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530 Apartments Proposed for Former USDA Office Site at the Wharf

by Nena Perry-Brown

View of proposed building from 9th and Maine Streets. Click to enlarge.

While The Wharf development is more or less done growing, development along the wharf may be in progress a little while longer.

Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners is proposing to replace the former Department of Agriculture office building at 801 Maine Avenue SW (map) with 530 apartments above 6,000 square feet of retail. Perkins Eastman is the architect for the 13-story-plus-penthouse building.

The triangular development site is zoned MU-12, which enables moderate-density mixed use near the waterfront; Jair Lynch is aiming to rezone the site to MU-10, which enables high-density mixed use.

The developer is seeking ANC 6D's support to pursue a map amendment application instead of a planned unit development (PUD), primarily to expedite the approval process and compensate for the difficulties of developing the site (e.g. WMATA tunnels running beneath). Per the developer's estimates, map amendments can take 6-8 months compared to PUDs, which can take 18-24 months.

As explained during a presentation to the ANC Monday evening, the developer would commit to providing 15% of the residential space as affordable (about 80 units) and enacting a community benefits agreement with stakeholders in either case. 

Most of the ANC commissioners expressed a preference for at least 20% affordable housing, although there was less consensus over whether having a PUD is important to securing preferred community benefits.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/530-units-proposed-for-former-usda-office-site-at-the-wharf/18696

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