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One of the District’s quietest corners is slated to get a mixed-use development, where a SuperFresh once operated, but some are calling it too dense.
Valor Development filed plans this week with the D.C. Zoning Commission for a project dubbed the “Lady Bird,” to be located on a 120,000-square-foot site bounded by Yuma Street, Massachusetts Avenue, and 48th Street NW. The property is next to the former American University Law School building and an Exxon station. It includes the 17,000-square-foot Spring Valley Shopping Center, the vacant grocery, a few restaurants, and a salon.
Valor proposes to construct a mixed-use residential building on the northeast side of the property and a second, fully residential one on the southeast side, featuring nods to the Colonial Revival architecture that distinguishes AU Park and Spring Valley. Shared retail space on the ground floor of these buildings would host a new grocery store. The larger, mixed-use building would be five stories tall with parts that step down to four and three stories. The second building would be four stories tall and display French Empire-style architecture.
A 40-foot-wide linear park named “Windom Walk” would stretch between two new buildings and help connect the shopping center with the rest of the neighborhood. The northwest corner of the mixed-use building would have an open public plaza leading to the grocery entrance and the lobby. Both buildings would have rooftop terraces for residents, including a swimming pool, planters, and seating areas. Valor also seeks to improve an existing north-south alley on the site.
Lady Bird is expected to have about 230 apartment units (both rental and condo), about 10 percent of which will be set aside as affordable through D.C.’s inclusionary zoning program.
“The project … will provide a new full-service grocery store in an area that is in need of such a use, as well as a modest amount of additional neighborhood-serving retail space all within close proximity to the existing retail and service uses along Massachusetts Avenue, including those at the [Spring Valley Shopping Center],” Valor notes in its application. “The residential dwelling units proposed within [the buildings] will consist of a wide range of unit types, including a substantial number of two- and three-bedroom units, that are sized to accommodate a diverse range or residents, including new families and ‘age in place’ populations.”
Despite its amenities and scaling, a group called Citizens for Responsible Development wrote in an August letter that neighbors in AU Park and Spring Valley “strongly” opposed the project. By their calculations, the new grocery store would “draw hundreds of cars daily into our local streets and up to five tractor trailers and 35 delivery trucks.” “The project would strain local schools and infrastructure and compromise the landmarked Spring Valley Shopping Center,” the group added.
Earlier this month, a Valor affiliate proposed to build a nine-story, mixed-use development on Benning Road NE that would replace the Trinidad Baptist Church across from the Hechinger Mall. It would contain upwards of 300 units, 7,000 square feet of retail, and a sizable community garden.
The company’s statement in support of Lady Bird can be found here. Architectural firm Torti Gallas is designing the project. The latest sketches and site plan follow below.
Valor Development/Torti Gallas