Heritage Foundation To Develop Townhouses Adjacent to Their Capitol Hill Headquarters

Part of the Heritage Complex - 208, 214, 226 and edge of 236 Mass Ave

Part of the Heritage Complex – 208, 214, 226 and edge of 236 Mass Ave

The rear of Heritage Foundation HQ seen from Third Street.  This view would be bloked by construction of new townhouses,

The rear of Heritage Foundation HQ seen from Third Street. This view would be bloked by construction of new townhouses,

Another view of the rear of the Foundation HQ building seen from Third Street.

Another view of the rear of the Foundation HQ building seen from Third Street.

The building on the left would be displaced by new townhomes, which would also encompass the empty lots on both sides.  The building on the right would remain.

The building on the left would be displaced by new townhomes, which would also encompass the empty lots on both sides. The building on the right would remain.

Townhomes across Third Street from the proposed new townhouses.

Townhomes across Third Street from the proposed new townhouses.

Heritage Foundation To Develop Townhouses Adjacent to Their Capitol Hill Headquarters

by Larry Janezich

Monday night, architects and a developer representing the Heritage Foundation appeared before the Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s Historic Preservation Committee to present plans for a project including the development of six three story townhouses adjacent to their complex of buildings on Massachusetts Avenue, NE, a short distance from the Hart Senate Office Building.

The Heritage Foundation owns a stretch of real estate on the block, starting from 208 Massachusetts eastward, including the Headquarters next door at (214), Armand’s Pizza (226), the former large apartment building on the corner (236), the adjoining 412 Third Street building, and the lots included between 412 and 432 Third Street, NE.

Although the new townhouses in this desirable location would likely retail at around $2 million, it seems more likely that they will house Heritage Foundation officials.  At the meeting Monday night, architects acknowledged the properties will be built as a matter of right and be held in fee simple, but no mention was made of the retail potential.

An unusual aspect of the development is that three and a half levels of underground parking will be provided below the units and the current parking lot behind the Headquarters, providing off street parking not only for the owners/residents of the townhomes, but also for staff and officials of the Foundation.

Part of the overall project will entail the renovation of the large former apartment house at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, returning it to its original purpose as multi-family housing.  This building will become the new residence of Heritage Foundation interns, currently housed in the building at 208 Massachusetts Avenue, which will likely become new think tank office space.  Current retail will be retained on the ground floor of the building, though removal of the existing driveway and extensive terracing and landscaping on the Massachusetts Avenue side is likely, according to the presenters Monday night.  The elevations for the project reveal a potential plan for a new café or coffee shop on the Third Street side of the building, with outdoor café seating.

The concept drawings will go before ANC6C and HPRB in February.  The developers mentioned their desire to know “where we stand” before going before the Board of Zoning Adjustment for the special exceptions the project will require having to do with parking and lot occupancy, among other issues.  ANC6C holds its monthly meetings in the Heritage Foundation conference room at 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.

The CHRS Historic Preservation Committee will make its recommendation to the HPRB before next month’s hearing.  Tonight’s meeting of the Committee, chaired by Shauna Holmes, seemed unusually well attended, underscoring the scope and size of the project.

Nelson Architects and Cunningham and Quill are the two architectural firms undertaking the design.  Encore Development is the project manager.  No plans are available on-line; public review is at this point restricted to meetings in the neighborhood, including the upcoming ANC6A meeting in February.

 

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3 responses to “Heritage Foundation To Develop Townhouses Adjacent to Their Capitol Hill Headquarters

  1. Preservation Watch Team

    I am puzzled and troubled by the language, “Monday night, architects and a developer representing the Heritage Foundation appeared before the Capitol Hill Restoration Society’s Historic Preservation Committee to present plans.” The phrase “appeared before” usually suggests an appearance before some kind of elected or government body such as the ANC or the HPRB. The Capitol Hill Restoration Society, of course, is neither. It is a civil society organization. A loud and aggressive civil society organization, to be sure, but a civil society organization nonetheless.

    Don’t get me wrong. The HPO staff and the HPRB give them special treatment (who else has been asked by the HPO staff to make and pay for color 11 x 17 copies to be given to the CHRS by the HPO?) but this disgraceful crony-istic favoritism is not a justification for this blog to describe Shauna Holmes & Co. as anything other than what they are.

    Here’s a story idea for next time. Did the HPRB require Heritage to present their plans to the CHRS? If so, why? And what would have happened if they hadn’t?

    • Agreed. Throw in the fact that CHRS sued over work done on Heritage’s building on PA and you wonder what kind of treatment they’d even receive.

      I have grave concerns on the extent the HPO/HPRB takes CHRS’s opinions. One of the HPRB’s own board members came from CHRS, so you can only assume they’ll give CHRS undue weight on matters.

  2. Interesting

    Well they must just be DeMinting money over there…