Is This How Upper Connecticut Avenue Could Look?

  • January 31st 2022

by Nena Perry-Brown

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Potential development massing along Connecticut Avenue, courtesy of Office of Planning. Click to enlarge.

A design survey is giving the public an idea of how a stretch of Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase DC could be developed. As DC's Office of Planning (OP) continues to work with the community on a Small Area Plan for the neighborhood, the survey highlights a number of sites that could be developed. 

On the city's Future Land Use Map, the five-block stretch of Connecticut Avenue between Chevy Chase Circle NW (map) and Livingston Street NW (map) was designated to permit moderate-density residential alongside the existing low-density commercial, if property owners were to rezone their lots. The corridor is ripe for streetscape improvements and several "opportunity sites" have been identified by OP as new civic spaces and/or multi-family housing with other uses.

Potential PUD massing in Chevy Chase Gateway area, courtesy of Office of Planning. Click to enlarge.

The Chevy Chase Gateway area (map), which includes the Wells Fargo and Citibank sites, along with the Long and Foster office and the WMATA bus turnaround, is one group of possible redevelopment sites. All four would have activated ground floors, with the WMATA structure serving as retail and/or pop-up space for markets and activities. The other sites could accommodate mixed-use residential buildings up to 50 feet tall; if planned unit developments (PUDs) are pursued, the projects could go up to 65 feet tall and deliver 20%-25% more units.

Potential massing of redevelopment at library/community center site, courtesy of Office of Planning. Click to enlarge.

Because DC's Department of Parks and Recreation and the DC Public Library are planning to renovate or modernize the Chevy Chase Community Center (map) and library, a request for proposals is expected to be released to pursue a coordinated, mixed-use redevelopment of the entire campus. This project could be configured in several ways, with the public uses either beneath housing or in separate buildings; affordable housing is expected to be a "meaningful share" of the residential component. 

Potential PUD massing at PNC Bank site, courtesy of Office of Planning. Click to enlarge.

The PNC Bank at 5530 Connecticut Avenue NW (map) has also been identified as a site where the existing building can be retrofit into a mixed-use development. If developed as a PUD, it could produce up to 110 housing units. Across the street, the Safeway site could accommodate multifamily housing atop a new grocery store, delivering up to 160 units if by-right or 20%-30% more units if a PUD.

"Redevelopment along the east side of Connecticut Ave provides an opportunity to emulate the successful characteristics of the west side (active and engaging storefronts and entrances) while increasing opportunities for affordable and market-rate housing in Chevy Chase," the presentation explains. 

Potential PUD massing at Safeway site, courtesy of Office of Planning. Click to enlarge.

The concepts are available for public comment through next Monday.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/is-this-how-upper-connecticut-avenue-could-look/19207.

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