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100-Unit Apartment Project Proposed For Lot Behind 16th Street’s Masonic Temple

by Nena Perry-Brown

100-Unit Apartment Project Proposed For Lot Behind 16th Street's Masonic Temple: Figure 1
The lot behind the Masonic Temple. Click to enlarge.

A large residential development is on the boards for one of the last wide open spaces south of U Street NW. 

On Tuesday evening, Perseus TDC presented plans for the potential development of the Masonic Temple-owned lot at 15th Street and S Street NW (map). The development team is currently contemplating a by-right 96,000 square-foot apartment building with roughly 100 or more apartments. The site is zoned RA-8 and the building would be 50 feet high with a penthouse while also taking advantage of an inclusionary zoning density bonus.

A below-grade parking level, accessible via a 15 foot-wide public alley that runs between 15th and 16th Streets, will provide 60 parking spaces for residents and 40 for the temple. The residential entrance for the building will be on 15th Street, although ground-floor units along S Street may have their own entrances. The 4,000 square-foot carriage house off the alley will remain and will likely be converted into amenity space.

Hickok Cole Architects is helming the design of the project and presented one potential scheme based on design principles dictated by the site. The team is holding off on creating an actual design until it gets a read on what the community prefers.

One point of concern that emerged at the meeting focused on the use of the alley for garage and loading access, as the bike lanes on 15th Street are heavily used and congestion on 16th Street can be challenging to merge into. Another concern was the potential lost views of the temple's apse from S Street. 

Perseus is expected to file a historic preservation concept review application for the new project in the next few months.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/115-apartments-proposed-for-masonic-temple/13923

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