Condo Sales Begin At The Wharf

South by West

VIO is the luxury condominium building under construction at The Wharf. Rendering: Interface Multimedia/Hoffman-Madison Waterfront

VIO Begins Sales This Spring at The Wharf

The luxury condominium building formerly known as Parcel 4B currently under construction at The Wharf now has a more official name. VIO, which derives from Latin for “I journey,” will be a 12-story building with 112 units facing The Wharf promenade between 7th and 9th streets SW. To the west of the project will be the planned Intercontinental Hotel, and another planned hotel will be to the east. Just to the north of VIO on Parcel 4A will be an apartment building which will face Maine Avenue. 

Designed by Handel Architects and WDG Architects, VIO will have a mix of studio and one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, as well as penthouses. The units will feature high-end finishes including wide-plank hardwood flooring, European cabinetry, granite and quartz countertops, Thermador and Bosch appliances, custom closets, stone tile baths, and nine-foot ceilings. Amenities will be topnotch. According to the press release, VIO will offer amenities such as “a private lobby on The Wharf’s Yacht Club Piazza with covered drop-off, 24-hour front desk, concierge services, clubroom, fitness center with yoga studio, and an outdoor infinity edge pool overlooking the Potomac River.” The condominium will also have “secure underground parking” included with the purchase of most residences. Select VIO residences will feature “private-access elevators that include direct access to the Wharf promenade, which will include an impressive mix of restaurants, bars, cafes, and other retail.” Most of the residences will have balconies with water views, and several penthouses will include private rooftop terraces. 

All of the units will be market-rate. As part of the development agreement with the city, two of the planned condominium buildings at both phases of The Wharf project are permitted to be all market-rate while the remaining residential buildings must have a mix of market-rate, workforce, and/or affordable housing. Limited pre-sales will begin this spring at VIO, and interested buyers can sign up on the project’s website for updates. Prices range from the $400,000s to over $1.5 million. VIO is scheduled to deliver in the second half of 2017.

A second condominium building, under construction at 525 Water Street, across the street from Arena Stage, is farther along than VIO. Construction has already reached street level, and the project is scheduled to deliver in the spring of 2016. This building will have a mix of market-rate and workforce housing units. The building is located on land previously occupied by St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. Developer PN Hoffman came to an agreement with the church to use part of their site to build the project. Adjacent to it will be a new St. Augustine’s which will also deliver in 2016. Sales for 525 Water Street will be underway in the second half of 2015. 

Revised Planned Unit Development for The View at Waterfront

Back in late December, Mill Creek Residential Trust, the new owner of The View at Waterfront apartments at 6th and M streets SW, submitted a revised Planned Unit Development (PUD) application for construction of two new residential buildings on the parking lots fronting M and K streets. A PUD was approved several years ago when Fairfield Residential owned the property, but several changes have been made since then. Generally Mill Creek has reduced the scope of the project. In the previously approved PUD a total of 324 new units were planned, but the proposed changes reduce the number to about 260 units. Additionally the height has been reduced from 112 feet to 85 feet. The floor area ratio (FAR) has been reduced to 3.4 from 4.39, and the lot occupancy is proposed to be 42 percent compared to the previously approved 51 percent. Parking has been reduced significantly from 569 total spaces for all four buildings to 290 spaces in three levels of below-grade parking; however only 175 spaces are required under zoning. 

The look of the proposed buildings has also changed since Fairfield retained Esocoff & Associates to design the previously approved project. SK&I Architecture has designed the new buildings with a grey and white color palette that resembles neighboring Lex at Waterfront Station. According to the PUD application each of the new buildings “is comprised of two volumes. The first is a taller, lighter box that is supported by a tall recessed ground floor with exposed columns along the primary streets and corners; the second is a more subdued, lower mass that meets the ground plane and also is pulled back and tapered from the corners between the proposed and existing buildings along the street edge.”

The north tower will have seven stories including a mezzanine on the top floor, and the south tower will have six stories including mezzanines on the ground and top floors. A two-story retail space is still planned for the new south tower at the corner of 6th and M streets, facing Arena Stage, but has been reduced from 8,900 to 5,200 square feet. One thing that has not changed is the amount of space set aside for affordable units. There will still be 6,500 square feet of affordable housing, evenly distributed on floors two through five of both new buildings, in addition to the 9,500 square feet of affordable housing that currently exists in the I.M. Pei buildings. 

Each of the new towers will contain amenity spaces as well as “vest pocket parks” between the proposed and existing buildings designed by Land Design. The vest pocket parks will contain amenities that can be used year-round throughout the day and night. Some of the planned amenities include lawn panels, flexible seating, grilling areas, outdoor fireplaces, and water elements, each designed in “rooms” with heavy landscaping. The south tower will have a two-level lobby and amenity space as well as loft units with mezzanines, while the north tower will have a two-level lobby and amenity space. 

The developers will go before Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D later this year to seek their support before meeting with the Zoning Commission. If approved, Mill Creek would like to start construction in 2016.

Construction of the condominium building at 525 Water Street SW has reached ground level. Photo: William Rich
A two-building addition to The View at Waterfront apartments at 6th and M streets SW is planned by new owner Mill Creek Residential Trust. Rendering: SK&I Architecture

William Rich is a blogger at Southwest … The Little Quadrant That Could (

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