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350 Units Proposed to Replace Friendship Heights Building Housing Maggiano’s and DSW

by Nena Perry-Brown

Existing property. Click to enlarge.

This spring, the Urban Land Institute released a study looking at DC's Friendship Heights neighborhood, tracing the causes of the area's "naturally-occurring retirement community" reputation and offering prescriptions for future redevelopment.

Now, a landowner is taking heed to those recommendations.

On Thursday evening, Federal Realty held a meeting to share preliminary plans to redevelop Friendship Center, which houses DSW, Maggiano's, Marshalls, and the former Nordstrom Rack space at 5333 Wisconsin Avenue NW (map). The 130,000 square-foot building would be replaced with a building delivering 350 units above 12,000 square feet of retail.

Massing study for the proposed development. Click to enlarge.

In light of the site's designation for high-density mixed-use development, Federal Realty wants to rezone the site from MU-5A to MU-9 and pursue a planned unit development (PUD) application in order to exceed the allowable height under MU-9. This will enable a design that steps down considerably where the building abuts the existing townhouses to the east.

The development team also hopes to secure a mid-block crossing on Wisconsin Avenue and add a story of below-grade parking, resulting in 180-250 parking spaces instead of the current 120 or so spaces.

While designs are not fleshed out, building materials may include clay and terra cotta, and the building will also be informed by biophilic design, including green space atop the stepped volumes and gardens at the retail entrances. Shalom Baranes is the architect and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol is the landscape architect.

UrbanTurf will continue to cover this development as plans evolve. 

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/350-units-proposed-to-redevelop-friendship-heights-retail-buil/18743

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