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Major Transformation coming to Georgia and Princeton across from Looking Glass Lounge

by Prince Of Petworth December 29, 2015 at 1:05 pm 46 Comments

3619 Georgia Ave, NW

A reader reports: “Finally some action at the lot across from looking glass at Georgia and Princeton!”

This is the former Mario’s Pizza House and more recently the Lion’s Den Jamaican Restaurant.

Bonstra’s website says:

“3619 Georgia Avenue, NW is a six-story, 27 unit condominium structure with ground floor retail. The project provides many opportunities to explore the larger urban goals for the up-and-coming Petworth neighborhood while advancing the revitalization of Georgia Avenue’s main retail thoroughfare . The project takes advantage of the multimodal transportation within the immediate vicinity of the site and the pedestrian friendly streetscape. This design is a fresh approach to building in Petworth – a beacon, recognizable from a distance, showcasing a unique design rising above the trees and traffic of Georgia Avenue.”

Rendering via Bonstra Haresign Architects

  • Wednesday Addams-Morgan

    As long as nothing happens to Fish in the (neighbor)Hood…!

  • jonah

    Curious to see how their ANC deals with this. The unit will have no parking due to curb cuts not being allowed. This was a sticking point for the potential development at the Sweet Mango site two blocks norths, in SMD 4C08. Local neighbors were concerned about losing their limited street parking with more density.

    • Guillermo Brown

      Jonah, the BZA already approved this project. Luckily, this project is in Kent Boese’s ANC, ANC1A08. Lucky because Mr. Boese is able to think critically and approve projects like this, that SHOULD be granted parking variances due to their proximity to transportation. Sweet Mango is in ANC4C08, which is headed by Timothy A Jones, aka, “Mr. I Oppose Any New Development.” Commissioner Jones votes against any new development in his ANC (see: Latney Funeral Home, Sweet Mango, et al)

      • jonah

        Thanks. Good to know. I was wondering about that since they already had the construction fence in place.

      • Anonymous

        I think that proximity to transportation should have nothing to do with getting a parking variance. I live a block away from this building and I have a car that I park on the street. Several homes on my block have two cars that park on the street. It should not be assumed that being close to public transportation means that homebuyers or renters won’t have cars.

        • Anonymous

          Some of the main constant complainers actually have about three to five cars used by people/family that live with them… Some don’t even have parking in back because they choose to have a big back yard. It’s the height of hypocrisy.

        • PB

          What do you think should be the criteria for allowing a parking variance? Seems like going door to door to check how many neighbors choose to park cars on the street is a bit cumbersome.

          • Anonymous

            Actually, you don’t have to go door to door to do a survey. You can walk up and down the streets in the area and check license plates and parking stickers to see how much street parking is being used by residents.

          • PB

            Yeah, but what time should the streets be checked? and by whom? Is 2:30 on a Tuesday the right time? How about a holiday weekend? THIS IS SO CONFUSING!

          • Timebomb

            Actually, the DMV has the information about how many cars are registered to these addresses. But I guess there’s no data necessarily on how many parking spaces each residence has, and who chooses to use their private parking spaces.
            But it’s irrelevant. The city gives you free/cheap parking as a service, and you expect it to also block things from happening in your neighborhood so parking is as easy as possible. If you care this much, pay for a real parking arrangement. Or consider driving less and being thankful you live somewhere where you have that option.

          • textdoc

            “You can walk up and down the streets in the area and check license plates and parking stickers to see how much street parking is being used by residents.” But since RPPs currently cover entire zones/wards — rather than smaller areas — you have no way of knowing whether a given car belongs to someone who lives on that block, the next block over, or at the other end of the ward.

      • say what

        +1000 on Commissioner Boese. Serioulsy, I have been to many ANC meetings over the years in various neighbohroods and I think most residents would be stunned at the childish antics of so many uninformed commissioners. I think most residents would also be surprised at how much their ANC affects their day to day quality of life as well. Kent is my commissioner and I know how hard he works, he puts together a monthly newsletter for his constituents which he hands delivers, maintains a blog and is out and about every day in the neighborhood. He has always been responsive to emails and concerns. ANCs get bashed a lot online, a lot of it deserved, but Kent is one ANC Commissioner who works hard to find compromise, maintain integrity of the Park View but also support future development.

        • Curious George

          +1000 for Kent. He is an awesome commissioner and a great human being. Also has nice seasonal decorations on his house ;)

          • kbm

            I have been suck with Jones for 12+ years. He is terrible.

    • Anonymous

      People need to RELAX on the parking. You live in a city and this development is literally a block or two from the metro. Not to mention all of the bus routes and bikeshares along Georgia Avenue. I think the people who complain about parking actually are just looking for an excuse to stop all development along Georgia Ave.

      • gotryit

        Whenever I hear these objections, I get this funny picture of a street level parking lot with apartments above it. I think maybe a rendering of how awful that would look would be reason enough to grant all the variances.

      • jonah

        Agreed. I just wanted to see how the same issue 1-2 blocks apart would be handled since it was two different ANC’s.

      • Anonymous

        People need to RELAX on the “why don’t you just bike or walk or Metro or Uber for every single one of your transportation needs” argument.
        Not every place of employment is metro accessible. Some people metro to work and around town during the week and drive on the weekends.
        Maybe the people who are complaining are not trying to stop all development, but just trying to promote responsible development.

