A New Plan for One of DC’s Most Exciting Mixed-Use Proposals

by Nena Perry-Brown

New rendering of FEZ, as seen from South Dakota Avenue. Click to enlarge.

Late last summer, we got an exciting glimpse at the plans for the next phase of Art Place Fort Totten. Now, the project looks a tad different. 

250 Units, a Food Hall, and an Eye-Catching Entertainment Venue Planned For Fort Totten: Figure 2
Previous rendering of FEZ. Click to enlarge.

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation have an application pending for a wide-ranging project in Fort Totten. The current plans call for adding 210 apartments; 30 artist live/work units; and a Family Entertainment Zone (FEZ) with children's museum, as well as a location of experiential outlet Meow Wolf, a grocery store, an event space, and 87,000 square feet of restaurants and a Union Market-esque food hall to the approximately five-acre "Block B" site at South Dakota Avenue and Ingraham Street NE (map).

New site plan for Block B. Click to enlarge.
Previous site plan for Block B. Click to enlarge.

The Zoning Commission considered the proposal in November and offered some feedback, leading the development team to return with a slightly different design and development program. The changes are as follows:

  • Rather than containing 210-250 units in a building with an uninterrupted 4th Street façade, the west residential building will be comprised of two, 80 foot-tall volumes, one containing 110 units and the other containing 70. A pedestrian bridge will connect the two wings. 
  • Instead of providing 30 artist live-work units in a three-story building, the east building will be five stories with 90 apartments. The artist units will be distributed throughout the project and will be affordable at 80 percent of area median income for the first 20 years of the project. There will also be artists' studios on the ground floor of the west building. 
  • The number of parking spaces has been increased from 765 to 930.
New bird's eye rendering of "food hall" from Ingraham Street. Click to enlarge.
250 Units, a Food Hall, and an Eye-Catching Entertainment Venue Planned For Fort Totten: Figure 3
Previous bird's eye rendering of "food hall". Click to enlarge.

The apartments will be a range of studios to two-bedrooms. The new proposal would also provide the 30 remaining required affordable units at Art Place in the Block B phase rather than in Block C, which is expected to deliver an additional 139 units. The second-stage PUD application for either Block C or D will likely be filed two years after Block B opens.

New rendering of the planned FEZ plaza. Click to enlarge.
250 Units, a Food Hall, and an Eye-Catching Entertainment Venue Planned For Fort Totten: Figure 4
Previous rendering of the planned FEZ plaza. Click to enlarge.

The tubular portion of the Family Entertainment Zone will feature a kinetic façade along South Dakota Avenue comprised of rotating vertical triangular fins featuring art commissioned by the applicant. In addition to the buildings themselves, 4th Street NE will also be transformed into a woonerf. Perkins Eastman is the executive architect of the development while Studio Shanghai is the design architect.

A new zoning hearing has not yet been scheduled.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a-new-plan-for-one-of-dcs-most-exciting-PUDS/14934

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