Planning Officials Plan to Keep an Eye on Second Phase of Anacostia Riverfront PUD

by Nena Perry-Brown

A view of the first two phases of this stretch of the Capitol Riverfront development

The revitalization of the Anacostia River will be a massive, multi-stage development involving a lot of moving parts. One of those is a 48,189 square-foot parcel, which is one of the stretches of waterfront property being developed by MRP Realty and Florida Rock Properties.

On Monday night, the Zoning Commission unanimously agreed to set down the phase II proposal for the planned-unit development (PUD) for a public hearing. Here’s what the proposal entails:

A rendering of Dock 79 and 71 Potomac

The phase II building will be located at 25 Potomac Avenue SE (map), across an alley from the recently-opened Dock 79 building.

A rendering of Dock 79 and 71 Potomac

Known as “71 Potomac”, the 130 foot-tall sawtooth-shaped building will incorporate a double-height pedestrian plaza bisecting the structure. There will likely be a two-level underground parking garage with 180 spaces, although a third level with up to an additional 94 spaces may be provided to allow visitors to the nearby and forthcoming sports stadium(s) to park as well.

The proposed development as seen from Potomac Avenue

Primarily facing the river, up to 12,272 square feet of retail will cover two levels. The residential entrance will be on Potomac Avenue, with amenity space above the lobby and on the penthouse level.

The proposed development as seen from Potomac Avenue

An earlier approved version of the SK+I Architecture design included 282 residential units; that has now been decreased to 253 total units with 20 set aside for households earning up to 80 percent area median income.

Concerns from both a report from the Office of Planning and the Zoning commissioners include a desire to see a less office-like design for the northern facade, different signage, and clarifications of color and materiality.

If all goes as scheduled, construction on phase II will begin in the first quarter of 2018 for a late 2019 delivery.

See other articles related to: sk&i architects, mrp realty, florida rock, capitol riverfront

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/planning_officials_plan_to_keep_an_eye_on_second_phase_of_riverfront_pud/11724


  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 2:54 pm on Wednesday September 28, 2016:

    Between this and The Wharf, you’d think that the Anacostia River and Washington Channel had sparkling blue water and reef fish instead of murky brown water and pollution.  The lineup of long, skinny buildings with short ends on the street & water and long sides facing each other is starting to look like the “North Beach” part of Miami Beach, with its parade of Mid-century Modern apartment slabs.  The exterior styling of the 21st century is more nuanced and the urban relationship is considerably improved, but the elemental lack of variety is constant.

    Increasingly, it seems that we in D.C. are dependent upon historic preservation to create areas with a variety of building sizes, heights, scales, and uses. Absent protected older buildings, the Zoning Commission approves, one project at a time, stultifying non-neighborhoods like NoMa and the non-Yards part of the Capitol Riverfront.  Every building maximizes height and density, for obvious reasons (which, by the way, aren’t evil).  Office space is delivered in chunks measuring in the hundreds of thousands of square feet—not space for smaller tenants; apartments are delivered in buildings with 25-50 units per floor—way above the threshold at which neighbors know each other. Usually the individual buildings are architecturally credible, as is the case with this proposal.  Personally, I agree with the ZC that the street end of this design seems overly commercial (basically, too flat), but the principal problem isn’t the facade treatment of this or any other particular building.  It’s the cumulative effect that is the problem. 

    A classic philosophical dilemma, but one that other cities have resolved, notably Vancouver, which requires every major development to include rowhouses in addition to towers.  Our Zoning Commission needs to find and implement solutions before we’re saddled with more hard-to-love non-neighborhoods.

  1. Mike_in_SW said at 3:50 pm on Wednesday September 28, 2016:

    I have a similar take to Skidrowedc’s comments regarding overall lack of architectural interest.  I had hoped that new buildings in the Navy Yard would demonstrate a modern, 21st Century look, much like Toronto and Vancouver’s new buildings.  (What is it with Canadians who seem to embrace change?!)  Whether you like it or not, the SW Waterfront developed in the 1960s is a great demonstration of Mid-century architecture (although many of those buildings- rentals and churches—are being lost to the bulldozer).  Why not a demonstration of more current, new century architecture in the Navy Yard?  It had a large, undeveloped mass of land where it could have been accomplished. The Wharf is another example of a lost opportunity as new buildings are made to look as if they had been there for a hundred years.  Sadly, it is too late to create a new area of modern architecture in both the Navy Yard and The Wharf, two areas that were large enough to make it work.  Perhaps some of the few remaining large parcels of land in NE will be able to accomplish a new architectural zone of interest.

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