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JBG's 13 and U apartment building gets final approval

A rendering of JBG's 13th and U project

JBG's 13th and U project

After five years of planning, JBG has received final approval from the D.C. Zoning Commission to move forward with its 13th and U Street development.  The design for the project has changed substantially from its original hotel form into plans for a 135-apartment building.

"It has been a long process, but we are grateful for the input we received from the community, Office of Planning, and Historic Preservation Review Board along the way, and feel the result is a truly great project that will be a great contributor to the neighborhood," says a JBG source.

The current one-story building will be vacant and ready for demolition by this fall. Construction will last for about 22 months.

The Crème Café still occupies the building and is expected to move, but Rite-Aid pharmacy will be moving back into a space of 1,500 square feet on the ground floor. Another 7,500 square feet of retail is still yet to be leased out.

The building, located right across from the U Street Metro stop, was first proposed as a 250-room, 103-foot-high hotel which residents and community leaders highly contested. JBG scrapped plans for the hotel back in 2012 and architect David M Schwartz redesigned the project into the current 86-foot-high mixed-use building.

Today's designs call for one- and two-bedroom apartments, some with dens and some with balconies, with an average of 972 square feet. The range for the apartments runs from 700 square feet to 1,900 for the top floor. Twelve apartments are being set aside as affordable, reserved for residents with 80 percent of the area median income (AMI).

The boutique-feel building will also have a predominantly green roof with lounge seating areas and grills as well as a fitness center, below-grade parking, a community kitchen and lounge area, and a concierge.

"We have a long-standing commitment and belief in this neighborhood and celebrate the neighborhood’s vibrancy, diversity, cultural amenities, history, access and entertainment," says the JBG source.

Preleasing will start, through JBG, in late 2015 with move-in sometime later that year.

To sweeten the deal for the neighborhood, JBG put together a $600,000 community benefits package that will help fund things like new equipment at local schools, a Capital Bikeshare station at 13th and U, and the creation of the Business Improvement District.

The 13/U apartments are just one of JBG's projects in the area. The company also is nearly finished with a nine-story mixed-use apartment building called The Louis at 14th Street and U as well as the 375-unit, mixed-use multi-building project known as the Atlantic Plumbing development around the 9:30 Club on V Street.

Read more articles by Lisa Spinelli.

Lisa Spinelli is Elevation DC's development editor as well as a freelance journalist, copy editor and mother of two. After receiving her Master of Science in print journalism from Columbia University in 2004, Lisa worked across the country and in Italy as a journalist, editor and Web editor. Her website LisaSpinelli.com has links to a smattering of her published clips.
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