40-Unit U Street Condo Project Will Incorporate Old Church

by Lark Turner

40-Unit U Street Condo Project Will Incorporate Old Church: Figure 1
Courtesy Sorg Architects.

Plans for a new condo building in the U Street Corridor will incorporate a historic church into the design.

Sorg Architects unveiled the design for the project at Monday night’s ANC 1B Design Review meeting, where the committee gave a tentative go-ahead to both the design of the development and the developer-architect’s request for two zoning variances.

The firm plans to build about 40 condos in a six-story building at 2105 10th Street NW (map) that will wrap around an existing church, which is individually designated a historic site. The building will include a retail space on the corner of 10th and V Streets Northwest. Four other residential units — one per floor — will be built inside the church itself, which has already undergone extensive renovations and structural work since it was first acquired in 2006. At that time, Sorg presented a similar design to the Historic Presentation Review Board, but the project was set aside during the recession and the HPRB’s approval lapsed.

The site is adjacent to the Visio and Murano building at 2109 10th Street NW, a project that’s brought in architectural awards for the firm. But one of the design review committee members wasn’t excited about Sorg’s new project Monday night, comparing the new design unfavorably with other formulaic looking condo projects in the city.

Sorg principal Suman Sorg responded that the project would look substantially different than the presented rendering once built, and mentioned that much of the building’s design is dictated by the historically protected church.

“The materiality of this building will be very different,” she said. “Since the basic structure is sort of prescribed, we feel we can accentuate (the architecture) with the material choices.”

Nikki Sorg said the committee member’s push toward a more modern look was “well-taken.”

The church is also what is leading the firm to ask for zoning variances. Later this spring, it will request variances from the Board of Zoning Adjustment on the rear setback of the building as well as the lot occupancy, which in the current plans is 10 percent higher than dictated.

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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/new_condos_in_u_street_corridor_will_incorporate_church/8048


  1. 7r3y3r said at 8:34 pm on Tuesday January 28, 2014:
    Great, more housing! Thanks for the update. And very smart of them to have the project flanked by an equally tall building in the rendering as opposed to using what's actually there: a 2 story building which could make the project appear to be too tall. As an aside: I've always found it odd that V Street is zoned for commercial, but I assume it's a historical note from when the area was warehouses, autoshops, and the Children's Hospital.
  1. alpinepaq said at 8:45 pm on Tuesday January 28, 2014:
    To the above commenter - your comment makes no sense. If the area was historically commercial (warehouses, autoshops, etc) why on earth would it surprise you that it is zoned commercial?
  1. Paul said at 9:16 pm on Tuesday January 28, 2014:
    Here is a history of the great church building, which was saved by the Cardozo Shaw Neighborhood Association and Kelsey & Associates: http://househistoryman.blogspot.com/2012/04/first-african-new-church-10th-and-v.html
  1. LL said at 10:08 pm on Tuesday January 28, 2014:
    How do you go from architectural awards to that ugly structure? I thought this was the neighborhood where chances were taken and architecture looked different than the other neighborhoods. Geez
  1. Rebecca said at 11:21 pm on Tuesday January 28, 2014:
    Did they announce parking plans?
  1. Lark Turner said at 11:26 pm on Tuesday January 28, 2014:
    Hi Rebecca, Yes, they did. The current plan for the property includes 19 underground parking spots (16 or so would be required by regulation, according to the developers). Hope that's helpful — Lark
  1. Bryan said at 5:58 pm on Wednesday January 29, 2014:
    The historic landmark application for this great church building -- as it sits just across the street from a boundary of the U Street Historic District -- was delivered to HPRB by Vespa as a raze permit was pending review! The prior owners had told the neighborhood they were going to save the building, and then submitted a raze permit to tear it down! Some more information about the historic buildings and the U Street Historic District that was led by the U Street Neighborhood Association (http://ustreet-dc.org) -- which was previously known as the Cardozo Shaw Neighborhood Association
  1. Bryan said at 6:00 pm on Wednesday January 29, 2014:
    with other link >> more information about the historic buildings and the U Street Historic District that was led by the U Street Neighborhood Association >> http://ustreet-dc.org/index.php/living-here/neighborhood-news/historic-preservation-and-development/107-about-the-greater-u-street-historic-district

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