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After purchasing the site from American University earlier this year, D.C.-based real estate company Urban Investment Partners is proposing to turn a building near the Tenleytown–AU Metro station into a mixed-use one with ground floor retail and between 130 and 140 apartments.
UIP submitted redevelopment plans this week to the D.C. Zoning Commission for 4620-4624 Wisconsin Ave. NW in Ward 3, which totals a bit more than half an acre of land. Following an “adaptive reuse” model, the company intends to demolish some of the commercial office space on the site, replacing it with a 90-foot-tall development featuring 12,000 square feet of retail, rentals, and 74 underground parking spaces. It will also have more than 75 bicycle parking spaces.
“The project will provide a premier shopping and living space within two blocks of a major Metrorail station in an attractive and sustainable building that is compatible with surrounding buildings and uses,” the company’s application to the zoning commission states. “The project’s long façade has been broken into two masses which mimic the slope of the hill on Wisconsin Avenue.” The building’s back, facing 42nd Street NW, will have setbacks and step-downs “in response to community comments [to] decrease the overall apparent height of the project.”
Of the apartment units, eight percent, or roughly a dozen, will be set aside as affordable housing, with half of these reserved for households making no more than 80 percent of the area median income. (D.C.’s area median income is approximately $109,000 for a household of four.) The other half will be reserved for families earning under 50 percent of AMI, such that the building will exceed inclusionary zoning requirements.
UIP may renovate the historic Chesapeake House to the site’s east as part of potential community benefits associated with the project. It has not been used since the late 1990s, according to a July letter the National Park Service sent to UIP. “Treatment calls for retaining the building’s historic envelope and character-defining features with upgrades to lighting and landscape,” the letter explains, while interior work should also preserve the building’s elements. The Tenleytown Historical Society has praised UIP’s willingness to fix the Chesapeake House as an amenity.
UIP owns more than 2,400 residential units in D.C. and Maryland. The building on Wisconsin was one of three former AU properties it bought in February, according to the Washington Business Journal, including public radio station WAMU’s former offices at 4000 Brandywine St. NW.
Construction on the development is slated to begin next June and wrap up in October 2018. Additional renderings of the project follow below.