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In response to vocal neighbors opposed to the size of a mixed-use project on Monroe Street NE near the Brookland/CUA Metro stop, developers have significantly scaled back a new set of plans for their second submission to the Zoning Commission.
The project, a partnership between the Menkiti Group, Horning Brothers, and the owner of Colonel Brooks Tavern, originally had 221 residential units with a floor area ratio of 3.71. That’s been pared down to 212 apartments—-most of which will be one-bedrooms or smaller, targeting young urban professionals—-at a floor area ratio of 3.28, with the building’s massing stepping down to meet townhouses alongside it.
That’s the biggest thing that’s been done to appease nearby residents, who are jittery about a development that will add significant density to the otherwise sleepy area. But as project team member Bo Menkiti explained at a community meeting on the subject last night, they’ve taken care to blend it as much as possible with the surrounding area, using similar materials and mansard roof shapes. A major amenity is the wider sidewalks created by 15-foot setbacks around the property. “One of the things we’re trying to do with the project is give private land to the public realm,” Menkiti said.
Of course, that’s not enough for some anti-density activists, who are still insisting that the buildings housing Colonel Brooks Tavern be preserved. One even asked whether the development team would help him advocate for the maintenance of a grassy field right next to the metro station as green space. Fortunately, that wouldn’t jibe with the small area plan that’s been approved for the area, so Menkiti didn’t even have to say he wouldn’t.