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H Street NE condo/retail project moves forward

A six-story mixed-use building is planned for 646-654 H Street NE, “one of the hottest corridors in Washington, D.C.,” says Gary Schlager, principal of developer Rock Creek Property Group, which is building the 40,000-square-foot condo project with Cornerstone Development Group.
D.C.'s Board of Zoning Adjustment approved the project's request for parking relief last month, and Schlager is in the process of applying for permits.
“We are fully entitled,” says Schlager, who hopes to break ground in the fourth quarter of 2015 and figures on a 12- to 14-month construction timeframe.
The project, so far unnamed, will have 26 to 32 condos and first floor, possibly second floor retail. “The second floor can go either way,” says Schlager, which would determine the number of condos.
Schlager says the condos would be mostly one-bedrooms, with some some two-bedroom units. Prices have not been set yet. The architect is PGN Architects.
The site, at the corner of H and 7th Streets NE, is currently occupied by five small commercial structures, of which four have short-term leases. Schlager says the buildings will be demolished but the facades retained.
The project is almost adjacent to The Apollo, a 400-plus building under construction that will bring Whole Foods to H Street. It is also, like everything else on this section of H Street NE, located directly on the planned streetcar, which has suffered uncountable delays and setbacks.
“The H Street corridor is in the midst of revitalization,” says Schlager, noting that over 1,000 residential units have been built or are planned for the corridor.
The project’s retail “bay” size will range from as small as 1,200 square feet up to 14,000 square feet. There will be an outdoor seating area on the corner. Incidentally: eagle-eyed readers will notice that the renderings provided by Rock Creek Property Group clearly show logos for Bang Salon and Aura Spa mixed in among the placeholder logos. But Bang and Aura fans, don't get too excited: no tenants have been confirmed for the space yet, and Schlager confirms that those tenants are "hypothetical."
At any rate, whatever companies do move in to the new building will take advantage of its "great frontage on H Street,” says Schlager. “We have had tremendous interest in the retail. We’ve been talking to potential tenants and agents but haven’t signed up anyone yet.”

Read more articles by Barbara Pash.

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