A long-term project that would transform eight city blocks near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro was set down and allowed to proceed to a public hearing after the Zoning Commission (ZC) discussed it Monday night. The discussion was designed to see whether the project was broadly feasible enough to move through the Zoning Commission process and give the developer an idea of what concerns commissioners have so they can be researched and addressed prior to a hearing.
To create Brentwood Village, developer Mid-City Corporation plans to raze the existing Brookland Manor Apartments when an affordable housing agreement expires in 2017. The development is roughly bounded by Rhode Island Avenue to the north; Brentwood Road to the west; Montana Avenue to the west; Downing Street to the southwest; and Bryant Street to the south (map).
Mid-City Corporation would replace all the affordable housing on site with market-rate and affordable housing as well as retail, in a sweeping project that ZC Chair Anthony Hood said had been in development for two decades. The developer proposes building 2,200 residential units, 20 percent of which would be designated affordable, and 200,000 square feet of retail.
The Office of Planning supported the project at the Board’s meeting on Monday. In a report filed with the ZC, Planning said the project would be a net benefit.
“The redevelopment of the Brookland Manor Apartments and Brentwood Village Shopping Center would benefit the existing residents of the complex, the Brentwood neighborhood, and would encourage further economic development in revitalizing this portion of the Rhode Island Corridor and the District as whole.”
Planning also suggested the plan to replace the existing Section 8 housing and create a mixed-income community “would be assets to the community which may not be achieved in a matter-of-right project.”
Nonetheless, commissioners had concerns about the project’s density, its consistency with the suggested zoning and the comprehensive plan for the area, and the reliability of the developer’s promise to replace all of the affordable housing and add even more. In documents, Planning suggested the project was consistent with the comprehensive plan, though at least one commissioner, Peter May, disagreed.
“I’m really not very comfortable about this,” May said. “We don’t have anything to indicate that (the community supports this project).”
Hood urged attention to the transportation work and traffic management the development would require, but suggested it would have “full support” from the surrounding community.
“I know there may be some tweaks and some questions asked; I don’t have any,” Hood said. “I expect you to hear a lot of support for this project.”
May ultimately agreed to set down the project for further discussion, concurring in a 5-0 vote. If ultimately approved, construction on the project wouldn’t begin until at least 2017.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/zoning_commission_agrees_to_hear_brentwood_village_project/9265
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