Wednesday, June 12, 2013

EOTR MAG | Mixed-use Development Proposed for Congress Heights Metro Station

(Photo courtesy of Maurice Walters Architect Inc.)

Go HERE to read the full article in East of the River Magazine by Charnice A. Milton.

What to ExpectDesigned by Maurice Walters Architect, PC, the project, which Griffis calls “Congress Heights Town Center,” aims to anchor the up-and-coming neighborhood. The is separated into two components: an eight-story office building and an over 200-unit residential building with a large courtyard. Both 90 foot tall buildings will feature roof-top terraces, giving residents a chance to enjoy city views. The Metro station entrance would be surrounded by a courtyard flanked by ground level retailers. Other amenities include underground parking, a Capital Bikeshare Station, and larger sidewalks for pedestrians. 
Project StatusIn May, the development team, known as Square 5914 LLC, submitted their planned-unit development (PUD) application to the Zoning Commission. Griffis reported that the application has already met basic requirement and will be sent to the Office of Planning, who will give comments and, possibly, recommend it for a hearing. After receiving that recommendation, the Commission will review the application and decide whether or not to grant a public hearing. If all goes well, Griffis believes that the hearing could be set as early as October. If Square 5914 receives a hearing, then they will need the  community's support. 
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TaQuon Ethridge said...

Interesting and ambitious. I live on Savannah pl SE. I would love to see a commercial center close to my home. This way I would not have to drive further into DC to shop. Hopefully large stores like Wal-Mart or Target will be attracted to this area if the town center is approved.

If the town center is approved, I'm assuming Malcom X elementary school would have to be demolished. Will the other elementary schools in the area be able to handle the loss of Malcom X?

Also, there are two residential units adjacent to the metro station. What are the plans for the residents of those units?

The Advoc8te said...

Hi TaQuon---

The developers went over this in the presentation to the Congress Heights Civic Association on Monday.

The highlights

1. They would like to tear down the old school and build a much more modern school with a full athletic arena. The school would be built in the same area but farther back on the lot so that the side of the street closest to Alabama could be used for much needed retail and commercial space.

2. The developer owns those two residential apartment buildings. One is already empty. They would both have to be torn down.

In terms of the latter, the developer says the residents are welcome to come back.

That being said, (and this is just me talking) that one of the perks of being a renter is that you have flexible lease terms, meaning you can leave whenever you want (assuming your lease is over or you break the lease). You are not married to the property. The downside (depending on who is asking) is that you are not guaranteed to stay.

If anyone is looking for a long-term or life long commitment to a property they need to become a homeowner and not a renter.

There are a lot of perks to being a homeowner but there is a lot of responsibility too and one of those is that it is much harder to get out of a mortgage than it is a lease.

I suppose I say all of that to say that if anyone is renting you are not guaranteed the right to return regardless what anyone says. Anymore than someone can buy a house and then try to return it a few weeks later or sell it and not take a loss (as is the case for a lot of homeowners right now).

I think I read that Ward 8 only has 25% homeowners. Can that lead to a lot of turnover? Absolutely but that means people need to be looking toward homeownership because one way or the other development is coming. The question is going to be, "what are you doing to get ready for it?"

Anonymous said...

No the question is we will stop this racist and greedy development.I see you are one sided or in bed with the developers. Didn't see fit to print the other "sane" comment. Just a atter of time before you newbies are outed. Long live Mary Cuthbert

The Advoc8te said...



Anonymous said...

Development is definitely coming to the east side. Just talked to the sales agent at Sheridan Station across from the Anacostia Metro. Only 3 units left to sell! And there are plans for another phase of condos and townhomes. She also mentioned possible competition from a new development: RiverEast at the Anacostia Metro. It has a website, but is it for real? Does anybody know?