New Details Released For 60-Unit Project at 14th and Wallach

by Shilpi Paul

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View from Wallach Street. Courtesy of PGN Architects.

On Monday night, Madison Investments and PGN Architects stopped by the ANC 1B Design Review Committee meeting to discuss their proposed project at the northeast corner of 14th and Wallach Streets NW (map). The plans are not set in stone, but Madison estimates that the project will total around 60 units (rather than the planned 75), and it is undecided if the project will be rentals or condos.

Though the developers were considering once micro-units, they decided to build larger apartments which will average 650 square feet. Twenty percent of the units will be studios, 50 percent one-bedrooms and 30 percent will be two-bedrooms.

As is the case with most new residential projects along the 14th Street Corridor, much of the discussion on Monday night centered around parking. The developers are applying for a special exception from the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) to build only nine parking spaces with the new development.

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Sia Madani of Madison Investments defended the decision to limit parking. “People who are living at this destination are embracing the urban lifestyle and doing away with the car,” he said. As evidence, he cited The District across 14th Street, which is 80 percent leased up, but has only leased 10 percent of its parking spaces.

A member of the Design Committee requested that Madison consider following a recent trend and prohibit tenants from obtaining residential parking permits. The developers were open to the idea.

As for the design, Madison will be building up and around two existing buildings along Wallach Street, which will both be preserved. A new building, with a facade made from brick, corrugated metal and glass will front onto 14th Street and connect the existing buildings. The ground floor will be occupied by retail and an interior courtyard, which all the residential units will look down upon. The three lower floors of new construction will roughly match the current buildings in regards to their placement on the lot. The upper levels have some undulation and pulled-back areas, and the design incorporates several bays and recesses.

While official ANC votes on the design and parking exemption will not take place until next month, the development was well-received by the committee. The developers will be meeting with the BZA and the Historic Preservation Review Board in the coming months.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/60_unit_residential_project_at_14th_and_wallach/7479

22 Comments

  1. Daniel said at 11:09 am on Tuesday August 20, 2013:

    Such a huge improvement on what is currently there and happy to see that they are preserving and restoring a few of the existing buildings on the corner.

  1. Bob said at 1:14 pm on Tuesday August 20, 2013:

    You mean northeast corner?

  1. Shilpi Paul said at 1:39 pm on Tuesday August 20, 2013:

    Hi Bob,

    Yes, northeast. We made the correction. Thanks!

    Shilpi

  1. RC said at 2:43 pm on Tuesday August 20, 2013:

    Maybe the most interesting thing in this story is that the District building is 80% leased—that seems FAST!

  1. Hanna said at 3:09 pm on Tuesday August 20, 2013:

    Thank goodness for no more micro-units.  There are too many of them in this town as it is.

  1. Node said at 3:51 pm on Tuesday August 20, 2013:

    The parking permit prohibition is a farce. Despite the developers giving us the same assurances as the ones given by the developers of this building, two buildings near me are 100% occupied and more than 2/3 of residents own at least one car. Residents waited 3 months then applied in person to the DMV for parking permits and got them. Something needs to be done about the parking issue in this area. Ensuring new buildings provide at least 60% of spots for unit numbers is the only option open at the moment. Long term, we should look to creating parking garages with car lifts like they have in NYC.

  1. Colin said at 6:15 pm on Tuesday August 20, 2013:

    Solution to parking permits: set a limit and auction them off. Parking is a valuable and finite resource, so let’s treat it like one.

  1. MetroDerp said at 6:44 pm on Tuesday August 20, 2013:

    This is excellent, much better than that eyesore of a parking lot that’s there now. I’m surprised they’re putting in as many as nine parking spaces - it fronts the 50-buses and is a block away from the Metro.

    I mean, seriously, why on earth would you want a car in this area?

  1. Ryan said at 8:17 pm on Tuesday August 20, 2013:

    Strict parking, but we would be happy to talk to the developers about installing a real time multimodal Transit Screen display in the lobby. That way any car-less residents or visitor could see live data for Metro, Metrobus, Circulator, Capital Bikeshare, etc before they ever leave the building. Also, it would support a growing transit startup that calls DC home.

  1. Private said at 9:31 am on Wednesday August 21, 2013:

    why on earth would you want a car in this area?

    Not everybody works in a transit accessible location.

  1. Jones said at 9:56 am on Wednesday August 21, 2013:

    As someone who owns a home on Wallach Place the lack of parking for this project a MAJOR issue.

  1. 7r3y3r said at 10:34 am on Wednesday August 21, 2013:

    The lack of parking for any project is only major issue if:
    1. you wouldn’t frequent the commercial establishments of the project because there’s nowhere to park your car once you got there;
    2. you wouldn’t buy a unit because you need a car for transportation; or
    3. you assume that the price you paid for your house also included a personal parking spot on the public street fronting your house.

  1. NoParkingOnWallach said at 1:07 pm on Wednesday August 21, 2013:

    The parking on Wallach Place is already a nightmare Thursday thru Sunday.  It’s a shame this building only offers nine parking spaces. This is such poor planning.

  1. me said at 1:58 pm on Wednesday August 21, 2013:

    I agree that the parking prohibition is a complete farce.  Enforcement is up to the developer or property manager.  What good would it do them to antagonize their residents?  If I were a resident of this neighboorhood, I would definitely show up to the ANC meeting and call b.s. on the plans.

  1. me2 said at 6:45 pm on Wednesday August 21, 2013:

    @private931: True, not everyone works in a transit-accessible location, but if you don’t then you probably should rent/buy a home in a building that doesn’t offer parking for you car.

    @me 1:58: When is the ANC meeting I live a block away and would love to show up to give my support. The less parking, the better!

  1. katie said at 10:58 pm on Wednesday August 21, 2013:

    <i>The parking on Wallach Place is already a nightmare Thursday thru Sunday.  It’s a shame this building only offers nine parking spaces. This is such poor planning.<i>

    Building more parking infrastructure isn’t going to solve this problem.

    Instead, make more of the street parking resident only—and actually enforce it. No one’s gonna stop coming to 14th st if they can’t park; they’ll just park further away or take public transit.

  1. dcdwntwn said at 11:08 pm on Wednesday August 21, 2013:

    The number of spaces doesn’t matter. Because these buildings want $250 a month for a space, of course everyone just parks on the street and the garages sit empty. Rent them at $150 and they’d all be full and street parking would be much relieved. I don’t understand of keeping the prices so high and letting the spaces just sit empty.

  1. District resident said at 8:58 am on Thursday August 22, 2013:

    @dcdwntwn - I disagree with your assumption. I live at the district and hardly anyone in the building has a car.

  1. Charlie said at 9:10 am on Thursday August 22, 2013:

    I also agree that the 14th Street corridor doesn’t need more private parking spaces.  Private spaces are a waste of space as most of the new local residents work in the city and prefer using more efficient public transit options to driving cars. DC is becoming a very urban city and people need to start getting used to not having cars.

    And lastly, most of the public parking spaces that are being taken up are by visitors from OUTSIDE the area.

  1. inside said at 11:28 am on Thursday August 22, 2013:

    most of the public parking spaces that are being taken up are by visitors from OUTSIDE the area.

    That’s what they’re for.

  1. Mr.Spock said at 3:28 pm on Thursday August 22, 2013:

    All in all, I have to say its one of the best looking buildings on 14th (if it stays that way)

  1. David said at 12:58 pm on Friday August 23, 2013:

    I really love it! Love the brick and how the more modern glass/metal structure adds a different touch.

    Eckington(NE)

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