Thursday, November 19, 2009

A New Condo Tower at 14th and R

Suddenly, it feels like 2006 all over again. Via Borderstan and the WBJ, news today that the vacant lot at the SW corner of 14th and R streets is going to be the home of a new five story, 30,000 sf mixed-use condo building. The project will rise on a relatively small patch of land adjacent to the AYT auto repair shop.

Building architects Bonstra and Haresign describe the building as "patterned after the showrooms of the former 14th Street 'Automobile Row'". They also describe the building as possessing an "iconic crown." Hmmm, I'm not so sure i'd call it "iconic". It looks more like a black fence on the roof that tipped over. The building is like no small number of others that have sprung up along 14th Street in recent years--rather bland and unattractive. (Go here and scroll down to see drawings of the new building.)

To say the project has been a long time in the making is an understatement. ANC2F first saw a presentation on the plans for the building back in April 2004. Since that time, the project has been held up by approvals by the Board of Zoning Adjustments and the Historic Preservation Review Board, changes in the scope of the project, and--yes--the economic collapse.

Interestingly, the project has changed rather substantially since it was first introduced over five years ago. Plans at that time called for six duplex apartments and one 3500 sf penthouse. The current plans now call for as many as 32 "luxury" (Aren't they all luxury these days?) apartments at the space. Let's see, 30,000 sf, 32 units...I hope your definition of luxury is "less than 1,000 sf".

At long last, though, one of the few remaining vacant lots along 14th Street will be developed, and we can now move on to the inevitable handwringing over what type of retail might make an appearance there. First person to call for a bagel shop wins the prize.

13 comments:

Eric said...

It's cute, modern, and will fit right in on 14th. Loving the mix of old and new in DC these days.

BTW, most condos and apartments that have been built through time were built as luxury buildings. Over time, their state-of-the-art status dissipates and they become more affordable. That's why you usually start out life in older buildings. Of course there are thousands upon thousands of exceptions to this rule, but that's how you make money, building with a large-ish profit margin.

Mr. 14th & You said...

I don't know...anymore, "luxury" seems to mean granite counters, ss appliances and pergo flooring. When everything is "luxury" it seems to diminish the term.

Andy said...

Since when did five stories = tower?

DC is a terribly low-slung city. Must. Get. Rid. Of. Antiquated. Height. Restriction.

Vera said...

I would love to see a jewish style deli on 14th street. There is no lack up upscale dining establishments but no quick place to grab a BLT or bagel with lox! Courthouse has its Brooklyn Bagel with always has a line out the door on the weekends. Logan needs the same!

cathy said...

i'll be very glad when that lot isn't so creepy to walk past, but the design is boooooooooring! i guess risk-taking isn't smart business, but come on. a little adventure would kill us all? heaven forfend an architectural design actually attract attention to its beauty rather than drag your eyes back down to the ground floor retail in search of visual stimulus.

oh well. wake me when the crate and barrel opens.

Jon said...

Can I just underscore Vera's comment X 1,000?

That aid, the renderings of the building look pretty uninspired. More cookie cutter faux modern just like all the rest.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

It's generically modern and will fit in well on the street without calling attention to itself -which I think is good urban planning. Save the 'statement' buildings for something more important than condo & retail.

I think 'luxury' lasts for the first 5 years -the luxury being that it is brand new. A highly non-descriptive word! Basically I think it means if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it and the developer will be LIVING in luxury after ripping off buyers.

Tim said...

i was just about to email you this story, but of course... already on top of it.

Logan13R said...

I live on the 1300 block of R and think it looks great for that spot. I also wouldn't call it a tower.

Anonymous said...

The photo shows 7 stories, not 5.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be the one to say it, but exactly how many "luxury" condo dwellers is this place going to attract, being sandwiched between a free clinic, an auto shop, a homeless shelter, and a block of public housing...? I know that the beauty of Logan is that it has people from all walks of life, I just don't see this as a terrific spot for a "luxury" condo.

Anonymous said...

Having lived on that block of R street for over ten years, I cannot fathom anyone paying for a "luxury" condo there. The public housing on that block is pretty horrifying. Hundreds of 911 calls per year to this group of residences per year. Loud fights. Street crime. SCREAMING children. Soooo glad I moved away.

Philippines properties for sale said...

This is an interesting to have an investment in that place. Great condo building too.

Paula M