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With PUD Appeal, Poplar Point Developer Turns to Plan B

by Nena Perry-Brown

With PUD Appeal, Poplar Point Developer Turns to Plan B: Figure 1
Aerial rendering of Poplar Point redevelopment.

This past April, the Zoning Commission approved a planned-unit development (PUD) which would develop six acres of land straddling Howard Road SE between I-295 and South Capitol Street SE (map) with five buildings, delivering roughly 692 residences and over 1.6 million square feet of office space atop 52,120 square feet of retail and two levels of underground parking, while making improvements to the adjacent Anacostia Metro station.

Now, a pending appeal has led the development team to switch tactics. 

Redbrick Partners has applied for a map amendment for the exact same site, plus that of Cedar Tree Academy Public Charter School at 701 Howard Road SE (map). Currently zoned MU-14, the application asks that the site be re-zoned as NHR ("Northern Howard Road").

"The NHR Zone District is appropriate for the Mixed Use: High Density Residential/High Density Commercial Land Use designation in the Central Employment Area because it is intended to permit high-density development in this area along Howard Road," the application states. The application also cites the Future Land Use Map as justification for high-density development on the site. The office space slated for this site, along with various sites on the opposite bank of the Anacostia, was offered as part of DC's Amazon HQ2 pitch. 

The appeal for the Poplar Point PUD was filed in June by a legal team led by Aristotle Theresa, who is also part of a lawsuit against the city alleging discriminatory development tactics. Redbrick Partners' application joins several other maneuvers developers have been making recently in order to circumvent or preempt pending appeals of PUDs, including MRP Realty's recent pursuit of a by-right version of a massive redevelopment on Rhode Island Avenue. 

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/poplar-point-pud-appeal-leads-developer-to-plan-b/14570

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