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Douglas Development Eases Parking Concerns at New Tenleytown Project

by Shilpi Paul

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Rendering courtesy of Shalom Baranes.

At the ANC 3E meeting last night, Douglas Development discussed their plans for the site formerly occupied by Babe’s Billiards with a largely positive, sometimes effusive, audience. “I think this is incredibly exciting,” said an ANC committee member. “This is going to be truly beneficial to the community,” said another.

As has been reported in the past, the development would consist of a 60-unit residential project with ground floor retail at 4600 Wisconsin Avenue NW (map). Douglas is creating a five-story addition on the building that used to be Babe’s home, and unit sizes range from junior one-bedrooms to two-bedrooms. They are aiming to develop the building to LEED silver specifications, with a vegetated roof and a stormwater management system.

Most notably, the building will not have any on-site parking, for which they will require a variance. While a few attendees at the meeting expressed their discomfort, most were excited at the prospect of bringing density to Tenleytown in the form of residents and retail, not cars, and encouraged the ANC to allow for the variance.

With the Metro just one block down the street, Paul Millstein from Douglas Development stressed the feasibility of their plan.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we will fill the units with 60 people without cars,” said Millstein. Douglas Development is planning to set every resident up with a one-year subscription to Capital Bikeshare, a one-year subscription to Zipcar, and a $50 Metro card.

Having faced concerns and opposition in the past, the firm came prepared. After analyzing street and foot traffic in the neighborhood, traffic consultant Osborn George told the ANC that there were several hundred on-street metered spaces in the area, 45 abutting the site, and at maximum traffic time, only 60 percent of these spaces are filled. In accordance with a previous ANC request, Douglas Development has also arranged to rent parking from nearby garages with empty spaces should the need arise. “The reality is that there are spaces” in the neighborhood, said Millstein.

Millstein also detailed the retail the firm is aiming to attract; they are toying with the idea of a Matchbox or Ted’s Bulletin-type of restaurant to anchor the site, and three or four smaller shops selling bagels, cupcakes or frozen yogurt up Wisconsin Avenue.

“This will change the way people think about Tenleytown,” said one attendee. Douglas hopes to get approval from the ANC within the next two months.

See other articles related to: tenleytown, douglas development, dclofts, apartments

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/douglas_developments_new_babe_in_tenleytown/4923

2 Comments

  1. Tenleytowner said at 11:21 am on Saturday January 14, 2012:

    It certainly was exciting to hear Matchbox tossed around as a possibility for tenancy at that corner! Go, Jemal, go!

  1. Less gullible Tenleytowner said at 5:55 pm on Saturday January 14, 2012:

    Yup, and that’s exactly why Jemal tossed that name out—not because Matchbox has expressed any interest in the project.  Jemal hasn’t been able to lease that space in the years that he’s owned it and it won’t get anymore attractive to a restauranteur once it has apartments on top.

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