise, we’ll continue to have an underutilized commercial strip (U Street) and a patchwork of retail scattered around the city.

  • Frankenbuilding – too many different things stuck together.

  • Does anyone have details on who is the developer of the project?

  • why does everyone on here complain when a new building goes up, everything in the city can’t have turn of the century styling. just appreciate that a condenmed waste of space is gone, i do admit that first floor retail would have been nice

    • “why does everyone on here complain when a new building goes up”

      probably because an unattractive building will stay in their neighborhood the rest of our natural lives? reason enough to complain, everyone prefers to live in a neighborhood with buildings pleasing to their eye, no? sure it’s in the “eye of the beholder”, but everyone in that community has at least an aesthetic stake…hope they accept community comment on design, I don’t live there but I think the multicolored Lego block style of that building is WAY less than optimal aesthetically…

  • How’s the soil contamination from the underground gas tanks going to be handled? I thought the reason it took so long to get this demolition started is that the entirety of the lot had to be deeply excavated and then tested for what I had been told was a large underground gasoline plume.

    And I agree with the comment about franken-building….the architectural plan is horrendous.

  • To everyone complaining about the bad architecture:

    I agree but challenge you to get involved in solving this pattern. Armchair whining on PoP doesn’t solve this and NO ONE besides the builders and developers ever truly bothers to challenge the status quo for DC.

    The problem in general (not necessarily with this particular project, which I know little about) is that architects have to appease the various historic boards and difficult-to-please ANC zoning hoops they have to jump through.

    The architect could go all Mies van der Rohe in design and make a world class building but then slowly but surely all the soul and uniqueness of the place would be destroyed in negotiations over setbacks, building materials, “fit” for the block, etc.

    The historic board is the biggest culprit in all of this. At every step of every building negotiation in any neighborhood with even a remote historic designation they gouge out the beauty of anything unique and leave us with bland, basic, unimposing, inoffensive architecture.

    Want to change it? Let your elected officials know that. The mayor, the city council, the ANCs – TELL THEM THAT THIS IS SOMETHING YOU CARE ABOUT. The internet reply boards of PoP, while a fantastic resource, only does so much. If you don’t ever speak up then you don’t get to complain when what surrounds you is cookie cutter bland stuff.

    /Amateur architecture enthusiast/

    (Also for those interested in following these debates there are two great blogs: Greater Greater Washington and the Washington City Paper’s Housting Complex blog).

    • Also I should add that the resale value of unique architecture is different and not everyone wants that. It’s an easy “out” for developers who want to make $$ and not art but plenty will point to that. Unfortunately, is a business after all.

      • Sorry styglan1dc; you fail.

        That block is NOT historic and does NOT require approval from HPO. So that is not the reason for the design. The only people that would have input on the matter would be the ANC – only if – the developer is looking for variances from the current zoning regulations to build beyond height limits, setbacks, FAR, # of units etc. The zoning is ARTS/C-2-B so that does allow a lot of flexibility.

        Again, the developer only needs approval from the various agencies only IF they want to get variances.

        So although HPO can be difficult to deal with your reply in this matter is just a irrelevant rant.

        • Sorry anonymous – think you missed my disclaimer that my note might not have anything to do with this. My message was more for everyone who keeps bitching about bad architecture in the city.

  • Huh. I didn’t think the lot was really as big as all that. Its not as bad as the prison complex down the street at least.

    Where the heck are all of these people supposed to park?

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