mtp_house_problem

“Dear PoPville,

We have a serious issues of concern in Mt. Pleasant surround the redevelopment of a house and lot at 1865 and 1867 Park Road NW. I’m forwarding an email that I just sent to Ward 1 Councilwoman Brianne Nadeau that covers concerns about a dangerous work site, though the issue is much larger than that. There are a lot of very concerned neighbors here.”

Dear Councilwoman Nadeau,

I am writing to you to inform about a situation of grave concern in Mt. Pleasant. I know that my neighbors, have also raised this issue with your staff, so I’ll focus on the part that is the most time-sensitive, i.e.the dangerous work site which currently exists.

As of today, 1865/1867 Park Road NW is a hot zone. There is a large pit in the back yard where the basement excavation for the addition to 1867 is being done. IN that pit there are nail-filled boards of all sizes that appear to have been removed from the house. A huge mountain of excavated dirt looms uncovered next to the gutted house. It is exposed to the elements and is likely contaminated with lead from the peeling painted sides of the century-old house. I’m not an engineer, but it looks like the foundation is not properly supported given that the land around it has now been removed and could lead to a dangerous collapse. Additionally, kids can easily access this work site as the fencing that was hastily installed on Monday has a open gap at the end. There are many many kids that live at this end of our beautiful alley, my infants twins being just 2 of them. We all fear for the safety of our children and neighbors. I have included photos so that you can see what I’m describing with your own eyes.

We, the neighbors, would like the reassurance that the developer is complying with DC regulations for the safe and successful rehabilitation of this property. We do not feel that the developers have been forthcoming and our concern is growing.

Speaking for my family, we are also concerned that our neighborhood contacts in the ANC and Historic Mount Pleasant have not sufficiently addressed our concerns throughtout this long and drawout process, leaving us feeling helpless.

Thanks in advance for your help getting this dangerous problem resolved.

See below for Council Member Nadeau’s reply:

“Thank you. I’m not seeing a violation jumping out at me from these photos but Claudia in my office will request that DCRA send an inspector. And of course if you see something that is an immediate threat you should feel empowered to call 911.

I would also recommend that concerned neighbors introduce themselves to the site manager. I will do the same next time I pass by.”

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From a press release:

“LCOR, a fully-integrated real estate company specializing in property development, investment and management, has closed on a $30M construction loan from M&T Bank for the development of The Edison at Union Market, in Washington D.C. LCOR plans to develop the land at 4th Street and Florida Avenue, NE into a mixed-use property bringing forth the vision of incorporating forward thinking retail and smart living into the thriving historic district.

Upon completion, The Edison at Union Market will include 187 apartments, approximately 28,000 square feet of ground-level retail space and a below-grade parking garage. The six-story building will serve as the first residential development delivered to Union Market, signaling a major step in the revitalization of the evolving district. (more…)

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Thanks to all who sent links to the WAMU story:

“A planned renovation of a number of rowhouses in the Grant Circle area of Petworth has sparked a particularly virulent fight between a developer and a group of residents, prompting a $25 million lawsuit in which the developer says residents abused the city’s historic preservation process to delay permits he needed to renovate and expand the homes.

Individuals with knowledge of the situation in Grant Circle say that Woodruff and Wright had been concerned with Gross’s vision for 7 Grant Circle, the house next to theirs, after he laid out his plans to expand it and convert it to two condos. They claimed to D.C. regulators that they were never presented with proper plans for the project, nor did they sign off on Gross’s plan to expand the basement by digging down beyond the existing floor.

In his lawsuit, Gross denies claims that he did not provide plans to Woodruff and Wright as required by law. Still, the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs delayed permits for Gross’s expansion of 7 Grant Circle, and also issued a stop-work order for the property. No work has been done on the house since earlier this year.”

Read the full story here.

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From a press release:

“MRP Realty, developers of commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate across the Mid-Atlantic region, along with B&R Associates L.P., announced today the two have formed a joint venture to redevelop the shopping plaza known as Rhode Island Center into a thriving, multi-phase, mixed-use environment.

The first phase of the joint venture between MRP Realty and B&R Associates will include building approximately 345 residential apartment units and 47,000 square feet of retail. The project plans for a retail-activated plaza oriented to the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the new pedestrian bridge, providing access to the Rhode Island Avenue metro station. The joint venture recently retained KLNB for retail leasing, and is targeting a health club as the lead retail tenant for phase one. The architect for the residential buildings is SK&I. (more…)

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@dialeidoscope tweeted us:

“.@PoPville heartbroken! this building on Georgia and Randolph lost its lovely tower gazebo structure. Decapitated!”

Ed. Note: The gazebo part suffered some serious damage after the earthquake of 2011.

Another reader writes:

“Wondering if you saw the recent news about the plan to demolish the Latney Funeral home, on the corner of Georgia and Randolph, to make way for a 20-unit residential building.

It appears that in addition to demolishing a beautiful, if slightly rundown historic home, they are also seeking a variance to avoid the off-street parking requirement which will only add to the already congested parking. I live around the corner and have not seen any public notices about the application for a variance.”

From a press release:

“The Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) granted MMg for a variance from the off-street parking requirements, to allow the construction of a new six-story, mixed-use building containing 20 dwelling units and ground floor retail at 3831 Georgia Avenue, N.W. in Petworth.

Murillo Malnati Group, submitted this self-certified application on May 1, 2015, for the property located at 3831 Georgia Avenue, N.W. requesting a variance from the off-street parking requirements. MMg was represented by Christopher Collins and Jessica Bloomfield of Holland & Knight; Bill Bonstra of Bonstra Haresign Architects; and Osborne R. George of O.R. George Associates, Inc.

