136 Apartments and Woonerf Access: Proposals Start Emerging to Redevelop a DC Firehouse

  • April 20th 2022

by Nena Perry-Brown

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Engine Company 12, courtesy of Google Street View. Click to enlarge.

Last fall, DC's Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) released a request for proposals (RFP) to redevelop the site of a fire station on Rhode Island Avenue NE. Now, the public is getting an idea of what some of the proposals entail.

A development team led by Rift Valley Capital shared their proposal with ANC 5E on Tuesday evening to rebuild the Engine Company 12 fire station at 2225 5th Street NE and 513 Rhode Island Avenue NE (map) and add 136 (or more) apartments above the new station. At least 10 of the units will be affordable for households earning less than 30% of area median income (AMI) and another 30 or more units will be for households earning up to 50% of AMI. 

Preliminary rendering of the proposal. Click to enlarge.

The six-story development would be by-right courtesy of DMPED securing a map amendment for the site last year. Cunningham Quill is the architect.

The development team has also spoken to adjacent property owners, including Jair Lynch Development Partners and The Wilkes Company as they move toward a potential redevelopment of the adjacent properties at 525 Rhode Island Avenue and in the 600 block of Rhode Island Avenue NE. As that project is expected to deliver a "woonerf", or a curbless shared street, this proposal for the fire station is intended to seamlessly connect to that amenity.

Preliminary site plan of the proposal. Click to enlarge.

While the RFP requested that all submissions have a "base case" option that incorporates a new fire station facility, development teams can also offer alternative proposals that would relocate the facility if it is kept in continuous operation; this is a route that the Rift Valley Capital team is prepared to take if it makes sense to do so. Bereket Selassie of RVC explained at the meeting that the team has identified two other sites for the firehouse, but that the "base case" can also be developed in phases to ensure continuous operation.

UrbanTurf will report on other proposals for the firehouse site as they become available.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/136-apartments-and-woonerf-access-proposals-start-emerging-for-rhode-island/19547.

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