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Edmonds School condominium conversion moving forward in Capitol Hill neighborhood

Rendering of Edmonds School condominium building

Conversion of the former Edmonds School at 901 D Street NE, into condominium residences by developer CAS Riegler is moving forward.  

Designed in 1902, the Capitol Hill school is being transformed into 21 apartments ranging from 500-square-foot, one-bedroom units to nearly 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom units. Ditto Residential, a company focused on high quality redevelopment, is restoring and repurposing the building. The project also includes four townhouses on the old school parking lot. The project received Bureau of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) approval in late 2012; a September 24, 2013 BZA meeting focused on clarifying the developer's contribution toward installation of a bike station.

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 6A03
David Holmes told Elevation DC that CAS Riegler and Ditto Residential are doing "a beautiful job and have extensively preserved" the school. The project has Historic Preservation Review Board approval. Ditto Residential began non-structural historic demolition in early 2013 as the first step in the process. Urban Pace began soft-sales of the residences in June.

CAS Riegler initially sought to create 30 residences, but the ANC opposed any additional density without mitigation. Only 23 housing units are allowed by-right. According to Holmes, there is not nearly enough on-street parking for current residences. The project includes 14 off-street parking spaces, more than required.

"Because of careful and sympathetic presentations of CAS Riegler and Ditto Residential the ANC and neighborhood authorized a proposal of two . . . additional residential units in exchange for the purchase of a small Capitol Bikeshare (CaBi) station to be installed in the immediate vicinity and the payment of the public space fee for five years of an on-street parking space for a ZipCar" or equivalent adjacent to the site, the ANC 6A03 Commissioner told the BZA in a 2012 letter.

The cost originally obtained from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) for a small CaBi station was $25,000. Subsequently, the parties learned that DDOT expects an $80,000 contribution. The ANC and CAS Riegler agree that $25,000 is the appropriate contribution and that the order should be so modified. A formal BZA hearing will be held October 29 to determine if due diligence was exercised; according to the parties, this seems to be primarily a procedural requirement. 

Read more articles by Jeanne Holden.

Jeanne is a freelance journalist with broad experience covering economics, transportation and development issues for clients ranging from consulting firms and think tanks to federal agencies such as the State Department and newsletters such as The Urban Transportation Monitor.  Before freelancing, Jeanne worked as a reporter, writer, and editor for the U.S. Information Agency, a federal agency that supported U.S. foreign policy through educational and information programs.
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