353-Unit Apartment Project Proposed For Hill East’s Reservation 13

by Shilpi Paul

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Rendering courtesy of Eric Colbert.

On Wednesday night, Donatelli Development and Blue Skye met with Hill East residents to discuss their proposal to redevelop a portion of Reservation 13.

Over the years, many residents have come to resent the lack of progress towards developing the city-owned Reservation 13, a 67-acre site near RFK Stadium (map). When DC initially put out a request of proposals in the 2000s, they intended for one developer to plan the entire site, and an overarching master plan was put in place.

Unfortunately, things did not progress, and the city had to change course over the next couple years. Ketan Gada of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) explained that the original plan would have required significant city subsidies to solve several infrastructure issues, and that relocating the services currently on site, including a drug treatment facility and a correctional facility, was proving difficult.

So, rather than one large plan, they decided to offer up the lot to developers in small parcels over time, and started by seeking interest on two small lots close to the Stadium Armory Metro station on the western side of the site.

The Donatelli/Blue Skye team was the only development group to respond to the request, and Wednesday night’s meeting was held to assess community opinion as DMPED makes a decision about the proposal.

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The two-building plan, at 19th Streets and Massachusetts Avenue, would include 20,000 square feet of ground floor retail and 353 apartments, ranging in size from 750 to 1250 square feet. More than 30 percent of the units will be set aside for tenants making 60 percent of the Area Median Income or less. There will also be 225 underground parking spaces.

Chris Donatelli of Donatelli Development said the team is hoping that several small, neighborhood-serving retailers will fill the commercial space, and the proposal includes a public courtyard as a community meeting place. If it gets the green light, the project would break ground in 12 to 18 months and take about two years to complete.

The crowd was generally supportive of the particulars of the plan, but frustrated that the city scuttled the master plan idea.

At the prompting of ANC 6B commissioner Brian Flahaven, a rough plan was set to meet again to discuss the project, as well as bring it up at ANC meetings in districts that are close to Reservation 13, and then formally present the opinions of the community to DMPED in a couple months.

So, as UrbanTurf has been saying a lot recently, stay tuned.

See other articles related to: reservation 13, hill east, donatelli development, blue skye

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/developer_presents_plans_for_hill_easts_reservation_13/6979

1 Comment

  1. anon_1 said at 12:09 pm on Thursday April 25, 2013:

    Good that the neighbors are asking these questions and not simply starved for action.  The proposal looks reasonable.  It doesn’t address the master plan whatsoever, and it doesn’t address the cluster of social services on and near the DC General site.  With no broader plan for addressing the homeless shelter, methadone clinic, mental health services, and DC jail I don’t see what this project offers besides Metro proximity and workforce housing.

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