11th and I SE Condo Closer to Design Approval

The District Source

Madison Investments looks likely to earn approval for the design of its proposed Capitol Hill condo development at the corner of 11th and I streets SE at this week’s Historic Preservation Review Board  (HPRB) meeting. The design is by Eastern Market-based PGN Architects.

In September, Historic Preservation Office staff supported the overall concept of the proposal for the four-story, 48-unit building in the former parking lot and car service station at 900 11th St. SE, but asked Madison to better define some of the features, including the top-level penthouses and bays that span both sides of the building.

Staff initially took issue with the way the southern penthouse jutted from the edge of the building, as well as the sprawling projection on the roof, a feature not common on Capitol Hill. It also wanted a clearer picture of how penthouses would actually be designed and the way the building, set atop a raised basement, would meet the sidewalk.

Since then, Madison has changed its design to pull in the southern penthouse 4.5 feet and also staggering the roofline so the building isn’t as jarring when viewed from the south. While the initial plan featured individual townhouse-style entrances, all units now share internal corridors that lead to the main entrance, which has been reduced in height and “better scaled for the pedestrian experience,” staff said in a report.

Perhaps the most dramatic change for those on the ground is the addition of projected bays along both the 11th Street and I Street sides, which cuts down the mass of the building “so that it relates better to the smaller scale development of much of Capitol Hill.”

In the original concept, only the corner of the development projected, “creating a strained relationship between it and the rest of the building.”

Also new: Panels in a variety of shades along the southern elevation, rather than a single color, to make the façade more visually interesting, developers said.

Read the full staff report here. The 11th Street project is on the HPRB consent calendar for this Thursday’s meeting.

Erica Hendry is the editor of District Source, a D.C. real estate and neighborhood news blog, co-founded and supported by Compass Real Estate. Read more from The District Source.