This part of the project consists of two buildings; one office, one residential, and both with ground floor retail and below ground parking. The office building with have a maximum height of 90 ft, and the residential will have a maximum height of 85 feet facing Kenilworth Terrace. Both buildings contain a rooftop decks and step down to around 60-70 feet along Parkside Place.
73 residential units (Studios, 1 and 2 bedrooms) 16,704 sq ft of retail. 112,595 sq ft of office. 151 Parking spaces will be provided (141 below ground- this was an increase of 37 spaces from the original 2006 proposal) FAR. The project is purported to create “a meaningful and successful linkage between the proposed pedestrian walkway leading from the Minnesota Ave Metro station and into the park.
The project will feature green roofs to mitigate stormwater and heat island effects.
A rendering of what the buildings would likely look like from Parkside Place.
City Interests is bringing its retail consultant to the Parkside Civic Association and ANC 7D meetings to discuss this in more detail.
Office space will be subdivided as it is leased out. Office space pricing is focused on the non profit, small business and “budget” office market. The developer is designing and billing this space as an alternative to the expensive downtown/K Street market.
Grant and Burnham: Will become alleys with access to the garages. In their place there will be a new two way street approximately half way between the two buildings. The area will also consist of a pedestrian promenade.
Diversity of Housing Options: Concerned about the diversity of housing being presented. Both residential buildings presented recently are all Studios to 2 bedrooms. Would like to see some more homeownership opportunities (possibly affordable) as well as 3 bedroom units. We want to make sure that the Parkside PUD has adequate opportunities for family housing as well as young professionals.
Can the community and the residential real estate market absorb this many new units at once? If all three projects were to be completed at the same time in 2020, City Interests would be adding more than 400 units of housing around the same time. Until this point, residents have been moving into the neighborhood incrementally- the townhome developments were completed in phases making new arrivals more of a trickle. Previous apartment buildings have been added one at a time adding around 100-200 units at a time.
Questions I have include is there any evidence that the housing market in Ward 7 will be sufficiently robust to sustain this many units? This project is not operating in a vacuum, as Kenilworth Courts and projects in River Terrace will be coming online at this time.
Retail Commitments: The developer has not provided information on the community health assessment mentioned in 2015. What is the status of the promised retail assessments? Retail determinations should be predicated on current community health assessment, needs rather than soley hypothetical future populations. We need a solid commitment to resolve the neighborhood's food desert issues. A small grocery store would be an ideal solution. There is a concern whether the retail square footage provided in this portion of the project (and in the future adjacent projects) is insufficient. Concerned that the project's retail is being broken up into too many small units.
We need more clarity as to what the developer's vision for these spaces are. So far we know that one space is pitched as a cafe. Since they can be specific about some spaces, they should be specific about more of them.
Parking: There is a significant amount of parking in this project. How will the parking be managed? The demand for office and retail parking peeks at a different time of day than residential, potentially allowing for flexible usage. How will parking be priced in the garage? Will there be metered parking on the promenade?
Where will handicapped parking be located?
In its Transportation Study for the Hayes Street project City Interests indicated it was flexible as to parking management for the surrounding streets and would be willing to cooperate with the community on how it should be managed.
Some possible Street Parking Management Options are (its possible to combine these together). The ball's in the community's court as for what to do with parking:
Pro: No one pays for parking spaces.
Con: People are less likely to use off street parking, commuters will continue to use neighborhood streets for free parking. This means less available parking overall.
Residential Permit Parking
Pro: 2-hour limits would stop commuters from using the neighborhood. Would encourage those who work in neighborhood to use off street parking options.
Con: Residents have to pay for yearly parking permits. Imposes difficulty on people accommodating guests. More reliance on parking enforcement.
Pro: More effective at ensure there are enough spaces. More flexible in accommodating guests. Pricing leads to less reliance on parking enforcement.
Con: DDOT needs pushing to install meters. Many residents don't have cell phones and apps to pay for spaces. Residents would still have to pay for RPP to be exempt from paying for spaces.
Volume of Construction and Construction Impacts: This is a huge amount of construction all at one time. I'm very concerned about the impact of so much construction going on simultaneously. The community must review construction traffic and staging plans plan. Staging and construction parking should be located away from Parkside Townhomes and Mayfair Mansions. We need a point of contact to handle complaints about construction impacts. In addition we would like notifications in advance of periods of traffic disruption, U5/U6 disruption, vibration, etc. These can be done electronically via the community listserv, or by visits to the Parkside Civic Association. I was encouraged during the discussion that there would be a renewed effort to communicate with the community via the ParksideDC website as well as maintaining a more proactive presence in the community.
For future projects located adjacent to the Parkside Townhomes we need to have pre and post inspections to be done so that adjacent property owners can be made whole in the event of damage from vibration or other construction related activities. At other projects in ANC 7D (Kenilworth Courts Revitalization and Valor Development’s Minnesota Ave project) developers/construction companies have agreed to reimburse neighbors for damage caused by vibration and other damage. This has been implemented by documenting their current status of properties before construction.
Loss of Open Space: Residents have been using this public space for decades. What design features, amenities can be used to give residents access to new open spaces? The National Park Service owns large areas of land adjacent to our community. A partnership between NPS, City Interests and our community could reopen and maintain these spaces for community use.
Historic Trees on Property: Five of the seven trees on the site will be preserved and relocated. Two of the trees are unhealthy and cannot be moved. One of these trees is very unhealthy.
Watertable Issues: Testing is currently underway regarding the depth of the water table on the lots, as well as the condition of groundwater. Construction was delayed at the Grove when contaminated groundwater was found at the site and had to be filtered. The groundwater had to be treated before it could be pumped which required permits and special equipment. We need to see the data regarding the condition of groundwater at this site as well as The Grove site.
Amenity Spaces: The promenade can be used as event space- the street temporarily closed to accommodate events, markets and festivals. Question: How will community be able to use this space? Is this a DDOT public space or a private space?
There is an “amenity” space located adjacent to the lobby of the apartment building (and separated from the apartments themselves). This space will have windows that look out on the green and the promenade. It is an ideal location for holding public meetings. It would be to make this space available to community organizations for meetings.
Solar Power: The developer is exploring the possibility of having solar generation on this project. Now that we are getting to the larger buildings it would be great to see rooftop solar generation included on this as well as other plans.
Collaborating on Jobs: At last fall's Parkside Civic Association meeting there was some discussion on coordinating with the community on jobs. I would like to continue this discussion with the Board of the Parkside Civic Association as well as several partners working on these issues in the community. The Civic Association is forming a committee on economic development issues, and several other community members are developing partnerships with DOES that would create a pipeline for residents in DOES programming to be paired up with jobs in the area.
Cultural Economic Development Opportunities: Shared office space, business incubators are amenities that could cultivate entrepreneurship in Ward 7. Future projects could include performance space for community performing arts groups.