Douglas Development Projects Underway on PA Avenue, SE
by Larry Janezich
Tuesday night, a representative of Douglas Development briefed Francis Campbell’s ANC6b Planning and Zoning Committee on two developments now underway at 1301 and 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. Last month, the company announced that it is also leasing the space currently occupied by Cosi at 301 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, which will soon become an outlet for the high end sandwich shop chain Pret A Manger.
Construction has begun on a commercial building at 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, next to Wisdom Lounge notable for its eclectic décor and the colorful mural paying tribute to John Phillip Sousa which welcomed those approaching the Capitol from the southeast. The mural will fall victim to the new construction.
According to the Douglas spokesman the commercial building is scheduled for completion by mid-December. No tenants have been signed yet but the company representative said, “We’re not worried.” Commissioner Brian Flahaven pointed out that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the neighbors regarding what kind of retail will be permitted.
The project, initially envisioned as commercial, changed in concept to residential/mixed use, but returned to the original commercial concept. Asked why, the company representative cited several reasons, including the greater height of the residential project, and “economic challenges” including difficulty in getting financing.
Douglas Development also reported on their commercial project now underway at 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. The existing corner building is two stories and a partial third story which will be extended to create additional office space. “As of now,” the company spokesman said, the building is scheduled to become office space since retail would require granting of parking relief for 12 spaces. Douglas Development is building as a matter of right, and will not have to seek zoning changes. The company anticipates completion of the project by mid-March.