Checking in on the Park Chelsea in Navy Yard

880 New Jersey Ave, SE

Like the way it’s turning out so far? Park Chelsea’s website says:

“Park Chelsea is the Capitol Riverfront’s next luxury apartment community. Amenities will include an indoor pool, resident club room, fitness facility and spin room, and sauna. The rooftop will showcase stunning views of the capitol which residents can enjoy while lounging in the rooftop pool or grilling in the outdoor kitchen. If your searching for serenity, take some time in the community garden or courtyard.”


27 Comment

  • Reminds me of soviet-era buildings. Why does the city allow for this type of design? DC is a blank slate with the potential for some amazing architecture. It’s so unfortunate.

    • the city does, and should, allow for this type of design because your taste is subjective. what you like is not what i like, and it’s not what people will like 30 years from now.

      • So in other words, you like this?
        The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be any incentive for developers to create anything other than a box (other than being LEED certified). At the end of the day, ROI weighs more heavily than overall aesthetic.

        • Accountering

          As it should… If you want to put your capital behind a project and go for aesthetics, feel free.
          Also – height limit.

          • The height limit has nothing to do (either for better or for worse) with the aesthetics of the buildings that end up getting built.

          • The height limit forces the same buildings on DC over and over again. Big boxes with courtyards that give you the maximum buildout. For this reason you rarely see soaring multi story lobbys in large office buildings.

        • maxwell smart

          The DC height restrictions play a big part in this discussion. Developers want to max out their allowable buildable area and to do so with the height restrictions and set-backs, if often results in what you see here: a bland box, indistinguishable from the building next door. With rents in DC on the rise, you can bet that every developer wants to cram in as many rentable units as possible.

          • Nonsense–just look at the ugly high rises in Bethesda, Rosslyn, etc. Developers and their architects simply have no imagination and/or no faith in their buyers/renters having an imagination.

          • maxwell smart

            Again – when it comes to developers, most (not all) are only concerned about the bottom line – how can we build as many units as possible for the cheapest means possible. I’m not saying that good design has to cost a lot of money, but it’s usually money a developer doesn’t want to spend. Are you going to rent an apartment because the building is cool? Or are you going to rent an apartment because it has X,Y, and Z amenities?

        • it’s not my favorite, but i’m more of a form follows function guy anyway. and since i’m on a tangent, i do think i’m one of the rare few who kind of likes the brutalist buildings and thinks we’d be throwing away a part of our history if we raze them for more modern buildings.

          • maxwell smart

            Let’s be really clear on one thing here: Brutalism this building is not. There is no exposed cast-in-place concrete. There is no exposure of building function. There are no repeating modular elements. This is a lazy developer box covered in brick with punched windows as required by code. Nothing more, nothing less.

      • “Amazing architecture” = a stack of shipping containers that looks like a cross between a jungle gym and a treehouse.

  • Someone should teach them the difference between “your” and “you’re.” That’s embarrassing.

  • Couldn’t they have found a more attractive color of brick…?

  • Is this the Whole Foods building?

  • Yeah, but this is DC. What do you expect with the height limit? We either vastly underbuild some of the last remaining core urban sites in the name of better proportioned architecture or we build 12-story boxes.

    The height limit has benefits, but it also has costs and this is one of them.

    • BS. There are plenty of low-rise cities with attractive buildings.

      • …what’s another low-rise city with land values as high as DC?

      • Yeah, European cities like Paris or the downtown neighborhoods of NYC. But, those are century old buildings with rich old school architecture that can’t be easily recreated today.

        It is very hard to find contemporary examples. Can you find examples of modern 12-story buildings that are built to the same mass as DC buildings?

        Personally, I would prefer more 5-8 story buildings with the occasional 20/30-story building mixed in.

      • the sad thing is this is navy yard, not the monumental core. If ever there were a neighborhood where the 100 would have compromised on reduced restrictions. But it is too late now.

  • Kind of a silly name, considering it’s nowhere near a park or the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea.

    • I agree that it’s a dumb name, but Canal Park is literally right next to the building. And the Yards Park is a 5 min walk away. Those parks are kind of non-traditional, but they are parks nonetheless.

      • maxwell smart

        Both Canal Park and Yards Park A: are parks and B: have names that are significant to their site. This is neither of those things.

        • How is that relevant to my point? I said that the name was dumb. I was merely pointing out that the building is close to 2 parks, which apparently the original commenter did not realize.

  • Well, there’s a “Cambridge Row” or something like that next to Potomac Gardens and that’s nowhere near anything named or known as Cambridge…

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