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320 Units And a New Spin on Retail Pitched For Walter Reed

by Nena Perry-Brown

Rendering of Building QRS, at left, looking down Dahlia Street at Georgia Avenue. Click to enlarge.

A design and an unconventional approach to retail has been unveiled for the latest residential building planned at Walter Reed. 

The development team has begun sharing images of the proposed design concept for Building QRS, depicting a three-volume building that could deliver up to 320 rental units on the southwest corner of Georgia Avenue and Dahlia Street NW (map). The building will also deliver commercial space along Georgia Avenue and 240 below-grade parking spaces. 

Rendering of Building QRS, at right, looking down Georgia Avenue at Dahlia Street. Click to enlarge.

The units are expected to span from 400-1,100 square feet, including studios to three-bedrooms. Roughly 10-11% of the residential space will be units affordable to households earning up to 50% and 80% of median family income.

With the current retail climate in mind, the 24,000 square feet of commercial space is going to be handled a little differently than typical. For now, the thought is that the larger retail storefronts will house "outward-facing" building amenities, such as a café, yoga studio, co-working space, or makerspace.

The smaller storefronts could serve as live/work units for local business owners and artisans, with shop space at the front and sleeping and kitchen areas to the rear. Proprietors of the smaller spaces could secure one-year leases rather than a traditional 10-year town center retail lease, and the interior will already be built out to reduce move-in costs.

Rear rendering of Building QRS, at left, from across 12th Street. Click to enlarge.

Urban Atlantic managing partner Vicki Davis explained that while the amenity space is well-suited to be converted into retail if the market permits in the future, the current landscape precludes a traditional retail program at this time, particularly since they want to avoid vacant storefronts. 

The development team is gearing up to file an application for historic preservation review, and there will be another design presentation later this month. ANC 4A also expects to vote on the design concept next month.

Several other components of the multi-phase, 66-acre development are currently under construction. Hines, Urban Atlantic, Triden and architect Torti Gallas Urban are the master planners of the development, which will deliver over 2,100 residential units; 150,000 square feet of retail; two charter schools; office, hotel, and creative space; and 14 acres of green space. 

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/320-units-and-a-new-spin-on-retail-pitched-for-walter-reed/17409

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