Valor Development Updates Plans for Superfresh Development in AU Park

by Nena Perry-Brown

Valor Development Updates Plans for Superfresh Development in AU Park: Figure 1
A rendering of Ladybird from the 48th and Yuma intersection

The last time that UrbanTurf reported on the planned redevelopment of the Superfresh site in American University Park, neighborhood residents took issue with the massing and density of the mixed-use project.

Last week, Valor Development returned to ANC 3E with a new architect and new renderings for the project at 4330 48th Street NW (map), now known as The Ladybird. Architect Torti Gallas presented a vision with a modified and stepped-back design that seeks to give the illusion of a four-story facade from the street perspective. The overall plan is to deliver approximately 200 apartments and 30 condominiums, with 10 percent of the units being affordable, across two buildings that will be anchored by a grocery store.

Valor Development Updates Plans for Superfresh Development in AU Park: Figure 2
A rendering of Ladybird as seen from Windom Place

The new design still features two buildings, but instead of the previously-proposed courtyard, there will be a garden-like promenade between the buildings allowing pedestrian traffic from Windom Place through to the retail and the alley leading to Massachusetts Avenue. A “regular” grocery store would have an entrance embedded in the hill at the corner of 48th and Yuma streets, and will likely also have outdoor cafe seating adjacent to another public park area.

Four-story townhouses fronting 48th Street will have three-story bays and a more “classical” look before bending the corner of Yuma and giving way to retail. A total of 330 parking spaces will be accessible through the alley at 48th Street and Massachusetts Avenue.

The response from residents remained critical of the design, which Shelly Repp of Citizens for Responsible Development called “better, but still too big.”

“This is not Wisconsin Avenue,” Repp said. “[This building is] out of character with residences, out of character with the shopping, and out of character with the historic Spring Valley shopping center.”

Valor Development Updates Plans for Superfresh Development in AU Park: Figure 3
A rendering of Ladybird as seen from Yuma Street

Despite the criticisms, there remains a cohort of neighbors that understand the need for more dense development in the city and would like to see modest-scale development brought to the area.

The ANC members seemed sympathetic to these views, agreeing that the design had improved and expressing the need for more renderings that would allow people to see how the building would look compared to the residences across Yuma and from the 49th Street and Massachusetts Avenue intersection.

ANC Chair Jonathan Bender implored the residents who oppose the development to reach consensus on the design style they would prefer, so that the developers can take their opinion into account. He also expressed the desire for more affordable units, and that he would like to see the developers enter a voluntary agreement which would require an alternative amenity in the event that a regular grocer isn’t returned to the site.

Bender reminded all in attendance that while there is still some contention over what would be allowed on the site by matter-of-right, it would be best to cooperate with the developers to get close to a compromise rather than risk being circumvented by the matter-of-right process.

Valor has released a website so that residents can follow the development’s progress.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/valor_development_returns_to_anc_3e_with_updated_plans_for_lady_bird/11232

1 Comment

  1. Nathaniel Martin said at 4:28 pm on Tuesday May 17, 2016:
    This looks like something out of Disney's Celebration development in Florida. In case it's not clear, that is not intended to be a compliment. The 80s are over!

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