Dupont Circle: 90 Luxury Apartments for Patterson House

15 Dupont Circle as seen with proposed rear addition.

15 Dupont Circle as seen with proposed rear addition.

The Patterson House, a stately 1903 mansion at 15 Dupont Circle, will be renovated  to become 90 fully-furnished, luxury apartments as part of a plan by SB-Urban that includes a new six-story addition designed by Hartman-Cox Architects.

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“My partner Frank Saul and I formed SB-Urban specifically to do small household, small unit apartment communities in prime urban infill locations that are transit-rich and appeal to urban and urbane professionals coming into town who don’t have and don’t want cars, don’t know how long they are going to be here, don’t need a big place and don’t have or want a lot of stuff,” said Mike Balban of SB-Urban.

Balban said Dupont Circle is a”perfect match” for his target customer.

SB-Urban is a venture made up of Mike Balaban and Frank Saul III that most recently turned heads with a plan toconvert the former Latham Hotel in Georgetown into micro-apartments.

Balban said the plan is to lease the units on a long-term basis, though they will provide shorter terms for clients seeking such accommodations.

The main house will be renovated with a rehabilitation planned for the exterior, including masonry cleaning, re-pointing and repair as well as rehabilitation of the slate roof and window repairs.

The existing 1955 addition will be demolished and  a new structure will be set back about 12 feet from the historic home with a connection to allow passage from the historic structure to the new addition. The addition would be made up of glass and masonry and would reflect the “proportions and scale” of the historic home.

“The idea is that the design is respectful of the Patterson House, but subservient to it, using contemporary materials in an innovative way,” explained Mary Katherine Lanzillotta,  a partner at Hartman-Cox Architects.

The main stair and rooms of the historic building such as the ballroom, dining room and library will remain intact and be converted into common amenities with food and beverage options and a gym.

The upper levels and ground floor of the Patterson House will become 19 residential units though the new addition will have the bulk of the residential space. The first five floors of the new addition will feature nine rooms. The sixth floor of the addition is set back from the rest of the addition and includes six units–one with a rooftop deck– and a green roof.

“I think it’s very appropriate on a multitude of levels,” said Dupont Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC 2B*) Leo Dwyer.

This is the second proposal for the site. A previously proposed hotel conversion faced criticism from the  Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB)on its design, which was considered too massive and too overwhelming of the historic structure. Dwyer indicated he thought the new design would not face the same criticism.

Dwyer said he would recommend that ANC 2B support the design as proposed.

The project will go before the full Dupont ANC 2B next week and before the HPRB later in February.

Though not a design issue, the project will later be seeking a variance not to provide any parking. That request would go through the ANC before review at the Board of Zoning Adjustment. There is no date set for that hearing.

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