City Paper Widget

Monday, March 2, 2015

New Blagden Alley Construction: "I Envision a Restaurant" Next to Rogue 24

A team from Douglas Development unveiled a plan for a new building to be constructed in Blagden Alley at a regularly-scheduled monthly meeting of a committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle on February 25. The address will be 920 N Street NW. The building will abut Rogue 24 restaurant to the east. The space is currently a fenced-in empty lot which sometimes functions as a sculpture garden or a location for outside events.

Black building (right): Artist's conception of proposal
Paul Millstein of Douglas Development told ANC2F's Community Development Committee (CDC) told the committee the project was "a matter of right from a zoning perspective", meaning, it will not be necessary to seek zoning relief. However, the design, concept, and massing of the building must be approved by DC's Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) because the building is located in the Blagden Alley/Naylor Court Historic District

The black building on the right of the picture is the proposed new building.  The architect told the CDC the plan is for the building to have a two-story, 32-foot-tall building with a black brick veneer. It would be three feet taller than La Colombe coffee shop (left in photo), but still well within the zoning-dictated limit of 50 feet tall. Its design would "differ from [neighboring] historic buildings but have certain nods".

"We wanted to see the reaction to the brick," one of the presenters said.

The reaction to the color of the brick was not positive. Many members of the committee said they thought it should be changed. Some said it would not be possible to exactly match the color of the brick of the neighboring structures but recommended that the new building have "a similar color".

The new construction would also have access to an improved roof deck over neighboring Rogue 24.

Paul Millstein said there was no tenant committed to the space yet, but the building was built with food service in mind.

"I envision a restaurant," he said.

This lead to a discussion of practical aspects of a restaurant operating in the space, such as valet parking and trash collection. Millstein said he thought the future restaurant would have valet parking on 9th Street.

The committee voted unanimously to recommend the full ANC endorse the historical aspects of the new construction, with the provision that Douglas Development work with HPRB on the color of the brick.

The CDC's unanimous endorsement of this project will now move to the full ANC for approval. The case is on the agenda for ANC2F's next regularly-scheduled meeting on Wednesday, March 4, at 7pm at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle). In the case of unanimous committee endorsements, the full ANC in the past has often ratified decisions without much further debate.

(Photo credit: from documents distributed at the CDC meeting by Douglas Development)

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