500 Units and 40,000 Square Feet of Retail Proposed for Union Market

by Lark Turner

500 Units and 40,000 Square Feet of Retail Proposed for Union Market: Figure 1

Edens Realty is planning a massive mixed-use development adjacent to Union Market at 1270 4th St. NE (map). The 11-story, 110-foot development will have about 40,000 square feet of retail and 420 to 520 residential units across 370,000 square feet. The units will range in size from studios to three-bedrooms.

According to a planned unit development (PUD) submitted to DC’s Zoning Commission, the residences, which will face 4th Street, will be built on top of existing warehouse space that will be converted into high-ceilinged retail. The goal is to create “an exciting vibrant mixed use retail and residential project on the site that will provide a key step in the direction of the revitalization of the 45-acre Florida Avenue Market,” according to the documents. The Washington Business Journal was the first to report on this project late Wednesday.

Edens is working with Level 2 Development and architects Shalom Baranes Associates on the project. The design is intended to extend the open, industrial feel of Union Market outward, with a curbless street that’s friendly for bikes and pedestrians, along with 400-550 underground parking spaces.

500 Units and 40,000 Square Feet of Retail Proposed for Union Market: Figure 2

The developers are planning to preserve some of the existing warehouse facade for the first-floor retail space “at significant cost to the development,” the PUD notes. The project will “adapt many of the features of the existing facade, such as windows and loading bays, in its ground level design.”

500 Units and 40,000 Square Feet of Retail Proposed for Union Market: Figure 3

Edens notes that the area around Union Market has become a hot residential and office area, but it’s yet to attract “sufficient retail offerings” for those who live and work there. This development will, they hope, “facilitate the long-awaited renaissance of the Market so that it becomes a true destination within the District.” The building will have about 30,000 residential square feet reserved for affordable housing as well as plenty of “interior amenity spaces for residents.” That’ll include a pool, according to plans.

500 Units and 40,000 Square Feet of Retail Proposed for Union Market: Figure 4

Here’s a bit more about the project from the PUD:

  • The design: The residential structure will rise above the retail area in four distinct “volumes” to provide visual variety and to break down the massing along the Property’s 425 feet of frontage on 4th Street. Although they are not designated as structures requiring historic preservation, the applicant is retaining, restoring, and adaptively reusing the original warehouse facade on the property.

  • The streetscape: The 4th Street retail “will be filled with shops and restaurants whose activity will spill out onto the sidewalk – characterized by a wide pedestrian zone and vibrant outdoor seating areas. This retail space will celebrate the original warehouse structure and will accentuate its industrial materials and form, providing a unique and rich experience for patrons and visitors.”

  • The “curbless” street: Edens says the street “encourages vehicles and pedestrians to pay attention, slow down, and share the street. This will not only create more cross-street connections to benefit retail, but will also comfortably accommodate the phased transformation of the site over time. The current commercial wholesale uses will have the opportunity to co-exist with new retail and residential uses.”

Here a couple more looks at the project:

500 Units and 40,000 Square Feet of Retail Proposed for Union Market: Figure 5
The project’s massing from 4th Street.

500 Units and 40,000 Square Feet of Retail Proposed for Union Market: Figure 6
The project from the alley.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/500_units_40000_square_feet_of_retail_proposed_for_union_market/8461