        • Guillermo Brown

          Adding density around public transportation is the definition of responsible city development

        • anon

          the theory is that if you really need a car, you would self-select out of this building. it’s an overall net gain because you add density/tax base without adding to congestion. without data about people moving into these and parking on the streets (not anecdotes, but actual data), it’s hard to make a rational case against it.

        • anon
        • Timebomb

          It’s so much more complicated than that. Some places are more convenient to access by car, but only because we a) facilitate and subsidize car use and b) people feel comfortable building/leasing things that aren’t transit-accessible because we facilitate and subsidize car use.
          Blocking development over a metro (or forcing an expensive investment in parking in order to develop there, which will delay development and drive up the cost of the results) so street parking (a free or mostly free government service) is easily accessible falls into category (a) and feeds (b). If parking is more difficult, maybe you’ll realize some of those destinations aren’t so comparably difficult to access by car after all, or that the places that are actually impossible to access aren’t actually worth going to.
          There’s always going to be car occasions, but policy decisions mandatory parking minimums quickly go from giving people the option of using a car to basically forcing people to use a car. If you’re forced to pay for a parking space (whether it’s baked into your rent at home or into your groceries at the grocery store; because free parking isn’t free), it becomes hard to financially justify not driving.

        • HaileUnlikely

          I think the strongest argument in favor of granting parking variances in places near transit (and long-term, changing the parking requirements such that no such variance is needed) is that building huge parking garages to meet existing requirements is f*cking expensive, and developers need to recoup their costs somehow, so they do that by rolling the cost of the parking garage into the cost of the units, jacking up the price of the units, and causing those without cars to subsidize the parking desires of those with cars.
          There are lots of buildings in the immediate vicinity that have garages that sit half-empty (or more) all year around. I know people who don’t live in those buildings who rent parking from them. If you want/need a car, that’s cool, I don’t have any beef with that. You can rent or buy in a place that provides the parking accommodations that you desire. It’s absurd to expect every single development to cater to your preference to both live on top of a metro station *and* park close to your home. You can do either one easily enough, and you can do both at lots of places. If you absolutely have to have both, you can just rent or buy somewhere else.

      • textdoc

        I think the key element is that buildings like this need to make their residents ineligible for RPPs.

        • Timebomb

          Yeah, agreed on that.

        • Anonymous

          I have no problem with this idea because it actively discourages residents from owning vehicles, as opposed to assuming that the lack of parking on the premises will be sufficient discouragement.
          But are there any examples of new developments where this restriction has been put in place? I suspect that a developer would fight this type of restriction because it actively cuts off one segment of the population of potential buyers – people with cars – as opposed to letting those people decide for themselves whether it is worth it to them to fight for street parking.

          • Timebomb

            I think this condition has happened before, but none of those buildings is open yet? I could be wrong. In any case, I don’t think residents of this particular building would’ve been eligible anyway, since the building’s address is commercially zoned. My understanding is that you only get RPP for your zone if your specific block is RPP, and commercially zoned blocks are ineligible (because they’re usually metered anyway).

          • Timebomb

            (but my impression is also that this doesn’t persuade the complainers, since they assume people will park for under 2 hours and/or illegally and because of minimal enforcement, they’ll still be screwed.)

          • Ben

            Plenty of new apartments are exempt from RPP. Swift at Petworth Place is one such example.

          • textdoc

            Anonymous 4:45 p.m., I believe this was the case with some of the apartment buildings in the vicinity of the baseball stadium.

  • LittleBluePenguin

    Can anyone tell me what the Fisherman of Men is? I’ve lived near this place for about a year, and I still am not sure if it’s a church or what? I never seem to see services going on, except for once I saw a wedding party leaving this spot. Granted, I’m not usually up and about on a Sunday morning to observe, it just seems like such a weird building.

    • Anonamom

      It’s a church for sure. As to how active it is, I have no clue.

    • textdoc

      It’s a church. I think they have services on Sundays at 11 a.m. — not sure if they have additional services/activities at other times.

    • Krampus

      The church has a website if you want to know more about it.

  • Anon

    Not sure why, but something about that sunken retail space just screams “7-11” to me.

    • Petworth_dude

      Better a 7-11 than another payday loans/check cashing place, a corner store looking to sell balt salts and space, or yet another hair and nail salon.

  • Llama

    I enjoyed using that little parking lot, oh well!

  • siz

    is it just me or does every new condo building on this stretch of georgia ave look exactly the same

    • anon

      it’s just you. there are some similarities, but they’re more unique than the blocks on blocks on blocks of rowhouses.

    • thor

      It’s not just you and it’s not just this stretch of Georgia Ave

  • ctk

    Rave: this

  • anon

    let’s hope they don’t go with wood frame construction. very frustrating to see this type of short-sighted construction approved for multi-family housing.

    • say what

      wood frame is significantly cheaper and for a building this size it makes the most sense.

    • jim_ed

      It’s 6 stories, which means there’s a 1000% chance this will be stick built over concrete podium. Which is standard basically everywhere these days.

  • Otis Gal

    Good grief that is big & hideous. Park view is starting to look like NoVa

  • Xochipilli the Anonymous

    We need to fight against this gentrification! More strip clubs, liquor stores, Keno screens and hair salons now!


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