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Votes

Upper King Street To Gain 65 Residential Units

<bt>Another step in the continuing revitalization of upper King Street gained approval by the city's Planning Commission at its April 5 meeting. It calls 65 multifamily dwelling unit plus ground floor retail and underground parking.

Encompassing the area from 1514 to 1602 King St. and 1601 Dechantel St., the site is 1,000 feet from the King Street Metro Station. This enables it to "create a pedestrian-oriented mixed use development near a transit stop," according to Planning and Zoning Department staff.

Ranging in height from 35 to 60 feet, the mass of the building is located in the rear. The lower scale, "historic street presence" is respected by preserving one historic building, the facade of another, and designing a scaled down (three- story) new building on King Street," staff noted in their recommendation for approval.

This is an excellent combination of uses to fit in with the King Street Strategy, according to attorney Jonathan P. Rak, representing the applicant DSF-Long King Street, LLC. The site is surrounded by two and three-story buildings that consist of retail and office uses as well as three to five-story office buildings to the south along Prince Street.

Although the site is outside the Old Historic District, the applicant proposes to "retain the 100-year-old building at 1520 King Street and the facade of the early 20th century building at 1600 King St." A new building will be constructed located to the side and rear of the existing historic edifices.

"The two buildings will be separated by a 4,594 square feet courtyard that will be accessible from King Street and open to the public," according to the application. In addition to the 65 upper level condominium units, there will be 5,414 square feet of retail space along King Street on the ground floor.

"The proposed development, with its mix of uses and usable and consolidated central courtyard creates ... a vibrant urban development consistent with the City Council's Strategic Plan and King Street Retail Strategy," staff stated in their analysis.

They found the residential use to be particularly attractive. "The proposal is an opportunity to introduce residential use into an area of King Street which consists primarily of office uses. Additional residents ... will help provide shoppers and users of businesses on King Street," and generally stimulate the area, staff said. It was unanimously approved.

IN OTHER ACTIONS, the commission approved:

* The subdivision of a 1.31 acre site known as the Garvey Property, 2805-2811 King St. Currently a vacant site adjacent to Ivy Hill Cemetery, the applicant, Edgemoore Land, L.L.C., is seeking to subdivide into three lots to construct three single-family homes. Staff recommended approval based primarily on the rationale, "The site is currently vacant with 20 mature trees" and could be developed into four separate lots. The present proposal "enables the units to be located in a manner that helps retain many large mature trees and minimizes grading. Access to the homes "will be provided by a shared driveway on the central portion of the site."

* An encroachment into the public right-of-way by Stabler Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 105-107 South Fairfax St., for the construction of a temporary stoop and handicapped accessible ramp. The Board of Architectural Review "approved the design of this proposal on March 16, 2005 with the condition that the proposal be reviewed in 12 months." Staff concluded "the current proposal is the only feasible option that would allow the museum to open this spring."