Massive M Street SE Development Approved at Zoning

The District Source

A four-phase development including three residential buildings with an estimated 673 residential units and more than 10,00 square feet of retail on the banks of the Anacostia Riverfront in Southeast Capitol Hill is closer to becoming a reality following the Zoning Commission’s unanimous approval Monday night for Phase 1.

The development by Cohen Siegel Investors with designs by GTM Architects will transform the riverfront area currently home to a lonely pair of office buildings at Maritime Plaza, several historic boathouses along the river and construction equipment staging areas. 

The nearly 3-acres site is bounded by M Street, a future Virginia Avenue and Water Street, SE.

The first phase entails a 10-story residential building with 218  rental units, an underground parking garage with 51 spaces and 44 surface parking spaces.

As part of the first phase, the developer will improve existing surface streets like M Street, construct an extension of Virginia Avenue south of M Street and create a new internal north-south private street.  Among the public benefits expected in the first phase are a public dog park at the southern terminus of 14th Street at the project and a wildflower meadow along the Water Street right- of-way to help with surface runoff and biodiversity.

A group of neighbors on the 1300 block of L Street objected to the height of the proposed project and the level of parking being provided–the entire project will bring about 221 parking spaces, a ratio closer to one parking space for every three units, though four to one is the standard requirement. The L Street residents also raised concerns about the impact of lighting from the new development on their block, which currently faces the relatively dark Southeast Freeway, the CSX railroad tracks and beyond that the riverfront.

The developers did not change their plans for parking of building height and submitted drawings showing the lighting impact that of the new development. In response to community concerns the developers agreed not to pursue a national chain restaurant for the ground floor retail  and to try to secure a small grocer for the space instead. The developers also committed that any soil– which posed concerns over environmental impacts–taken from the property during construction would not become part of the landfill for the proposed SE/SW Boulevard project.

The developers committed to filing for a  building permit for Phase 1 within 2 years of the final PUD approval and to beginning construction within 3 years of the final PUD approval.

Shaun Courtney is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of District Source, a D.C. real estate and neighborhood news blog, co-founded and supported by Compass Real Estate. Shaun has been a local reporter in DC since 2009 and has called the city home since 2002. She currently lives in Kingman Park. Read more from The District Source.

Shaun Courtney is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of District Source, a D.C. real estate and neighborhood news blog, co-founded and supported by Lindsay Reishman Real Estate. Shaun has been a local reporter in DC since 2009 and has called the city home since 2002. She currently lives in Kingman Park. Read more from The District Source. - See more at: http://www.capitalcommunitynews.com/content/future-rfk-parks-parking-and-politics#sthash.29k2EvGe.dpuf

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