Former Meridian Hill Baptist Church Damaged by 2008 Fire Mostly Demoed (expect for Facade) will become The McIntyre

3146 16th Street, NW

@ohmykevin tweets us the photo above:

“@PoPville work coming along with the meridian hill baptist church on 16th, roof + back wall gone”

Washington Business Journal previously reported:

“Valor Development picked up a permit on Feb. 6 to convert the entire structure — with a large rear and side addition — into an 85-unit multifamily building.”


15 Comment

  • Kudos to the developers who were able to work around the obstructionist ANC. I have no idea why they think the people of Mt. Pleasant would prefer a burned out wreck to a lovely looking building that preserves the facade. They really have to be one of the worst in town (maybe a close second to 5D).

    • If you look at the ANC minutes you’ll find that it has been supportive of the development since 2012. The hold up was first caused by a change in development teams (Buzzuto to Valor) and second by the zoning board’s lengthy deliberation about parking minimums for the complex. The ANC had nothing to do with it.

    • Wasn’t the only, or at least primary, concern over parking spots? The developers got an exemption to provide something like half the parking spots required by city ordinance, with no explanation for why the exemption was granted. I think it’s appropriate for the ANC to explore this, especially on behalf of the residents in the neighborhood who already struggle to find parking. There are times when exemptions are warranted, but transparency would be nice.

      • The developers have to provide ZERO parking spaces – a carry over from when the building was a church.

        • Thanks. I see Jack’s full explanation below. I agree completely with Jack that the policy allowing the developer to provide zero parking spots needs to be changed.

    • Hold on there! What did the ANC do pertaining to this development?

      In 2012, the ANC advised the BZA to approve their zoning variance. Yes, “approve”. That is, according to my records, the only formal action the ANC has taken concerning this project. “Obstructionist”? How so?

      In 2013, the ANC assisted the developers in a community meeting to let the neighborhood know about the coming project. But this led to no official ANC action.

      The project as then described included off-street parking, as is required by R-5-D zoning. I was dismayed to discover, just last month, that the project is being built with zero off-street parking. I currently am pressing for a resolution calling for an end to the policy that permits such an outcome. (The development is being credited with 75 off-street parking spaces, which the church was supposed by zoning to provide, but did not). Nothing done now will affect the current development, but I do want that policy changed. It’s not reasonable to “credit” a development with off-street parking spaces that do not exist and have never existed and will not exist.

      That DC policy is not the developer’s fault, and he can’t be faulted for taking advantage of it. He visited me here in my home in January, and we get along just fine. The ANC is “obstructionist”? What actual support do you have for that claim?

  • saf

    I wonder what happened to their most excellent sign.

  • The first time that I know of that a facade that actually had character was saved. Now back to saving the ugly, just because they are old.

  • I’m glad that something is finally being done about this eyesore, but don’t understand why they didn’t tear down the stone facade. The inside will receive less natural light, and you lose the ability to have a bunch of nice apartments facing 16th Street when you block so much of the view.

  • It was burnt in the fire, true, but it could have been restored as a church. I know, because I toured it shortly after the fire with engineers. But the church decamped to Maryland and sold out for big bucks for their new church. Just another real estate tale. Adaptive Reuse? Facadectomy. They’re not reusing anything but front, and the exemption from parking requirements.

    • Actually there’s no “exemption” from parking requirements. Or, well, I guess you could call it that. The church was required to provide 75 off-street parking spaces (one-tenth of the C of O head count), but had almost none. Having been built long before the zoning requirements were created, the church was “credited” with having satisfied the zoning mandate, even though it did not. Then, because the church was “credited” with 75 parking spaces, the conversion to apartment house acquired that “credit”, and so met its zoning requirement of 28 (or perhaps 14) off-street spaces. Technically, a “credit”, not an exemption.

      It’s significant that the new zoning regulations, now approaching completion, continue this bizarre policy of “credits” for nonexistent parking spaces:
      705.2 When determining the required number of additional required parking spaces, it shall be assumed that the previous use provided at least the minimum number of spaces required.

      “It shall be assumed” — that is, they may not exist, but the developer gets to count them anyway, and thus satisfy the zoning requirements for off-street parking.
      I think that’s absurd. Never heard of such a bizarre policy.

  • The Business Journal article includes a rendering showing them cutting three long, vertical windows into the facade.

    I like that they are maintaining the old facade. I like it very much. So many buildings going up these days are so uninspired and cookie-cutter modern, that this will be a nice old school architectural statement on the street.

    • While I agree with your statement – and I think it applies aptly to this building – it seems as though most old facades that are saved are just uninspired and cookie-cutter old. Doesn’t seem any better to me.

  • My first job out of college was working at a daycare center in this place run by Rev. McIntyre. It made my realize not everyone is cut out to have children. I lasted two weeks. Ah, the memories.

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