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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Big Real Estate News For H Street

Two big news items broke for H Street today. The great part is that one is in the in-between-area that is neither the east end, nor the west end and is only recently seeing more activity.

The Washington City Paper reports that H Street CDC wants to enlarge its headquarters (501 H Street). It's currently a tiny one story building. The new plans would see it expanded to a five story residential structure, with retail on the first floor.

The second bit of news is not a new project, but an expansion. Urban Turf reports that the planned project The Maia (14th & Maryland, just off H Street) plans to enlarge from 49 units to 84 units. This is on the space formerly occupied by a church.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

What does the H Street CDC really do, anyway? Their office always seems closed. I don't see why they need more space....

Anonymous said...

They eat up blocks grants.

They build really crappy buildings like the H Street connection and Autozone.

They spend H Street funds in other parts of the city, which considering what they have done on H street in the past may be a good thing.

They buy land but sell it at market rates and keep the profits for their corporate selfs, rather than giving it back to the community.

It is the job of the Ward 6 Councilmember and Mayor to hold the CDC accountable, but never do.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't classify either of these changes as "big real estate news for H street". Remember that there are opportunity costs to using land or vacant buildings. Rather than a "better use" of space, we should want the optimal use of space.

inked said...

If an already decently sized proposed condo project doubles in size, and a one story building adds four stories, it seems like big news to me. Not new groceery store big, but big.

Anonymous said...

The reaction demonstrates just how much this area has changed.

Five years ago this would have been HUGE news. Now, eh. Just another condo and new building on H...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I agree with Anon.8:13. I believe the area may be becoming over saturated with multi-unit living so an expansion from 49 units to 84 doesn't seem particularly exciting. Has anyone seen the drawings for this place?

As for the H St. CDC, I have no idea what they do so I don't see their expansion as big news. Maybe someone on here can chime in on all the good work the CDC has done for H St. and their plans for the future. That might get me more excited about their growth.

Tell me a high end dress shop, gift store, or organic food market is coming, then I'll be excited.

Anonymous said...

I recall that the earlier reports for the 14/Maryland condo building was that it was shunning the mixed use concept and wasn't planning on much/any ground floor retail. That was disappointing to learn as a local resident. Their website has no new info on the expanded plans...anyone know if the doubling in size also includes adding ground floor retail? Glad to see that corner getting developed, but ground retail is something I could get excited about.

Dave B said...

I dont se H St CDC as "expanding". They are just building on their land to be used for residential and retail (which everybody keeps repeating we need, right?).

Sure they havent told you it is going to be a bakery or high end dress shop or classy vibrator store, because it is effing years away from that stage. The news is that a fairly large vacant three dimensional space in the middle of H St will now become filled in and maybe one day will have a pet store that exclusively will service your toyger while you get a hummus massage.

The foour or five more stories here and the 40 more units on MD avenue means we come closer to achieving the necessary number of residents to support the bakery and gym we dont have yet

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit concerned by the size increase on MD Ave.... but we'll see how it all shakes out.

and this is why I want a gym:

http://iwastesomuchtime.com/on/?i=29568

Dave B said...

at least we got a Center for Disease Control. Although that probably won't help. If watching Doomsday Preppers has taught me anything, it is that a "widespread economic collapse and hyper inflation" is going to do us all in, or at least me anyway because i am not storing food and building a bunker

Anonymous said...

How high is 5 stories? I thought you could only go 5 or 10 feet above the 50 foot limit for c2a zoning for the HS Overlay?

Anonymous said...

Bakery - that's a great idea. Maybe even a cupcake shop!

Anonymous said...

just in case,Dave B isn't joking, CDC in the case of H Street CDC is H Street Community Development Corporation.

inked said...

Dave B, you are correct. H Street CDC is not expanding their operations, just building something much taller than what currently occupies the space.

emo said...

http://www.theonion.com/articles/sometimes-i-feel-like-im-the-only-one-trying-to-ge,11249/

curmudgeon said...

Will the Maia also be putting in 89 parking spaces?

dt said...

curmudgeon-

Why should they? It's a city. Many, many people don't have cars. We don't need a parking spot for each resident, nor should we want one IMHO. There are a wealth of transportation options for those new units, including bus, bikeshare, and zipcar.

heyktb said...

thanks emo, for posting that insightful link. i feel torn between treasuring what i already have living here; the antithesis of the VA suburbs where i was previously sequestered, vs. looking forward to the changes that will inevitably transform this neighborhood into another starbucks feedlot.

Anonymous said...

At best, the Maia is required to put in only one parking spot per four units. The building does seem large for that corner.

curmudgeon said...

dt -- How many years must I have lived in cities, or in this city, before I'm allowed by you to have a contrary opinion on this? Is 40 years for the first, and six years in this neighborhood, OK with you? Thanks for reminding me that this is a city, but I hadn't forgotten. I'm well aware of that, and for that reason I'm not expecting parking to be easy; but I'm also not expecting to routinely need to park 4-6 blocks away from my house, either -- as happens absurdly frequently these days. This is a recent thing: just eight months ago, it wasn't remotely like this; and now I've watched the mailing list for my block and surrounding ones, which has existed and been useful for years, become preoccupied with parking.

I've seen people complain about this being driven by the growth of H Street, but I don't buy it; I often get home from work *well* after everything on H has closed for the night, and it's as bad as it gets. To me, it's simpler than that. We keep getting large condos around here. A condo will take up the street frontage associated with four properties, but need the street parking equivalent of 30 properties or more. Yes, it's a city; but logically, that's not a sustainable path.

Anonymous said...

It is also more affluent renters, and homeowners. A couple of apartment buildings near me used to rent to mostly working class women that used the bus. These days, it rents to young professionals that own cars. The houses on my street used to have owners with one car, now have the new owners have two cars. So yeah there may be some parking demand from H Street customers, but most of the problem is really caused by our changing demographics.

Anonymous said...

curmudegeon

I can certainly attest to the parking being tough, but I have to disagree that it wasn't that way 8 months ago. I was living between 12th and 13th and would routinely have to park 3-5 blocks away over a year ago. I guess i can remember back about 5 years ago and admit I didn't ever have too much of a problem finding parking on I St between 12th and 13th. But yes, it seemx it is only getting worse.