From Residential to Commercial: A Georgetown Office Conversion

  • May 10th 2019

by Nena Perry-Brown

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Rendering of 1353-1355 Wisconsin Avenue NW. Click to enlarge.

While some developments in the city are faced with questions about the feasibility of the office market, a proposed project in Georgetown aims to add office space to Wisconsin Avenue.

Aerial rendering of the project. Click to enlarge.

Martin-Diamond Properties has applied for variance relief to allow office use on the third floor of a pair of 19th-century buildings at 1353-1355 Wisconsin Avenue NW (map). The three-story buildings are zoned for mixed-use development and currently have 4,600 combined square feet of retail space on the ground and second floors, four vacant residential units  on the second floor, and two vacant residential units on the third floor. Martin-Diamond Properties wants to renovate and combine the interiors of the buildings and convert all of the residential and raw space on the second and third floors into office, potentially to lease to a single tenant. 

Rendering of the carriage house courtyard. Click to enlarge.

"The ability to provide residential uses on the third floor of the project is constrained by the existence of the commercial uses on the remainder of the Property," the application explains. "Similarly, the small size of the floor plates of the first and second floors below do not lend themselves to allowing for maximizing the potential office user market, particularly when the first floor will likely be primarily retail and the second floor’s limited size constraints the office users able to use, and therefore willing to rent, such space."

The application also notes that the property's status as contributing buildings to the Georgetown Historic District limit how the space can be reconfigured, making restoration of residential use unwise due to limited access to light and air. 

The architect is John Linam, Jr., and the development team does not anticipate needing approval from the Historic Preservation Review Board. The Board of Zoning Adjustment is expected to hear the case in July.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/from-residential-to-commercial-a-georgetown-office-conversion/15383.

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