Around 30-40 residents attended the Nov. 4 community meeting on 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue SE (old Domino’s site). Eric May of The Goldstar Group shared his company’s plans to build a 41 unit residential building on the site. May was joined by the project’s architect, Rob McClennan of Bonstra Haresign Architects. A big thanks to Erik Holzherr, owner of Wisdom, for hosting the meeting.
Here are the projects details:
- The building will be entirely residential with 41 condos. Unit size will vary from studio, one bedroom and two bedroom, though most of the units will be one bedroom. When asked by an attendee if Goldstar would consider switching the building to apartments from condos, May responded that Goldstar is “99 percent” sure that they will stick with condos.
- May said that Goldstar considered a retail component but decided that the building would complement the new Douglas Development retail building going in across the street at 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Douglas expects to complete the construction on 1442 by the end of the year.
- The bulk of the building will be towards the 15th Street SE and Penn Ave, not towards Freedom Way. The building height will be 44 feet, 6 feet below the 50 foot height limit on the site. There will be a 750 square foot roof deck towards the 15th/Penn Ave side of the building and air conditioning units will be located on the roof. View the building elevations (pdf) from 15th Street SE and Penn Ave SE.
- Goldstar plans to include private gardens for the first floor units facing Freedom Way, which should provide some “breathing room” between the building and the residences behind it. The upper units will not have balconies. When asked if Goldstar would do a shadow study to see how the building would affect light and air on Freedom Way, May replied that he would consider it but did not think the building would dramatically impact light & air, particularly since it will not be built to the lot line.
- The main entrance to the building will be at the corner of 15th & Pennsylvania Avenue SE. There will not be an entrance to the building off of Freedom Way SE – the property does not have access to Freedom Way.
- Goldstar will build an underground parking garage with the required 21 spaces. The entrance to the garage will be off 15th Street SE and there will be a garage door. Since the garage will include 8 compact parking spaces, Goldstar will have to ask the Board of Zoning Adjustment for zoning relief (parking garages with less than 25 spaces can not count compact spaces towards the minimum requirement in the zoning code). This also means that ANC 6B will have an opportunity to weigh in on the zoning case once it is filed. View the garage level plans (pdf).
- Trash pick-up and loading would likely take place off of 15th Street SE. May hopes that trash can be picked up in the underground garage and not wheeled out to the curb. He plans to work with the District Department of Transportation and surrounding neighbors to determine appropriate loading/moving times.
- An attendee asked whether building residents will have the opportunity to purchase residential parking permits (RPP). I responded that since the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Ave SE is classified as an RPP block, residents of the new building will be able to purchase RPP stickers. And since Goldstar plans to meet the minimum parking requirement, they will likely not be subject to any RPP limitations by the BZA.
- May said that the materials and color of the building have not been finalized. They plan to make decisions about materials in the next two months.
- Goldstar hopes to apply for building permits in the next two weeks. Since there used to be a gas station on the site, they will have to remove and replace contaminated soil. The BZA case will also add to the project’s timeline. May hopes to begin construction in March 2014. My guess is that construction will not begin until summer or early fall of 2014.
- Since the 1500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE could potentially see 3 construction projects going on at the same time (1500 Penn, 1600 Penn and 732 15th Street SE), I plan to work with the three development teams to ensure they are working to minimize disruption to neighboring residents.
Please post your comments and feedback below. And thanks to everyone who attended Monday’s meeting!