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Appeal Filed on 600-Unit Waterfront Station Development in Southwest DC

by Nena Perry-Brown

Rendering of Waterfront Station PUD. Click to enlarge.

Last September, the Zoning Commission (ZC) granted approval to a second-stage planned-unit development (PUD) for the two remaining sites at the Waterfront Station development just steps from the Waterfront Metro station. Now, the project is under appeal.

The planned development would deliver roughly 598 residential units, 32,456 square feet of office space, 40,172 square feet of ground-floor retail, and a 6,000 square-foot community center to two Perkins Eastman-designed buildings at 425 M Street SW (map) and 375 M Street SW (map). At least eight percent of the residential square footage of the buildings at 375 and 425 M, plus an additional three-bedroom unit, will be set aside as affordable housing for households earning up to 60 percent of median family income.

Coy McKinney and the Ward 6/SW Accountability Group (W6/SWAG) appealed the development on February 11th following an attempt just prior to the ZC decision to reopen the zoning record for comment.

Based on testimony in the case record, many in the community believe the parcels should be retained as community space. Using the principles in the SW Neighborhood Plan (SWNP) as justification, McKinney and SWAG appealed to Office of Planning and zoning authorities, as well as the Forest City-led development team, to preserve the sites at the 4th and M intersection as they are currently being used.

"Community members shared their appreciation for the open spaces in SW through the SWNP," a letter from McKinney, dated April 2018, states. "Neither ground-floor retail, or a community center, of which we already have two in the area, will replicate the vibrancy that has been achieved through the markets, fairs, festivals, and casual lounging that is available currently."

In response to this, the ZC's decision stated that the parcels were already approved to house mixed-use buildings when the PUD was initially approved in 2003, and that the sites are currently activated due to efforts by the development team. The entirety of the Waterfront Station development is envisioned as a "town center" and has been approved to deliver 50,000 square feet of open public space. 

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/an-appeal-filed-on-waterfront-station-pud/15029

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