Massing for the PUD option.
A couple weeks ago, UrbanTurf wrote that a residential development could be in the works for the former site of the Superfresh supermarket site at 4330 48th Street NW (map) in American University Park. Earlier this week, project developer Valor Development and architect BKV Group met with community members to seek support for a planned-unit development for the site.
BKV presented the community with two possibilities: a “matter of right” development wherein the developers take the initiative to build on the site according to local zoning laws, or a planned unit development which, according to BKV, is the most feasible way to ensure that a grocery store is able to return to the site. Most residents in attendance would like to see a grocery store return to the site in as unintrusive a form as possible.
The envisioned matter of right development would be a six-floor residential building with approximately 200 units and ground-floor retail. In addition to limited underground parking, there would be a surface parking lot on Yuma Street NW facing the Wagshal’s Deli. With only 20,000 square feet of retail space, BKV does not believe it would be possible to court a grocer as the size of the space would make the investment cost-prohibitive.
A planned unit development would create three residential buildings with over 250 residential units, connected by courtyards, plazas and walkways. Windom Place would be extended through the project as a pedestrian concourse, while several floors of underground parking would be included to diminish the impact on area street parking. Valor has been in talks with several grocery chains who would be interested in opening a store in the planned development. The team has also been in talks with all of the current retail tenants along the strip, with DeCarlo’s and the hair salon the likeliest to return once the development is complete.
One of the biggest community concerns voiced at the meeting was the fear that the development would further urbanize the area and potentially lower property values. Many in attendance seconded one long-time resident’s statement that “if it looks like Bethesda, it’s not gonna work”, agreeing that “we live in AU Park” and moved there for the suburban feel of the community.
Residents would like more details and renderings of the site proposals, including fleshed-out versions of the matter-of-right simulations, direct comparisons of the proposed development to existing projects in the District, and explorations of more neighborhood-oriented market options rather than a big-name grocer, before they commit their support.
The development group intends to incorporate the feedback from the meeting and ongoing communications with residents into a final proposal they will present to the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission for a final vote.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/200_or_250_residences_the_two_options_presented_for_au_park_superfresh/10408
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