January 29, 2013
WASHINGTON, January 29, 2013—The Heritage Foundation has unveiled architectural design plans for three properties the think tank acquired through affiliates during the first half of last year near its Capitol Hill headquarters. The properties are:
The owners of Congressional House and the apartment building each approached Heritage in August 2011, asking if the think tank would be interested in purchasing the properties before they were put on the market. Heritage’s Board of Trustees viewed the purchase of 236 Mass. Ave. as a strategic one-time opportunity to provide long-term growth options for the Foundation. The Board unanimously approved the purchases in December 2011 and April 2012, respectively.
The vacant apartment building is a non-conforming building in a single family residential neighborhood located behind Heritage’s headquarters building; built after Capitol Hill’s period of historical significance.
The conceptual review plans were unveiled at a recent neighborhood meeting outlining the proposed redevelopment project.
The design for 3rd Street restores the streetscape with six new single family rowhouses sitting on top of below-grade accessory parking for the new rowhouses and Heritage offices. A third-party developer will build and sell the rowhouses. According to Heritage Executive Vice President Phil Truluck, “Our goal is to eliminate the surface parking lot, remove the non-conforming apartment house, and restore the single-family streetscape and original fabric of the neighborhood with compatible new rowhouses.”
The plans for 3rd and Mass have been submitted to the Historic Preservation Review Board and will be submitted to the Board of Zoning Adjustment. Both boards must approve the project. The construction of the rowhouses and accessory parking will commence immediately after obtaining the required approvals and permits.
Work at Congressional House is not imminent. “The property manager is currently signing multi-year lease renewals so it will be business as usual for Bagels & Baguettes, Subway and all other tenants,” said Eric Korsvall, Heritage’s Director of Administration. Future plans for 236 Mass. Ave, N.E., include expansion of the ground floor retail spaces along with the replacement of windows, doors, and other incompatible additions and alterations; landscape modifications including removal of the vehicular driveway; improving accessibility at the building entrance and retail spaces; and substantial rehabilitation of the building’s interior including new building services and utilities.