ANC Approves Design for New Frager’s Hardware Building

Frager's Hardware design from developer Perseus Reality. Photo: Christine Rushton

Designs for the new Frager’s Hardware and mixed-use development on the 1100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE won the support of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B on April 12. “It’s gratifying to have so much community support,” said John Weintraub, owner of Frager’s. “They’re the ones that shop with us, and we’re always overwhelmed.”

Developer Perseus Reality presented mockups of the four-story (with a penthouse on top) building to community members on Feb. 25. The latest updates include 8,500 square feet for Frager’s store and an additional outdoor garden center; about 7,000 square feet in ground-level retail space; 34 one- and two-bedroom condo units; 36 underground parking spaces (one per condo unit and two for retail); and a green roof. “We’re happy to get back,” Weintraub said. “We’re looking forward to going back into our own location in a new store. The faster we can do that the better.”

The commissioners supported the plans but sent a note to the Historic Preservation Review Board with suggestions: setting back the top floors on the 12th Street NE side; reducing glass on the south side; and reviewing the two infills – older sections in the middle of an urban development – bordering Pennsylvania Avenue. The Historic Preservation Review Board will review the plans next. Perseus plans to start construction in 2017 and finish in 2019, barring delays in permitting or reviews.

Frager’s can now begin planning how to handle the new site and consolidate its hardware, paint, and garden operations. Weintraub said the team is dedicated to its 25-year lease and to serving the Capitol Hill community. He’s not sure how long, at age 72, he will stay working at the store, but said his staff works hard and knows the business.