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: http://bit.ly/1QGbdTB and here: http://bit.ly/1R39h1D. 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: http://www.perseusrealty.com/