A Look at What Could Replace Meow Wolf at Art Place in Fort Totten

  • August 31st 2021

by Nena Perry-Brown

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New night aerial rendering. Click to enlarge.

A new design and new potential arts operators are in the works for the next phase of Art Place in Fort Totten, nearly two years after this massive arts-centric development received preliminary zoning approval, and a few months after it lost its flagship tenant.

As first reported by "Next Stop...Riggs Park", the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation has filed a zoning application to reflect these changes to the planned unit development (PUD) slated for the roughly five-acre site at South Dakota Avenue and Ingraham Street NE (map).

New rendering of the FEZ and the grocery store/retail. Click to enlarge.
Previous rendering of the FEZ and the grocery store. Click to enlarge.

The original plans for the new development included 271 apartments (including 30 affordable live/work units for artists); a 24,000 square-foot ALDI grocery store; 35,000 square feet of retail; and a Family Entertainment Zone (FEZ) that will incorporate a food hall, a 30,000 square-foot Explore! Children’s museum and a 78,000 square-foot location of experiential outlet Meow Wolf.

New rendering of food hall entrance from 4th Street. Click to enlarge.
Previous rendering of food hall entrance from 4th Street. Click to enlarge.

With Meow Wolf bowing out, the circular drum element of the FEZ building will now be 22 feet shorter, and there will be 33,500 square feet less commercial space overall. Application documents identify ARTECHOUSE (which operates a location amid The Portals in Southwest), Superblue (which runs an immersive arts experience in Miami), and Illuminarium (a projected safari experience) as potential replacement experiential-arts tenants. Some of the retail has been shifted to above the Aldi, and an outdoor terrace has been added above this retail, overlooking South Dakota Avenue. 

New rendering of development from 4th Street toward pedestrian bridge. Click to enlarge.

The north residential building will also be expanded onto a lot that was previously supposed to be developed in a later phase, adding 23 market-rate units to the current plans. This shift will also relocate the planned dog park. The remaining uses will be the same, including plans for a woonerf-style shared street along 4th Street. Perkins Eastman is the executive architect and Studio Shanghai is the design architect. 

New rendering of 4th Street looking towards Ingraham. Click to enlarge.

A zoning hearing is scheduled for late September.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a-look-at-what-could-replace-meow-wolf-art-place-in-fort-totten/18646.

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