A Few Changes For Union Market’s Sister Building

by Nena Perry-Brown

Newer rendering of north building from 6th Street. Click to enlarge.

At the end of July, the Zoning Commission set down the new application for a mixed-use sister building to the Union Market building for a public hearing in accordance with a recommendation from Office of Planning (OP) staff. Now, the development team has switched a few things up.

Developers EDENS and Gables Residential are proposing an 11-story building at 1325 5th Street NE (map), delivering 301 apartments above 35,000 square feet of commercial space. In its newest iteration, the building has a more stark design and a greater set aside of more deeply affordable units.

Newer rendering of proposed North building. Click to enlarge.
Previous rendering of proposed North building. Click to enlarge.

The developers have increased the share of residential space for affordable housing from 8 to 9 percent, and 30 percent, rather than the previously proposed 20 percent, of the affordable units will be for households earning up to 50 percent of median family income (MFI). 

New rendering of proposed plaza streetscape.
Previous rendering of proposed plaza streetscape. Click to enlarge.

The proposed public plaza between the new building and the Union Market building has been enlarged somewhat, as the building line previously approved with the extension of the south building will instead be pushed back closer to the existing sidewalk line. 5th Street is envisioned as a curbless shared street, and both 5th Street and the plaza will have moveable planters and seating.

Newer rendering of plaza streetscape at 5th Street corner. Click to enlarge.
Previous rendering of proposed plaza streetscape. Click to enlarge.

In accordance with OP's requests, the north building will now include a solar panel installation, which a letter states would supply one percent of the energy consumed in the building's common areas. As for other OP suggestions, the team declined to increase the height of the retail canopies, which currently adhere to the Union Market streetscape guidelines. 

Newer rendering of 5th Street retail and residential entrances. Click to enlarge.
Previous rendering of 5th Street retail and residential entrances. Click to enlarge.

The development team also declined to increase the ground floor square footage dedicated to PDR (production, distribution and repair) makerspace, currently proposed as 11,527 square feet for a minimum of five years, due to concern about oversaturating the market. 

"Merely reserving PDR/Maker space does not guarantee PDR/Maker uses and often leads to dead retail and empty space," the prehearing statement explains. "As a major owner and provider of PDR/Maker space in DC, EDENS believes that the amount of PDR/Maker space in the Union Market District and surrounding area has reached a market equilibrium point."

Rendering of proposed north building superimposed behind Union Market building. Click to enlarge.

The zoning hearing has not yet been scheduled. Additional renderings, courtesy of architect Hord Coplan Macht, are below.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/more-affordable-units-for-union-market-sister-building/15924

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