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Big Changes Planned For One of Union Market’s Largest Projects

by Nena Perry-Brown

New rendering of proposed development, from 4th and Penn Streets NE, looking west. Click to enlarge.

A year ago, EDENS shared plans for a building on New York Avenue that would serve as a mixed-use "gateway" to Union Market. Now, the developer is pivoting to a more pared-down design and use combination.

Rather than an office/residential/retail building, landing on either side of 4th Street at New York Avenue NE (map) courtesy of a four-story bridge, EDENS is proposing residential-over-retail solely on one side of 4th Street NE (map).

Previous rendering of proposed development, from New York Avenue. Click to enlarge.

The new proposal would deliver 380 residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail in a 13-story building. The bridge was dropped due to construction challenges and a more complicated approval process associated with using air rights above a roadway, and the office use was dropped due to the pandemic's impacts on demand. 

Previous aerial rendering of proposed development. Click to enlarge.

"We quickly realized design might be difficult to accomplish with that bridge, so we put everything on hold, then came the pandemic, which totally upended everyone's world, and so obviously the office market became very challenged," EDENS director Sohael Chowfla explained at an ANC 5D meeting earlier this week. 

New rendering of proposed development, north up 4th Street. Click to enlarge.
Previous rendering of proposed development, north up 4th Street. Click to enlarge.

The bridge would have created a public recreational space with jogging path; now the roof is envisioned as residential amenity space with potential for a retail space if a tenant can be secured. 

Ten percent of the units would still be inclusionary zoning, with 90% for households earning up to 60% of area median income (AMI) and the remainder for households earning up to 50% of AMI. The unit mix will include three-bedrooms.

New rendering of proposed development, looking southwest from New York Avenue and 4th Street. Click to enlarge.
Previous rendering of proposed development, looking southwest from New York Avenue and 4th Street. Click to enlarge.

The proposed building retains retail space dedicated to PDR (production, distribution, and repair) use and makerspace. The development would also include roughly 255 parking spaces across three below-grade levels. STUDIOS Architecture is the new design architect.

The development team is aiming to submit the new plans to the Zoning Commission later this month in hopes of having a hearing early next year; an application with the previous proposal is still open. ANC 5D unanimously voted to support the project on Tuesday night.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/big-changes-planned-for-one-of-union-markets-largest-projects/17519

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