The 2 Million Square Feet of Development Proposed for Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue

  • November 25th 2020

by Nena Perry-Brown

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Rendering of development from Benning Road, at Gateway park. Click to enlarge.

Earlier this year, DC’s Department of General Services (DGS) committed to a 20-year lease off Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue as part of a new development by Cedar Realty. Now, the developer is moving forward with a proposal for the entire project.

Development site. Click to enlarge.

Cedar Realty and Trammell Crow have filed a Large Tract Review application with the city's Office of Planning for a project that would replace the East River Park shopping center at 322 40th Street NE (map) and Senator Square Shopping Center on the other side of Minnesota Avenue NE (map) with roughly 1.97 million square feet of mixed-use development.

Proposed site plan. Click to enlarge.

The "Northeast Heights Town Center" would deliver roughly 241,000 square feet of office space, 130,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, a 70,000 square-foot grocery store, and 1,355 residential units across 13.3 acres. The resulting eight buildings would have a maximum height of 65 feet and would be serviced by 1,248 vehicular parking spaces. Although there is currently a Safeway on the site, it is unlikely that the new grocer will also be a Safeway.

Proposed development from corner of Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue. Click to enlarge.

On the East parcel, there would be four buildings delivering a total of 855 apartments and retail, along with a standalone parking garage. Building East 1, at the corner of Benning Road and Minnesota Avenue, would house the grocery store between additional retail space and the residential units. The proposed streetcar extension would have a stop in front of this portion of the development.

Proposed development, looking east from Minnesota Avenue. Click to enlarge.

At the center of the parcel would be "Senator Square", with outdoor seating both for public use and for restaurants; there would also be a terraced park between the development and the adjacent library and community center. This section would have 297 long-term bicycle spaces, 285 of which will be for residents.

Proposed DGS headquarters, designed by Perkins Eastman and Moya Design Partners. Click to enlarge.

The West parcel would have two buildings, including the new DGS headquarters at Minnesota Avenue and Dix Street. The second building would retrofit the façade of the historic Senator Theater into a 500-unit residential building with retail. This parcel will also include a Gateway plaza with seating off the intersection of Benning and Minnesota. There would also be another 265 long-term bicycle spaces, 167 of which would be for residents.

Rendering of Dix Street office building, looking southwest. Click to enlarge.

The South parcel would house an office building with 49,344 square feet of ground-floor retail. Dix Park would follow the eastern part of the parcel and would be a more passive recreational space. MV+A Architects is the designer for this office building, and SK+I Architecture is the architect for the non-office buildings.

Proposed development, looking north from Dix Street. Click to enlarge.

The development would include Inclusionary Zoning units, and the development team has also discussed opportunities for the current tenants to return to the completed project, although some have already declined. The DGS headquarters is expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2021 to deliver by December 2022.

The second phase of the development would also break ground in 2022, and the entire project is expected to deliver in 2028. Additional renderings are below.

Proposed development, at garage entrance from Benning Road. Click to enlarge.
Proposed development, looking toward Minnesota Avenue. Click to enlarge.
Rendering of Dix Street office building, looking southeast. Click to enlarge.
Proposed development, from Benning Road. Click to enlarge.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-2-million-square-feet-of-development-proposed-for-benning-road-and-minn/17579.

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