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Three development teams have released splashy proposals to redevelop a prime piece of real estate in Mount Vernon Triangle, which is currently an 87,000-square-foot parking deck. The plans propose a variety of uses from housing to hotels, and two involve redeveloping an underutilized park nearby.
The teams presented the plans Wednesday evening to community members gathered at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, located adjacent to the parking deck, during a meeting held by D.C.’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. DMPED is reviewing the proposals and aiming for a final selection this spring. The developers will show them to neighborhood commissions in the area in the coming weeks.
DMPED solicited development proposals for the two-story parking deck near 2nd and K Streets NW last May. The unveiling of the plans comes after area residents received mysterious flyers and petitions promoting one of the proposals over the past several weeks. This formerly anonymous plan, now known to be authored by Capitol Vista, would turn the parking deck into recreational green space in exchange for a hotel, retail, and apartment project on the site of Cobb Park. The park is situated south of the deck, along Massachusetts Avenue NW and across from the H Street headquarters of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which expects to expand its offices with a new contiguous 11-story building.
In a statement, the Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District says it’s evaluating the proposals and looks forward to working with DMPED and the development teams. “We do know that a majority of our Mount Vernon Triangle stakeholders have a strong interest in the activation of parks and open space,” MVT CID says. “That fact holds true irrespective of whether a decision is made to develop atop the parking deck, on Cobb Park, or otherwise.”
The plans follow below.
(1) Capitol Vista
The Capitol Vista team—composed of Republic Properties, Capstone Development, WDG Architecture, and Marshall Moya Design (among other firms)—proposes to put a fully funded, 90,000-square-foot “active recreation park” on top of the parking structure. Their vision includes athletic fields, playgrounds, a dog park, and a public plaza. Capitol Vista notes that the park would be three times as large as Cobb Park, which the team proposes to redevelop into a mixed-use development consisting of 129 market-rate apartments, 69 affordable units for seniors, a 165-room hotel, and retail space. In their presentation, Capitol Vista says the parking deck’s load-bearing capacity means a project on that site can’t be too dense. And because the deck is above the I-395 freeway, it requires federal oversight, and legal issues limit how much it can be changed.
The team says the development of Cobb Park would help pay for the parking deck’s redevelopment, and residents would have input on the park’s
(2) Tishman Speyer
Tishman Speyer (along with Thoron Capital, Handel Architects, and Davis) also proposes redeveloping the Cobb Park site in addition to the parking deck site. Acknowledging challenges with the parking deck, like structural capacity, this team calls for “leverag[ing a] better located, lower-risk parcel for vertical development” (Cobb Park) and “relocat[ing the] park/community uses to a larger site” (the parking deck). The team’s plans for the parking deck involve recreational features, landscaped public space, and 30,000 square feet of indoor space, including a possible grocery, a restaurant, a coffee shop, event space, and two arts-focused buildings.
At Cobb Park, Tishman Speyer proposes to build a 13-story, mixed-use project with ground floor retail, 269 market-rate units, and 115 affordable units. The team promises to “balance densification with design” and to “support pedestrian experience.”
(3) MVT Partnership
Firms Fivesquares, Paradigm, the National Housing Partnership, and others propose developing a mixed-use project only on the parking deck site. The project would include 688 total units, of which 481 would be market-rate and 207 would be affordable. There would also be 5,000 square feet of retail space, and the team offers expanded green space flowing from Cobb Park along 2nd Street NW. The development would be organized around a central courtyard. In its presentation, MVT Partnership promotes its experience in the neighborhood and in creating affordable housing.