City Paper Widget

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Smaller 1618 Q Street Project Set to Move Forward

Congressional Q Street LLC, owners of 1618 Q Street NW, together with Workshop T10 Architects seemed relieved that their visit of last night (January 7) to the design review committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle could possibly be their last.

1618 Q Street
The third time could be the charm as ANC2B's Zoning, Preservation and Development (ZPD) Committee seemed set to go along with the latest opinion of D.C.'s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) on the revised plans for the renovation and expansion of the building, which was formerly a single family home.

The original plans called for the building to be converted into seven apartments, but the current plans are for only six. In the original plans, the largest apartment would have been 772 square feet, and the average apartment would have been 570 square feet. Now, the largest apartment will be a single duplex of 1058 square feet plus a 210 square-foot roof deck, and the smallest apartment will be about 420 square feet.

About the size of the project, one presenter at the meeting said: "Overall, it just keeps getting smaller, somewhat to our dismay."

The project received a highly critical review from the HPRB on November 21, 2013, which said the project as planned would result in "incompatible additions and alterations to the house". After Workshop T10 reworked the plan according to HPRB's suggestions, it received a more favorable reception in a December 19, 2013, report, which called the new design concept "compatible with the character of the [Dupont Circle] historic district".

Desiree Hollar, presenting for Workshop T10, said the new design would "maintain more of the existing structure".

The team overseeing the reservations also dealt with some of the complaints of the neighbors, which stalled the progress of the project. In addition to decreasing the size of the roof deck at the request of an abutting neighbor, Workshop T10 also offered to soundproof the same neighbor's nearby bedroom to attenuate any noise that might come from the deck.

This same neighbor was also concerned about the effect the renovation (which is scheduled to include basement excavation) on the foundation of his home. Workshop T10 reported the neighbor was more comfortable with this aspect of the renovation after meetings with architects and the planning team.

ZPD Committee Chair Leo Dwyer (Commissioner for district 07) told Workshop T10 he was also more comfortable with the project. Dwyer thanked everyone for their patience developing the project, which will have the effect of bringing the structure, which is currently non-conforming to zoning regulations, into conformance. It will also preserve the front facade, he noted.

"I think it's awesome and it will increase your curb appeal and your visibility," Dwyer said.

Dwyer said a motion to support the project as presented will be brought before the full ANC when it met the following day, i.e., today, January 8, at 7pm, at the Brookings Institution (1775 Massachusetts Avenue).

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