ANC6B Supports Resurrection of Huge Mixed Use Project on M Street SE – 900 Units & Retail

A rendering of the view of the proposed project at 1333 M Street, SE, seen from Water Street.

The site is east of Washington Navy Yard, adjacent to Maritime Plaza. 

And this is the footprint.

ANC6B Supports Resurrection of Huge Mixed Use Project on M Street SE – 900 Units & Retail

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, ANC6B voted to support Felice Development Group’s resurrection of a dormant residential/retail project on the banks of the Anacostia River near Boat House Row.  The 6 – 0 – 2  vote was to support of the developer’s plan to ask the DC Zoning commission to initiate  the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process for the project.  The Zoning Commission has scheduled that meeting for later this month.  (Developers of a PUD project apply to the Zoning Commission for a change in zoning that would allow greater density, height, and mass than the current zoning for the site would allow.  If approved, it is usually with a package of benefits or amenities for the community, provided by the developer.)

A similar project, introduced in 2015 by developer Crescent Heights, was deferred in 2017,“stymied by overdevelopment” according to the developer, who at the time sought and received at two year extension of the PUD.

According to a representative of GTM Architects, the revival of the 2015 – 2017 project is similar to that plan but with an improved design and development (and 1/3 larger) program.

The new plan anticipates three buildings – two of the larger buildings – each 13 stories and 130 feet tall, will be connected by a bridge.  The smaller third building will stand alone with nine stories at 92 feet tall.

The total project will amount to 791,000 square feet, with 900 residential units and two levels of below grade parking.  Ten percent of the units will be affordable – 2% more than is required under Inclusionary Zoning requirements.

The project will provide 45,000 square feet of retail space, with ground floor retail facing M Street.  A 25 foot slope of the site toward the river will afford two levels on retail on that side.  According to Biz Now, the developer will fill much of the retail space with a food hall.

ANC6B Commissioner and Chair of the ANC’s Planning and Zoning Committee Corey Holman said that the ANC would appoint a working group to discuss community benefits and amenities, as the project moves forward.  Holman noted that the buildings will change the present view-scape dramatically and raises questions about that value to the community.  He said the Planning and Zoning Committee would solicit the input of constituents on benefits, as well as on how a Memorandum of Understanding regarding construction mitigation should be structured. He also said his Committee wants to see additional renderings of the view from L Street and from the river and the south side of the river, as well as shadow studies.

A company representative cited a number of “community benefits” which the project will provide by developing beyond what the department of transportation requires in terms of infrastructure improvements.  She noted that providing 2% more affordable housing than the 8% requirement was also a public benefit.



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10 responses to “ANC6B Supports Resurrection of Huge Mixed Use Project on M Street SE – 900 Units & Retail

  1. John

    I’m skeptical that the neighborhood needs another food hall. But using some of that retail space for a daycare would be warmly received.

  2. Wendy Blair

    It is hideous. I’ll luckily be looking down on Capitol Hill from someplace in the Beyond, comparing it in my mind with the SW l’Enfant development as that travesty unfolded in the 60s and 70s.

  3. Kris

    Precisely where is all this retail going to come from? As things now stand, every big new block of residential development on the Hill has empty storefronts that have yet to be occupied. Not to mention the complete loss of view for everyone who lives across the SE/SW freeway from this behemoth. I don’t even live on that street and I’m already grieving for them. Who is our ANC representing with this vote?

  4. Gerald Sroufe

    Capitol Hill Corner is correct that ANC6B’s initial consideration of the 1333 M Street project resulted in a favorable vote to approve a “set-down” agreement. However, I want to point out that this was a routine procedural vote, essentially a vote to approve going to the next step of the process, and that two Commissioners abstained from agreeing to even this step.

    I am skeptical about the discrepancy I see between the size of the developer’s ask from the community and the benefits being offered to the community, and I trust I made this clear during the meeting. However, the set down agreement includes a set of questions, drafted by P and Z chair Corey Holman, seeking additional critical information about the project. Answers to these questions will be available to the ANC, and to the community, to inform consideration of the project.

    Keep safe all.

    Gerald Sroufe

  5. Sally M

    This stretch of M and Water Streets in its current, undeveloped form is one of my favorite spots in the city. The pandemic may have done in the market for glitzy high rises for a while. Let’s hope so, because it would be hard to dream up a development more architecturally egregious. (But thanks, as always, for your reporting, Larry!)

  6. Enrica Crescenzi

    Is the city intent on destroying all of the opens spaces and river views in the southern portion of the city? That is, of course, unless you are rich enough to purchase one of the high priced condos facing south! The vast monstrosity of canyons & hi-rise condos east of the Navy Yard are bad enough…just a sterile grouping of tall bland rectangles. Now we’ll have a hideous behemoth east of the Navy Yard, too? Whatever happened to blending architecture into existing residential aesthetics?

  7. Eric

    …This is one of people’s favorite spots in the city? It’s an empty industrial yard next to a parking lot. What is there to ruin?,-76.9864921,301m/data=!3m1!1e3

    I don’t find it particularly offensive, but obviously everyone is going to have a different taste and it’s impossible to design for everyone. But seriously folks, this isn’t some pristine green space that is being bulldozed.

    • Sally M.

      It’s a quiet home to birds, pollinating insects, wildflowers, and water views. Not all valuable habitats are “pristine.” The overlooked margins of rail lines, farms, and rivers are essential to the survival of many species, and even to the happiness of the humans who appreciate them.

  8. Jim Foster

    This is one development that will have impact but so will the proposed heliport to be located next to the 11th St Bridge.