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New Balconies, More Bike Parking and a Playground: The Changes at Sursum Corda

by Nena Perry-Brown

New rendering of the development, looking down First Street. Click to enlarge.

The development team reimagining the 6.7 acre former site of the Sursum Corda Cooperative is offering a slightly different look and a different approach to parking and affordability prior to a zoning hearing this week.

The Toll Brothers-led PUD is expected to deliver 1,131 housing units and 19,100 square feet of retail across four buildings between First Street and a re-established First Place between L and M Streets NW (map), with the first phase encompassing the two buildings between L and Pierce Streets. WDG Architecture is the master planner of the development. 

New rendering of Phase I, with Southeast Building at right. Click to enlarge.
Previous rendering of Phase I, with Southeast Building at right. Click to enlarge.

The design for the first phase of the development has been refined to give the buildings more of a residential feel. The Southwest building, which is expected to deliver 216 units across nine stories at the corner of First and Pierce Streets, now has tan masonry instead of grey. The bays on the Southeast building, which is expected to deliver 346 units across 8 to 10 stories along First Place between Pierce and L, are divided into more separate volumes. Both buildings also now include balconies, which the Office of Planning had previously requested.

New rendering with Southwest Building in foreground. Click to enlarge.
Previous rendering with Southwest Building in foreground. Click to enlarge.

The first phase will now include 304 below-grade parking spaces, including some tandem spaces, and 199 long term bicycle storage spaces rather than the previously proposed 188. The public park at the corner of First and L Streets will also include a playground, and the newest exhibits also better illustrate the seating options and other design elements which will activate the pedestrian promenade between the buildings.

New rendering of Phase I from temporary park space on North Parcel. Click to enlarge.
Previous rendering of Phase I from temporary park space on North Parcel. Click to enlarge.

The application also clarifies and amends how the overall development will approach affordability and the inclusion of replacement units for former Sursum Corda residents.

The completed development will still include 199 affordable units for households earning up to 80 percent of median family income (MFI), with the allotments at various income levels averaging out at up to 60 percent MFI. Replacement units for Sursum Corda households which earn more than 80 percent MFI will still be provided, but will not count against the 199 unit total. Also, while there were previously meant to be 136 replacement units with up to four bedrooms, including 15 studios, the Sursum Corda Cooperative has provided an updated list of households which led the development team to revise the numbers to 122 replacement units, none of which will be studios. 

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/new-balconies-and-more-bike-parking-the-changes-proposed-at-sursum-corda/15935