Below are renderings that Donatelli/Blue Skye shared at last night’s DMPED community meeting on Reservation 13. Here are some basic details about the plans:
- Proposing two mixed-use buildings, one on parcel F1 and the other on parcel G1. Each would be four stories.
- North Building (parcel F1) would have 113 apartments, South Building (parcel G1) would have 240 apartments.
- Both buildings would have retail on first floor, with about 10,000 square feet of retail in each. Retail would be focused towards Stadium-Armory Metro Plaza and 19th Street SE. View the floor plan (pdf).
- Both buildings would be significantly set back from 19th Street SE, with green space separating the South Building from 19th. Donatelli/Blue Skye envisions a farmer’s market and other community events utilizing the green space.
I’ll post some more details and my thoughts shortly. In the meantime, post your comments below.
Updated 4/26/13: A few more details on the plan above and my initial thoughts.
- In his presentation, Chris Donatelli, president of Donatelli Development, said that they would like to bring a mix of local and national/regional retail to the first floor of each building. They do not envision large-scale retail like Target, Walmart, etc.
- My former ANC 6B colleague Jared Critchfield asked Donatelli if his team had considered how the development will fit with the remaining parcels on Reservation 13. In particular, the current design seems to emphasize the front of the building at the expense of the back and there is no planned retail on the sides of the two buildings (facing the extended C Street SE and extended Mass Avenue SE). Donatelli said they approached the initial design with a focus on parcels F1 and G1 but would certainly look at retail options along the side streets. One challenge is the relatively steep decline in grade on the side streets.
- I like the idea of the pedestrian promenade along 19th Street SE, though it would be better if the plans eliminated the street between the North Building and the Stadium-Armory Metro Plaza. Instead of creating a pedestrian unfriendly “island” around the Metro Plaza, I’d like to see the street turned into a pedestrian only walkway in front of the retail.
- Donatelli/Blue Skye plan to include 225 parking spaces on the site, with parking in garages in each building. Parking and loading would be accessed from alleys along the rear of the buildings. They also anticipate metered on-street parking along the extended C Street SE, Mass Ave SE and Burke Street SE for customers visiting the retail locations.
- In terms of affordability, Donatelli/Blue Skye plan to comply with the affordable housing requirements in law. Specifically, 30 percent of the units will be affordable, with 15 percent affordable to households earning up to 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and 15 percent affordable to households earning up to 60 percent of AMI.
Overall, this is a good plan. There are some areas in need of further work (more retail along side streets, street in front of North Building, etc.) but the Donatelli/Blue Skye plan is certainly consistent with the mixed-use retail/residential development called for in the Reservation 13 master plan. And the Donatelli/Blue Skye team certainly expressed a desire and willingness to make changes and engage the surrounding community in the process. I think it is worth our time and effort to see this come to fruition.
Speaking of process, I plan on inviting Donatelli/Blue Skye back out to the neighborhood to share their plans once again and to get further community comments and feedback. The goal is for ANC 6B to send some comments to the Deputy Mayor’s Office before DMPED decides whether to proceed with the Donatelli/Blue Skye plan. I’ll share date/time/location information once a meeting is set.
One final thought: It was great to see Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander and Commissioners from ANC 7F in attendance at the meeting. Our Ward 7 colleagues will also have an opportunity to weigh in on Reservation 13 since it is now in their ward, and I’m looking forward to working with them.
Please continue to post your comments/questions below!