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The Wonder Bread Factory building won’t be the only example of adaptive reuse in Shaw, under plans filed to D.C. zoning officials last month.
Old City Development Group has proposed redeveloping the former Holzbeierlein Bakery site near the Howard Theatre on Wiltberger Street NW into retail, office, and residential spaces. The two-story brick warehouse, built in 1891, according to the D.C. Preservation League, is currently up for historic landmark status. In its application to the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment, Old City says it supports such a designation and would transform the site into 41,000 square feet of office and retail use and 15,000 feet of living space. The project would have nine units—six on the fourth floor and three on the penthouse floor. While offices would be located on the second and third stories, the cellar and ground floor would have stores and nine parking spaces.
The warehouse is surrounded on three sides by 15-foot-wide public alleys and on the west by Wiltberger Street. At one block from the Shaw–Howard University Metro station and the 7th Street NW commercial strip, it’s also an attractive site for businesses. The warehouse is now used by a food and vending-machine distribution company.
“The Project will include the transfer of combined lot development rights so that it may contain more non-residential density than is otherwise permitted,” Old City writes to officials. “The proposed conversion…[will] encourage pedestrian activity, expand the area’s housing supply, expand business and job opportunities, encourage adaptive reuse of older buildings, and foster 18 hour activity,” an industry term for late-day business.
The D.C. Preservation League says the bakery building “maintains historic integrity” despite “some deterioration and neglect.” The group adds that Holzbeierlein contains the city’s “earliest existent industrial baking facilities.”
“Its walls present an outstanding illustration of the process by which, like many industrial buildings, it was constructed through the integration of existing structures with new buildings over several decades,” the League continues.
PGN Architects has designed the proposal. No word yet on when it would open, although the District’s Historic Preservation Review Board is expected to consider concept plans for the project later this month. Old City says it has “already consulted closely” with the D.C. Preservation League and preservation officials on historic review.
Old City Development Group