Thursday, April 28, 2011

Details emerge of plans for Verizon building at 14th and R

Last night, the ANC2f community development committee met to review plans for PN Hoffman's renovation ofthe Verizon substation building at 14th and R streets. A few interesting details emerged from the meeting that shed some light into what the project will entail.

The biggest piece of news is that PN Hoffman acquired only the smaller south building for their project, not the larger building to the north. Verizon will retain that building, as well as a small amount of space in the renovated south building to store equipment.

The image above depicting the building as it appeared in its former life decades ago was provided by the PN Hoffman team and their architect, Eric Colbert. While the renovation will not be an exact replication of how the building once appeared, it provides a good indication of where Colbert and the development team are taking the project.

Chief among the alterations will be the reintroduction of the large storefront windows on the first floor of the building, and the repair/replacement of existing windows, along with the installation of new windows throughout the building. The image below shows the architectural rendering of the building along the R Street-facing side.

The building will have room for one ground-level commercial tenant, most likely a restaurant. (The developer has plans for the eventual installation of some kind of sidewalk seating.) The building will have four levels of residences, including a penthouse level with private rooftop decks/gardens for each unit, along with a communal rooftop area. The penthouse structure will very closely resemble the rooftop structure at the top of the Room and Board building at 14th and T streets.

There was discussion of what would happen to the SmartBike rack at that corner during construction, particularly since the construction of the condo building across the street will be underway at the same time. PN Hoffman representatives indicated that they weren't certain whether the station would be able to remain where it is, but that they have been scouting possible nearby alternatives (the ZipCar lot was mentioned.) It's worth noting that, once both of these projects are built, it's unlikely that there will be a bike to be found at that station after 8 AM on weekdays. Just sayin'.

PN Hoffman is looking at an agressive timeline for construction, with an anticipated delivery of mid-late 2012. All in all, it's an exciting development for the neighborhood, and by all rights appears to be a very thoughtful design of a woefully underutilized building.

1 comment:

Erica said...

Re: capitol bike share and the lack of any after 8am in this location...its not like there are any bikes available in the U street area now! They're doing a horrible job of balancing the availability of bikes and docks. Full docks at all K, L, M street locations (menaing no where to return). And zero bikes available at any of the U street locations...sometimes for the entire day. But thankfully, as more things open up outside our front doors, we won't need a bike to go anywhere else.