Dupont Circle Microunit Proposal, Sans Parking, Sails Through ANC

by Lark Turner

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A rendering of the proposal from SB-Urban and Hartman-Cox.

A proposal to develop a historic Dupont Circle mansion into 90 furnished micro-units — parking not included — received ANC support on Wednesday night without a single protest from commissioners or community members in attendance.

ANC 2B supported the plan for transforming the Patterson House, which is asking for several zoning exceptions, and praised developer SB-Urban and architectural firm Hartman-Cox for their design and transportation management plan.

“A lot of people say that their residents won’t use cars. You’re actually making it a reality for them,” said Noah Smith, the ANC commissioner for 2B-09. “I’m really impressed with the amount of accommodation for alternate modes of transportation besides having a car. You should be a model for other places.”

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The design for an addition to the Patterson House was approved by the Historic Preservation Review Board with the ANC’s support in February. It’s now seeking Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) approval for exceptions to rules about courtyards, setbacks and parking. The project wants to create an interior courtyard because its facade is set back from two historic buildings. On the roof of the building, the penthouse, which is solely mechanical, doesn’t quite conform to setback standards. Finally, the project would normally require 23 parking spaces, and the project is asking for an exception.

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The back of the development.

The Patterson House’s transit plan includes the following:

  • A staff position exclusively dedicated to helping residents get around and navigate alternative forms of transportation.
  • Restricting residents from obtaining residential parking permits (RPP).
  • A transit screen in the lobby with live-updated transit information.
  • A dedicated website to provide residents with transit information.
  • Bicycle parking, repair facilities, helmets and Capital Bikeshare memberships will be provided for residents during their initial lease term for the first five years the building is open.
  • Car share memberships will be provided for all residents during their initial lease term for the first five years the building is open.

A similar proposal by developers hoping to build a much smaller micro-unit development in nearby Logan Circle failed to convince the BZA to let their project move forward earlier this year, though that project is set to go before the board again on April 1. SB-Urban’s project is currently scheduled for a hearing in early May.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dupont_circle_microunit_proposal_sans_parking_sails_through_anc/8231

7 Comments

  1. Anonymous said at 9:23 am on Thursday March 13, 2014:

    We all know there’s no legal way in DC to restrict residents from obtaining aRPP right? Why do developers and ANCs always say otherwise?

  1. Paul said at 5:35 pm on Thursday March 13, 2014:

    This seems like a wonderful scam for developers to avoid putting in parking.

  1. aj said at 9:11 am on Friday March 14, 2014:

    This is a great idea for creating a transit/bike friendly building in the heart of one of DC’s most walkable and transit friendly neighborhoods. We need more of it. Why should developers put in parking for a building full of MICROUNITS. do you really think people living in 250 SF are going to want a car? these are people who are willing to give up space to live in a dense urban neighborhood. if a developer was building something full of 3-BR condos at 3000 SF each, then I’d assume THOSE buyers needed a space for their cars. it’s not a scam, it’s how people choose to live in the 21st century.

  1. Michael said at 10:48 am on Friday March 14, 2014:

    Scam?  You’re not entitled to parking.  Plus, since these are furnished microunits, there’s a good bet that the tenants won’t even have cars. 

    If you simply have to have parking (although you’re one block from Metro), then this just isn’t the place for you.

  1. tassojunior said at 11:12 am on Tuesday March 18, 2014:

    One thing I don’t like about the current proposal, as opposed to the one for a hotel, is that this will be a desk building where the public cannot go in the beautiful historic lobby.

  1. JT said at 3:23 am on Sunday April 27, 2014:

    Why would the ANC approve the design of a modern
    glass box, adjacent to an historically significant building
    on DuPont Circle? Did they all leave their glasses at home?
    Try doing something like that on an individual home and
    the Historical Commission comes down on the homeowner
    like a ton of bricks. Why does the city permit this type of
    building for development dollars - aren’t the 1960s
    over?

  1. gakeats@gmail.com said at 3:02 pm on Friday May 16, 2014:

    I think its awesome.  Most folks who will be considering living in a Microunit, won’t own cars, ESPECIALLY here, with this building’s location to the Metro.

    Just wish I had the juice to make deals like this happen, as a small Developer in DC, I would be very hard pressed to get the approvals for what is proposed here. THIS is the kind of forward thinking from the Hysterical Society and the BZA that DC needs. I congratulate all, and hope that this is a successful model of how to get things done right in our great city.

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