  1. corey said at 2:30 pm on Thursday May 8, 2014:
    I Really like the look of the building, however. I have a hard time seeing this building being the catalyst for a vibrant walkable "14th streeitifcation" of NoMA/union market. I just dont see the masses coming down that way
  1. alpinepaq said at 3:09 pm on Thursday May 8, 2014:
    corey - the plan is that the masses are going to live and work in the immediate vicinity. the entire area is slated for re-development and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
  1. hstreet said at 3:49 pm on Thursday May 8, 2014:
    rentals or condos? Are condos extinct now?!
  1. anonypants said at 4:12 pm on Thursday May 8, 2014:
    Corey, the masses already are coming down this way. Have you been to Union Market on the weekends?
  1. corey said at 4:28 pm on Thursday May 8, 2014:
    I have not been out to union market on the weekends, but isnt there some threshold on how many devlopments can be sustained with these "transformational" retail/living situations? It would be nice to see just a classic art deco apartment building with less prententious retail in it. But hey thats just an observation/my opinion
  1. anonypants said at 6:07 pm on Thursday May 8, 2014:
    There's a lot more density in nearby neighborhoods than there used to be - H Street, Trinidad, NoMa. And it's not practical or desirable to have residents in these places trekking to NoVA or west of North Cap Street for all of their daily needs. A lot of retailers are full-up in those areas as it is (it's hard to move around at the Market on weekends, especially if there is a special event), and more residential development is coming. I think adding some more non-conventional retail could help draw people from all over the city too. In keeping with the "market" theme, I would LOVE to see an H-Mart or pan-ethnic supermarket of some kind. We really do not have much of that sort of thing in D.C.
  1. 202_Cyclist said at 8:19 pm on Thursday May 8, 2014:
    Not only are the H Street corridor and NOMA booming nearby but eventually the big-box stores at Rhode Island Ave will be redeveloped into housing eventually. Union Market is convenient to both the NOMA/New York Ave metro station and Union Station. This housing will likely prove successful
  1. Nathaniel Martin said at 8:36 pm on Thursday May 8, 2014:
    The location is definitely a leap of faith for such a project, but the design looks quite cool. I look forward to seeing it built.
  1. Col. Brentwood said at 8:47 pm on Thursday May 8, 2014:
    I find that the folks who worry about the Union Market's "location" have usually never actually been there.
  1. Shanito said at 9:00 pm on Thursday May 8, 2014:
    I'm looking forward to more development and density in this area but we seem to be getting the same thing with respect to residential development. These developers are fixated on studio, 1-, and 2-bedrooms. They never seem to consider building townhouses or 3 bedroom apartments/condos. If this city wants to attract families, it should work with developers to build these type of units. They don't have to comprise the whole development maybe just 2 or three floors. Not every family wants a single-family attached/detached house. Just like singles and dinks, my husband, two kids and I like living in the vibrant H st neighborhood and have no plans on moving out of the city just because our family is growing.
  1. Sara said at 1:07 am on Friday May 9, 2014:
    I agree. This is not a risky development. People in these areas have traditionally been under served and now that more people are moving in there are not enough amenities, (attractive) stores and options for people moving into the area especially with all of the new developments planned and soon-to-be greater density. Like someone said above, I would LOvE LOVE LOVE it if there were an Asia and Latin style grocery market like HMart there. There is nothing really like that here in the District. Such stores are all out in VA or MD. I am not Asian nor Latin - I just want access to their fruit and veges and some groceries.
  1. anonypants said at 4:54 pm on Friday May 9, 2014:
    Seriously - it's time to petition HMart to come to D.C. Ward 5 is really going to be the fastest-growing area of the city in the coming years. Aside from the DC Farmers Market area, McMillan is already well on its way, North Capitol Street is growing quickly, and there are tons of opportunities for large-scale development around NoMA, RIA, Brookland, and Ft Totten stations. Many neighborhoods have larger homes/lots compared to other areas of the city, which will appeal to growing families. And as the east end of downtown continues to grow it's going to become a convenient commute for a lot more people. Exciting stuff.
  1. skidrowe said at 7:14 pm on Friday May 9, 2014:
    I love almost everything about this project. I had to roll my eyes at the idea that the architecture is somehow "industrial." A fashionista's idea of what "industry" is, to be sure. But I like the result even if I think the explanation is hooey. My biggest concern is the sheer size. Apartment buildings of that size rarely achieve anything approaching a sense of community. Even if their streetscapes are superbly urbane in design and tenancy, the interiors almost can't help but promote isolation. When there are 50 units on a floor, people don't know each other and accordingly are less rooted. NoMa (west of the tracks) and the Ballpark District are entire grids of these large, anonymous buildings. Mt Vernon Triangle is headed in the same direction. Notice how dull these areas are: great creators of tax revenue, but very little sense of place or community. Not "neighborhoods" in a meaningful sense of the word. Contrast with 14th Street and H Street. In large part that's because they're strips through rowhouse neighborhoods, of course, but also most of the new apartment buildings just aren't that large. The smaller sizes promote neighborliness and stability. If I were on the Zoning Commission (which reviews PUD applications for superior design and appropriate proffers of amenities), I would look to see if the many community-promoting aspects of the outside of this project are matched by any on the inside. For instance, if it makes sense to break down the exterior into 4 pieces, maybe it makes sense to break the interiors also. Four lobbies, four elevator cores. Shorter corridors, fewer apartments per floor of each sub-building. Yes this will reduce efficiency. But it will promote community, and that would be an awesome amenity proffer.
  1. Daniel Goldon Wolkoff said at 10:03 pm on Saturday May 10, 2014:
    Building on a run down wholesale market and parking lots, and including new greenspace, and parks is smart. NOMA was overbuilt so fast, the imbeciles at Office of Planning had to get $50 million to eek out a park after the fact. Not smart! But McMillan is a national treasure , and we need some open , real open space. What is wrong with Anonypants , I don't know, but we want McMillan, and morre trails, and woods, and pen fresh air places, like a healthy city needs.Sso come tuesday May 13 to Zoning hearing and add your voice for a sensible balance of real "carbon fixing" breezy, open vists on our Central Park, McMillan. We can adaptively re-use the 20 acres of "underground" caverns for sustainable indoor agriculture, food bazaar, bistro, and more. While we preserve the 25 acre park, like a decent city, not SELLOUT to mediocrity! Come Tuesday Judiciary Sq. and Rally at 6:00 PM Save McMillan Park. dangoldon@yqahoo.com

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