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Hey, another project comes off the shelf! Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Rachelle Nigro reports on her Facebook page:
460 NY Ave., the unsightly old brick federal building, has officially begun to take shape. I received a call last night from the developer Bozutto. Tentative plans are for a 63 unit condo building. The building would be 11 stories and have lift parking. One bedrooms and studios for now. Bozutto will have to appear before the BZA, ANCs etc. but they said they are moving forward with the development. Keep in mind the drawing/plans could change many times. Yippee for the neighborhood!!
Yippee, indeed. The Board of Zoning Adjustment approved the project in 2008, and granted Bozzuto an extension in 2010. The plans back then were for 80 apartments, at the maximum 130 feet tall, so it’s been scaled back a bit.
The interesting twist to this development is the three-story brick box now standing on the site, which is neither an historic landmark nor in an historic district, but something the city’s Historic Preservation Office wants preserved anyway (Matt Yglesias yelled about this last year). Why? In 2008, Bozzuto’s preservation consultant Andi Adams told the BZA that it was designed in 1925 by a notable architect, and used as a car dealership and service facility. The D.C. Preservation League put it on a list of potential landmarks in Mt. Vernon Triangle, and Adams figured someone would probably nominate the warehouse if it were threatened with demolition. Bozzuto’s representative said they’d agreed to incorporate the warehouse into the new building, “at significant cost.” So, there you have it: Dubious historic preservation is an obstacle, but not insurmountable.
UPDATE, Friday, 6:30 a.m. – According to a reliable source, commenter crin is correct: Bozzuto wanted to keep the old warehouse because 100 percent lot occupancy was grandfathered in under more restrictive zoning that would have allowed only 80 percent lot occupancy had they built anew.