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175 Applications and $6.2 Million: One Year of DC’s Velocity Program

by Nena Perry-Brown

The MRP project on Rhode Island Avenue NE.

Last year, the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs introduced two tools that enable developers and builders to expedite permitting applications for a range of fees. The Expedition Service offers review sessions for those in the midst of the design phase, while the Velocity Service expedites review for those who have completed plans. 

In the last year, the programs have proven to be popular and quite a financial boon for the city. 

DC has collected more than $6.25 million in fees from the Velocity program since its inception, for permits ranging from mixed-use new construction to office interior improvements. The size of the expedited projects has been anywhere from 1,000 to two million square feet. The fees collected per project ranged from $5,000, for the addition of five residential units to a building in Lanier Heights to $750,000 for a 300-unit building that is part of MRP Realty's multi-phase redevelopment of the Rhode Island Avenue Shopping Center.

For context, the standard Velocity program has a $50,000 fee for buildings smaller than 50,000 square feet; 50 cents is added to that fee per additional square foot for buildings up to 99,999 square feet, and for buildings 100,000 square feet or larger, the fee is $75,000. For the Expedition Service program, the first plan review session is $5,000 for buildings smaller than 10,000 square feet or $10,000 for buildings larger than 10,000 square feet; each subsequent review session is $2,500 or $5,000, respectively.

Some notable projects that have gone through the Velocity program are renovations to the Capital One Arena, redevelopments on the RFK Stadium and St. Elizabeths sites, three Wawa locations, two developments with over 550 units in the Union Market neighborhood, the Shepherd Park Target location, and the movie theater slated for MRP Realty's Rhode Island Avenue development.

See other articles related to: dcra, building permits

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/175-applications-and-62-million-one-year-of-velocity-in-dc/15150

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