First Images of the Frager’s Site Development – Hardware Store, Condos, and Retail

View from Pennsylvania Avenue showing preservation of original facade.  New retail is planned for the original space occupied by Frager's.

View from Pennsylvania Avenue showing preservation of original facade. New retail is planned for the original space occupied by Frager’s. Click to enlarge.

Frager's will occupy the ground floor of the new four story infill.

Frager’s will occupy the ground floor of the new four story infill at the East end of the project.

12th Street Facade, showing restoration of the Frager's logo.

12th Street Facade, showing restoration of the Frager’s logo.

11th Street Facade showing ground floor retail space.

11th Street Facade showing ground floor retail space and entrance to parking..

Rear facade of the new four story construction, looking NE.

Rear facade of the new four story construction, looking NE. (Update:  The ground level triangular space would be Frager’s gardening outlet.) 

View from Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th Street, looking SE.

View from Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th Street, looking SE.


First Images of the Frager’s Site Development – Hardware Store, Condos, and Retail

by Larry Janezich

Adam Peters, Executive VP of Development for Perseus Realty told more than 50 Capitol Hill Residents tonight, that Perseus would develop the burned out Frager’s site, constructing a four story (plus a penthouse)  mixed use retail/residential project.  The project will include 30 to 40 high-end one, two, and three bedroom condo units, weighted heavily to the larger units intended to accommodate families.  The plan anticipates that Frager’s Hardware will lease 8,500 square feet of retail space, plus some outside space for the gardening facility.  There will be an additional 7,600 square feet of first floor retail which Peter’s says will be filled by community-friendly retail, perhaps a “restaurant or two.”  The plan for 35 below grade parking spaces will be double what city regulations require, i.e., one space for every two units.  The developer will stay at or below the 50 foot height permitted by current zoning.

Peters stressed that Perseus is committed to using “fine materials and well done details” to make the building consistent with the historic character of the neighborhood.  The original façade will be maintained, and the first activity neighbors will see at the site is the bracing of the original walls.  The new construction on the site will employ brick, glass, metal and stone.

Since it is being build “by right” under existing height and density regulations the project will not be subject to the public unit development (PUD) process wherein public amenities are exchanged for increased height and density.  Since it lies in the Capitol Hill Historic District, the new structure will need HPRB approval, which will bring it before ANC6B.

Inclusionary Zoning regulations require a developer of a project this size to set aside 8 to 10 percent of the residential units for affordable housing.  That would mean pricing those units for households making 50 to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

Perseus purchased the site last October.  Washington Business reported then the developer had paid $5.7 million for the site.  Construction could start in the spring of 2017, and will take two years, delivering the project in the spring of 2019.

Frager’s was destroyed by fire in June of 2013, as reported and photographed by CHC: and here:  Despite hopes that they could rebuild within a year, in October of 2014, Frager’s owner John Weintraub told ANC6B that redeveloping Frager’s was “out of his comfort zone.”  He had said earlier, that the fire damaged the site so severely that, “even with insurance proceeds, we could not afford to rebuild the site alone,” leading him to seek other means to rebuild the store by partnering with a developer or selling the site.  A partnership with Roadside Development for redeveloping this site fell through in 2014 after parties failed to reach an agreement on the condition of the site before Roadside purchased the property.

Perseus has developed numerous mixed use projects in DC, VA, and MD.  Among them:  the Greyhound Bus Terminal mixed use project in NOMA and a hotel in the Ballpark District at 1st and N Street, SE.  Perseus Realty was founded in 2004 by Robert L. Cohen, who remains the President and CEO.  Cohen has been an active participant in Washington area real estate since 1971.  For more information, go here:



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14 responses to “First Images of the Frager’s Site Development – Hardware Store, Condos, and Retail

  1. It’s so SHORT. Like, distressingly short, like it’s an office park in Germantown or something. I guess that’s what happens when you build by-right rather than seeking a zoning change.

  2. Marian Connolly

    I am impressed so far. The contemporary glass & metal appears to blend well with the 1930’s yellow brick.

  3. Looks very nice; a welcome addition to the neighborhood & a new home for the indispensible Frager’s. Dan

  4. Carol Green

    Looks great and seems to “fit” in the space. Can’t wait to see construction and completion of the new building after all this time.

  5. muskellunge

    I love Frager’s beyond all reason. But this ain’t it.

    I can’t imagine going to this place to pick up a bag of ready-patch. Let the developer have the location, and do what they will to it, and let Frager’s stay on E St.

    I think they are better off in the current locations, in old, fixer-upper buildings, crowded and busy. Like it always has been, even when it was on Pennsylvania Ave.

    • Streeter

      E St is not the solution.
      A- because it’s small as it was only to be temporary, and B- it’s not their space and there are development plans for it anyway.

  6. Corey H.

    What an unambitious project. I get not wanting to go through the PUD process but that just results in this boring tiny project. Look just three blocks to the east at NY Pizza or west at Hine to see the difference a PUD and ambitious developer can make.

    And speaking of the NY pizza project, it’s very easy to speak about three bedroom apartments at the planning phase but when push comes to shove the three bedrooms go away quickly. The NY Pizza project went from 8 three bedroom to 4 and is now at 1.

  7. dlg

    Smart move keeping it “by right” and avoiding PUD – also a smart move to set back the 3rd and 4th floors so that HPRB will approve it. But by being so small it means that the units are going to be very expensive. Curious how the immediate neighbors feel about this project. It would be nice if construction could start sooner. 2019 seems like a long time to wait.

  8. The renderings don’t offer a clue as to where there “outside space for the gardening facility” will be located. If Fragers planning to continue the use of the garden space in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania? That would be my choice. ZiP

  9. Gerald Sroufe

    There are many commendable aspects about the proposed development, including its fit within the prevailing architecture of the area. What is not clear, however, is where people will park to shop at Frager’s and the additional new stores and resturants. It had generally been possible to find a spot at or near Frager’s even on a Saturday when it was the major activity on the block, but what will happen when the patrons of the restaurants and new vendors find themselves competing for the same limited street parking area?

    • why don't my comments appear on your site?

      the parking will likely be designated for the residences with maybe a few for the business. The concept is a neighborhood development. It won’t be any better or worse than it was when Fragers operated there.

  10. Craig D'Ooge

    It’s always been my dream to live at Frager’s and maybe soon I can.

  11. Eric Petersen

    As an architect that lives a block away, I like the idea of expanded development on the site. The scale seems appropriate for the existing low building. The additive parts of the existing building need further development and detail. The current design is trying too hard to be “loft” like and needs to have more urban residential quality.


    I like the look of the entire project, especially the “low” height on PA Avenue storefronts side. A few questions:
    * Is there still a side alley from 11th St. SE going to the back of the property?
    * I see the triangular garden supplies space at the side rear, and are there plans for delivery of supplies of all sorts to both hardware and garden stores, and also plans for customer pickup of large items?
    * Frager’s did use its upstairs for extensive storage, and its basement for the same as well as services (window repairs, sharpening, much else). So will the new storefronts be able to accommodate the JUST ASK, the PAINT, and other needs?
    * We now have a brand new large paints retailer on PA Ave — on corner of 15th St. or so — will Frager’s give up its paint emporium?
    * I find the current garden store and hardware store on E Street fine but much harder to find parking at. Getting everything under one roof is in my view much better.