The project received conditional support from D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Office of Planning (OP). The Board also received 41 letters in support of the application from residents located in close proximity to the Site. Additionally, The Board also received a letter from Zach Teutsch, Single Member District Commissioner for ANC 4C05 (Ex. 50), who expressed his support for the project and described the importance of transit-oriented development and the value of creating additional density near the Metrorail station.

DDOT’s report stated that it has no objection to the requested variance with the following transportation demand management (“TDM”) measures: For rental apartments provide complimentary annual bikeshare, complimentary annual car-share membership subscription or $100 Metro SmartTrip card for the tenants of each unit for the first ten years.

The Site is situated in the Petworth/Georgia Avenue neighborhood of Washington, D.C., which is an area that is highly walkable and rich in public and private transportation alternatives. Petworth has seen significant new residential and retail development, which has resulted in the area’s emergence as a vibrant urban neighborhood. The Site has excellent public transportation options, with convenient access to the Georgia Avenue/Petworth Metrorail Station, multiple Metrobus routes, car- and bike-share facilities, on-street bicycle routes, and safe pedestrian infrastructure. One of the conditions of the variance requires MMg to make off-site parking available for two additional parking tenants if necessary.

MMg will demolish the existing building on the Site and construct a new six-story, 70-foot mixed-use retail/residential rental apartment building. The building will include approximately 1,488 square feet of ground floor retail and 20 residential units on floors two through six. The cellar will incorporate retail storage space and a bicycle storage room. The ground floor residential lobby will be accessed from Georgia Avenue, and the retail use will be accessed from Georgia Avenue and Randolph Street. Two at-grade parking spaces will be located at the rear of the Site and accessed from the public alley. The proposed project complies with all of the applicable provisions of the GA Overlay District, and the proposed uses are consistent with the Site’s GA/C-3-A zoning designation.”

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Hine School

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Eastbanc, Inc. and Stanton Development to break ground on Hine School Redevelopment, a $224 million project in Ward 6 that will complete the corner of 700 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, with mixed-use development that includes retail, affordable housing, and a new public plaza.

The redevelopment of the Hine School site is expected to generate nearly 2,500 construction period jobs and over 700 permanent jobs. Once completed, annual new tax revenues of $5 million is expected. The Hine Redevelopment will deliver nearly 60,000 square feet of retail space – with 20% reserved for local tenants – 180,000 square feet of office space, and 327 parking spaces.

Additionally, the development is also expected to provide 162 apartments, which will include 46 affordable housing units, with 17 of those units set aside for seniors.

During construction, the popular Eastern Market Flea Market will continue to operate on Saturday and Sunday on 7th Street, SE. Once construction is completed, the flea market will operate on the new C Street, SE and public plaza on weekends. Also, the Hine Redevelopment project’s commitment to sustainability includes a LEED-certified design, green roofs, car-sharing and underground bike racks.

Over the next month, workers will begin excavating the site and by the end of the year concrete work will commence. Delivery of the entire project is expected in 2017.

For more information of the Hine School Redevelopment project, visit: http://www.hineschool.com/.”

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From a press release:

The first new cinema complex to be developed in the southeast quadrant of the District of Columbia will be located at The Yards. The lease signing by Showplace Icon Theaters was announced today by Forest City Washington, master developer of The Yards.

The 16-screen, all-digital, premium cinema complex with approximately 1,500 seats will occupy 66,400 SF in a new building to be constructed on a site that is currently used by DC Water on N Place SE, one block east of the Washington Nationals’ ballpark at the western edge of The Yards. Each theater in the new Showplace Icon at The Yards will feature wall-to-wall screens and premium sound, deluxe leather recliner seats and reserved seating. The facility will also have exclusive VIP levels with adults-only access and tables for enjoying food and beverages inside the auditoriums. The theatre’s Lobby Lounge will feature a full bar, along with a tasty menu of appetizers, small plates, snacks and desserts for enjoying before, during or after the show. Showplace Icon at The Yards will also have its own integrated parking garage with 320 spaces, a premium convenience factor for cinema patrons.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2016 with opening projected for early 2018. Forest City has finalized a deal with the District of Columbia through the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development to acquire additional parcels that are adjacent to The Yards site along First Street SE. DC Water operations currently on those sites are to be relocated. The theatre construction start is dependent upon DC Water’s timetable for vacating that portion of the property.

“Showplace Icon will add an exciting new facet of high-end, cinematic entertainment to The Yards,” said Forest City President Deborah Ratner Salzberg. “It has been a complicated process to get this project to this point and we thank Kerasotes Showplace Theatres, the DC Government and DC Water for the wonderful cooperation and patience they have shown throughout this process,” she added.

This latest addition announced for The Yards comes as construction on the project’s third residential building is nearing completion. Arris, a 327-unit luxury apartment community located nearby at Fourth and Tingey Streets SE, will welcome its first residents in early 2016. Pre-leasing will begin this fall. Arris will also bring another 19,000 SF of street-level retail space to this growing waterfront neighborhood in the Capitol Riverfront district.
Across Fourth Street SE from Arris, construction is expected to begin in spring 2016 on a three- building residential project that will bring the first for-sale units to The Yards via a 140-unit condo building to be developed by PN Hoffman. Concurrent with that development, Forest City will develop a two-building, 190-unit apartment community. Both projects are expected to be completed by spring 2018.

The dining scene at The Yards continues to grow, as well. The latest concept from DC restaurateur Bo Blair‘s Georgetown Events is well under construction in the Lumber Shed on Water Street at Third Street SE. To be known as Due South, the new restaurant will feature a menu of southern-style cuisine when it opens this summer. In addition, a construction permit was issued recently for Nicoletta Pizzeria, a popular NYC pizza operation from Osteria Morini’s Chef Michael White. Nicoletta will operate its carryout service from two of the riverfront retail spaces beneath the overlook area in Yards Park.”