Hill East Poised for New Construction

watkins alley side viewMuch of the work to transform Hill East into a denser neighborhood is happening behind the scenes. Developers are furiously working to refine plans and begin construction on hundreds of new residential units.

This article appears in The Hill Rag’s December issue, available at newsstands now.

Watkins Alley

OPaL Development Company’s proposal to bring 44 residences to 1309-1323 (rear) E St. and 516 (rear) 13th Street SE will soon have a planned unit development (PUD) hearing date before the DC Zoning Commission. The zoning commission made an initial review this summer, raising concerns and questions about elements like transportation impacts, traffic and pedestrian flow within the project, and the overall architectural approach.

Earlier this fall the team submitted new designs with a more industrial-style architecture which they say reflects the neighborhood’s context heritage. A range of unit types will include a carriage house in the alley, townhomes, flats, and lofts.

As part of the public benefit package associated with filing for a PUD, OPaL is working with other nearby developers to include CAS Riegler and Insight Development on a proposal to improve the plaza at Potomac Avenue Metro.

Buchanan School Project

Work to ready the former Buchanan School property, 1325 D St. SE, for its new existence as Buchanan Park, a townhouse and condo development, could begin as soon as mid-December. Demolition of two buildings on the north side of the property is pending permits, expected by late 2015 or early 2016.

Construction of the first phase of the 32 proposed townhomes and the 41 one-level condo flats in the former school building could begin late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of 2016. Sales on both the condos and townhomes could begin mid-2016 with the project slated to deliver by 2017.

Developers are Insight Property Group with designs by SK+I Architecture.

Reservation 13/Hill East

Development team Donatelli/Blue Skye Development will likely submit plans to the zoning commission for the first-phase redevelopment of Reservation 13 in Hill East. The project will bring 354 residential units, about 220 below-grade parking spaces, and 20,000 to 40,000 square feet of retail, split between two buildings designed by GTM Architects.

Mayor Muriel Bowser included about $11 million in funding over three years for infrastructure improvements related to Reservation 13 in the 2016- FY 2021 capital improvement budget.

New York Pizza/1401 Pennsylvania Ave.

CAS Riegler is in the thick of the zoning commission review process for its proposed 174 apartment units and 22,000 square feet of ground floor retail at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. The developers recently submitted updated designs by project architects Antunovich and Associates that set back portions of the proposed 78-foot-tall building so that it better relates to nearby two- and three-story townhouses while maximizing its presence on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The project is across from the Potomac Avenue Metro. CAS Riegler is working with other nearby PUD proposals to develop a plan for improving the Metro plaza and beautifying the surrounding area.

The first visible inklings of Hill East’s future should come in the form of dust and debris as demolition at the Buchanan School sets into motion the successive waves of development planned and in the pipeline.

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