City Paper Widget

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

965 Florida Avenue Project Expects Exit Soon from Bowser Hold

The developers of several parcels of land at and near 965 Florida Avenue NW told a meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B/U Street February 5 that it will soon exit the hold put on the project by the Mayor Bowser.

Red Star = 965 Florida Avenue (photo credit below)
"We are on the goal line on getting this in front of the council," said Matthew Robinson of MRP Realty.

965 Florida Avenue is one of five development projects approved late in the administration of former Mayor Vincent Gray which were put on hold January 29, pending review by the new Bowser administration team. The Bowser administration has said it wishes to confirm that upcoming projects are compliant with soon-to-be-enacted regulations concerning affordable housing.

Just before the developers spoke, the ANC also heard from Marc Bleyer, Senior Project Manager at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), on the multiple project hold. The bulk of Bleyer's remarks were about the possible long-term hold of a separate project to develop the former site of the Grimke School (1923 Vermont Street NW) -- see SALM blog post of February 9. However, about 965 Florida Avenue, Bleyer said: "We're working to get that done quickly."

Joining Robinson on the team of developers presenting were James Nozar of The JBG Companies and Chip Ellis of Ellis Development Group.

Nozar outlined the scope of the project, which involves three separate parcels of land. Nozar said there would be an announcement soon about the "neighborhood-oriented retail" that would appear in the new development. This included "food that is non-tapas oriented", he said.

Ellis announced there would be a 40,000 square foot grocery store on the site, but said he could not yet name the retailer. A report from last year named Harris Teeter as the "likely" grocery retailer for the project.

"We are pleased to announce that the project will be adhering to 30 percent affordable housing," Ellis also said, perhaps meaning that the project as currently envisioned is already compliant with the upcoming new regulations on affordable housing.

After the presentations, ANC1B Commissioner Ellen Nedrow Sullivan (district 02) told the presenters: "You're really answering the needs of the community."

See a February 3, 2015, article from the Washington City Paper's Housing Complex blog about the partnership of JBG and MPR Realty on this project here.

See a page from the DMPED web site about this project, including a link to the original Request for Proposal, here.

(Photo credit: detail from the DMPED 2012 Request for Proposal for 965 Florida Avenue)

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