28-Unit Project on H Street Corridor’s East End Gets ANC Support

by Lark Turner

28-Unit Project on H Street Corridor's East End Gets ANC Support: Figure 1
A rendering of the building by PGN Architects.

A project on a triangular-shaped piece of land on the east end of the H Street Corridor received support from ANC 6A on Thursday night. Plans for 1401 Florida Avenue NE (map) include 28 units, down from the 34 units originally proposed. Mehari Sequar is the developer on the project, which is designed by PGN Architects and is located near the Argonaut.

The 28 units include 16 larger two-bedrooms, and the fifth and sixth floor will house duplex units, according to Jeff Goins of PGN. The units have been reduced and the top floor set back since the developer first started working with the ANC.

28-Unit Project on H Street Corridor's East End Gets ANC Support: Figure 2
A map of the site.

The project is seeking approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustment for a number of issues: The maximum permitted residential lot occupancy for the site is 80 percent; the developer wants to build to 99 percent, according to the filings. They also want to build to 75 feet; the maximum allowable height is 70 feet. Finally, though 29 parking spaces are required for the development, the developer says they are unable to provide any parking on the property due to its odd layout.

28-Unit Project on H Street Corridor's East End Gets ANC Support: Figure 3
A current view of the site.

See other articles related to: pgn architects, h street corridor, h street condos

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/28-unit_mixed-use_project_on_h_street_corridors_east_end_gets_anc_approval/9338


  1. DC225 said at 4:22 pm on Friday December 12, 2014:
    Of course they can build parking there if they wanted to, odd shaped lot or not. They don't want to because of the cost. Show me proof that the developer will pass on the cost savings of not building parking to the buyers and I'm on board. Otherwise, this is nothing more than a request for a developer subsidy.
  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 8:34 pm on Friday December 12, 2014:
    Although I think BZA has been too liberal lately with its parking reductions, this one seems plausible to me. It's important to bear in mind that the legal standard isn't impossibility. It's "practical difficulty" and/or "undue hardship," either of which must flow from an "exceptional condition." In this case, the exceptional condition is the site shape & size, and I would generally agree any parking one could shoehorn in would be highly inefficient (i.e. very costly, even moreso than underground parking is anyway). As such, providing parking would be practically difficult and, given the walkability of the area and availability of public transit, an undue burden. A similar line of argument also works, I would think, for the lot occupancy. What I'm unclear about is any justification for the height variance. I think the building looks great, and the extra 5' appears to give the units very nice ceiling heights, airier glass walls. But one can fit 6 stories (even with a tall retail base) into the 70' height limit easily enough. I'm not sure what practical difficulty or undue burden the architect and developers could plausibly claim.
  1. Colin said at 1:34 am on Saturday December 13, 2014:
    Unless you think that developer costs have no bearing on prices, it is obvious that not requiring parking will result in lower priced housing.
  1. TedC said at 12:05 am on Wednesday December 17, 2014:
    Why should the developer provide parking? The building is right on the streetcar line. We already have too many cars on H Street as it is. What will happen if every new development is required to build an excessive number of parking spots?? It will be complete gridlock all the time.

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