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.