ANC6B Considers Major Residential/Retail Project on M Street, SE
Ten Story 673 Residential Unit To Front On Anacostia River
by Larry Janezich
Last night, ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee heard a presentation from representatives of Cohen Companies, the developers of a proposed three building ten story mixed use project at 1333 M Street, SE.
Because of its scale and importance to the neighborhood, ANC Commissioner Francis Campbell’s Planning and Zoning Committee has authorized the creation of a subcommittee chaired by ANC6b06 Commissioner Nichole Opkins, to oversee the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process before the DC Zoning Commission. The subcommittee has not been formed yet, but according to Campbell, will comprise both commissioners, residents and other community stakeholders – much as the subcommittee that considered the PUD for the Hine project.
When first proposed in 2010, the project was envisioned as office, hotel, retail and commercial, but the glut of office space in DC resulted in conversion of the project to mostly residential with some ground floor retail
The project will be built in four phases, resulting in three buildings – it will appear to be four structures, but two of them will be connected. Cohen Companies explained the first phase – a ten story 218 residential unit building – last night.
When finished, the project will include 673 units – including affordable housing units, seven retail spaces totaling about 10,000 square feet, and 214 below grade parking spaces.
The project has not been without controversy; the National Capital Planning Commission expressed concern over the required closure of streets which existed as part of the L’Enfant Plan but which were currently unused. The City Council eventually agreed to the closing of the streets in 2010.
Cohen Companies says that the project will provide $7.9 million in revenues to the city. The company hopes for an initial hearing before the Zoning Commission (ZC) in June or July of this year. The company will bring three requests before the ZC – rezoning for the entire property, preliminary approval of the project including use of property and density, and approval of Phase 1. ANC6B will represent the community at each stage of the process.
Cohen Companies is one of the major players among District developers, and was named in the NPR/WAMU Series “Deals for Developers” in May of last year (see here: http://apps.npr.org/deals-for-developers-wamu/). In that series, NPR/WAMU stated that Cohen Companies had received at $8,800,000 subsidy in the form of an LDA on this project, and had contributed $62,250 to District politicians over the past ten years.