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The Latest Plans For 49-Unit Project Along Georgetown Waterfront

by Nena Perry-Brown

New rendering of proposed development from canal towpath.

Plans for the largest residential development along the Georgetown waterfront appear to slowly be moving forward. 

Earlier this year, UrbanTurf reported that a Georgetown warehouse strip previously slated for conversion had hit the market, and last month, we previewed potential plans to reconceive the conversion. Now, we are getting a better idea of how the project has changed.

Representatives of the team behind the addition-and-conversion redevelopment proposed for the buildings at 3401 Water Street NW (map) presented the new plans to ANC 2E this week. In its current iteration, the project would add five stories to the existing structure and deliver 49 condominium units. 

Newer bird's-eye rendering of proposed development.
2016 bird's-eye rendering of proposed 3401 Water (K) Street NW development.

The initial plan proposed nearly three years ago was to add four stories to the 29,000 square-foot building and deliver 54 luxury condos. The new design is in response to five misgivings the Old Georgetown Board (OGB) expressed during the review period in 2017:

  • Because OGB was concerned about the development's close proximity to Key Bridge, the residential balconies have been nixed.
  • The massing of the building has also been shifted from the bridge.
  • The vast majority of proposed alterations to the existing building are being dropped due to concerns raised by OGB and the Historic Preservation Office, so the proposed retrofit would retain as much of the historic fenestration as possible.
  • Architect BBGM added a green roof element.
  • The penthouse, which will include a trellis and a pool, has been shortened and shifted away from the bridge.

Parking would also be on two partially below-grade levels to minimize excavation.

Citizens' Association of Georgetown (CAG) Historic Preservation & Zoning Chair Elsa Santoyo expressed CAG's disapproval of the design, citing the upcoming renovations to the C&O Canal and the "sensitive" nature of the site.

"CAG would like the ANC and OGB to request the applicant revise the arguably monumental and monolithic massing to more strongly recall the streetlines historically characteristic of this area of the canal, and to preserve critical and declining viewsheds," Santoyo said.

Newer rendering of proposed development.

While the developer in attendance responded that OGB found a building of this scale to be appropriate for the site, Santoyo stated that the analysis of the canal by James Corner Field Operations, the firm designing the canal revitalization, should be taken into account when considering this particular design moving forward.

Newer rendering of proposed development from 34th and K Streets.

The Whitehurst Association LTD Partnership has a design concept application pending with the Historic Preservation Review Board, necessitating approval from OGB.  ANC 2E voted to approve a statement expressing concern about the viewshed and asking OGB to take CAG's comments into consideration. In the meantime, the building is being adorned with a mural.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-plans-for georgetown-waterfront-project/15485

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