City Paper Widget

Thursday, May 1, 2014

1738 14th Street: Renovation to Bring Eight Apartments near S Street

A planned renovation on 14th Street NW will bring eight apartments, retail space, and two parking spaces to a busy and popular intersection.

"Not a restaurant" here
Architects Andy Schiefer and Joel DeLeon of Architects Group Practice of Alexandria, Virginia, came before a committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle last night (April 30) to ask for endorsement of their concept and massing of a top-to-bottom, front-to-back renovation on the entire lot of 1738 14th Street NW.

Right now, the building that fronts onto 1738 14th Street is a historically-protected building, built in 1890. It recently housed a gym and a hair salon. Behind it were two newer shorter buildings, attached to the main building, that are not considered historically significant. The three buildings together take up nearly 100 percent of the lot.

The Community Development Committee (CDC) of ANC2F heard a plan to preserve and restore the building at the front of the property, and demolish the two rear buildings. After the renovation, the front building will have retail on the first floor. The presenters said they had an expression of interest from a real estate company --"not a restaurant" -- for the first floor space.

Above the retail space there will be a single dwelling unit each on the second and third floors. At the rear of the property there will be a separate, new building, which will have six "efficiency apartments". Of these, three will face the rear alleyway, and three will face a courtyard between the new and old buildings. This rear building will be accessed by a door and a flight of stairs from 14th Street, and a secondary entrance from the alley.

There will be two parking spaces, accessible through the rear alley.

The architects may have to seek zoning relief in the future, in which case they will most likely appear before the CDC again. But last night they asked the CDC to endorse the project so it can move to D.C.'s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for approval. Any major renovation of this building must be considered by the HPRB because the building is located within the Fourteenth Street Historic District.

The north facade of both the old and the new buildings would be completely exposed, because there is an empty lot currently used as a parking lot on the southwest corner of 14th and S. Rumor has it that the empty lot may someday house a 4- or 5-story building. If this is the case, the rear building at 1738 14th Street will not be visible from the street. But, for time being, both buildings and their northern facades will be plainly visible from 14th Street. HPRB told the architects "they want us to do something with the exposed facade" on the north side of the property.

The CDC voted unanimously to endorse the concept and massing from the 1738 14th Street project. It will now move onto the full ANC for approval at their next scheduled meeting, which will take place on Wednesday, May 14, at 7pm at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle).

Online records show 1738 14th Street was sold in November 2011 for $1.4 million.

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