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The Best Hypothetical Development Pitch of 2021

  • December 22nd 2021

by Nena Perry-Brown

While the DC area continues to transition to a new pandemic-era status quo, the time has come once again for UrbanTurf to reflect on the state of real estate over the past year. This week, we refresh our collective memory with a 2021 Year-in-Review series.


Dog park, courtesy of Google Streetview. Click to enlarge.

The best hypothetical development pitch of the year offered the ultimate compromise. 

Three years ago, news came that WMATA planned to sell the site of the de facto Columbia Heights dog park at 11th Street and Park Road NW (map). A tug-of-war then ensued over whether the city should intervene and purchase the property to save the park. Other parties, meanwhile, saw the potential sale as an opportunity to completely redevelop the site, dog-free.

While federal covenants made a future sale prohibitive, a local architect put forth an attractive proposal as a compromise.

Aerial rendering of proposal. Click to enlarge.

Joe Iwaskiw's proposal would retain 60% of the dog park while adding a residential development above, still preserving the on-site, non-negotiable WMATA exhaust vent. The resulting project would deliver 25 apartments above 615 square feet of retail in a passive house-compliant building.

View from 11th and Park. Click to enlarge.

As envisioned, the unit mix would include 19 one-bedrooms, 4 two-bedrooms, and a three- and four-bedroom, and three of the units would be affordable to households earning up to 30% of area median income. Building revenue would be used to improve and maintain the dog park, and the development would also include a pair of carshare spaces, bicycle storage, and a roof deck amenity.

"By each party sacrificing a little of what they want, all resources are multiplied on the site," Iwaskiw told UrbanTurf.

While a petition for the proposal has yet to take off, and WMATA previously rejected a similar proposal, it's still nice to imagine a future for the site that can serve more of the community.

All renderings courtesy of Joe Iwaskiw.

See other articles related to: year in review 2021

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-best-hypothetical-development-pitch-of-2021/19064.

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