The longtime parking lot at 3220 Prospect St. NW, set for redevelopment for five years, has gotten new plans which call for more residential and much less retail space.
Owned by the Weaver family, which runs its hardware business next to the property, the property — sometimes named Prospect Place — is being developed with McCaffery Interests. The architect is Hickok Cole, which has offices on 31st Street.
The new project calls for a six-story building with some setbacks, containing about 50 condominium units and about 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Plans for the living units include a rooftop terrace and some private patios, along with a fitness center. There will also be a parking garage in the building.
Across the street is the Georgetown Court complex, owned by Robert Elliott, which includes Cafe Milano and Peacock Cafe. A new restaurant, Brasserie Liberté, is being built in the old Morton’s Steakhouse. The corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Prospect Street boasts a Wawa, while the opposite corner, which once housed a Zara, will be redeveloped for smaller retail units by EastBanc.
Mike Weaver of W.T. Weaver & Sons, Inc., told The Georgetowner: “The previous plan was 100-percent retail on multiple floors with some underground parking. Due to the current challenges in the retail environment and the dramatic changes that Uber and Lyft have had on the marketplace, we feel that it is best to study a fresh approach to the property.
“We made an initial presentation to the Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission and the Old Georgetown Board boards of a plan that would reduce the retail by more than 80 percent and add residential apartments with parking to the project. Both the ANC and the OGB have given us feedback, and we are currently working on revisions to the plan that we will bring back to our neighbors, the ANC and the OGB. We are confident the final plan will be a positive addition to Georgetown and we will continue to work towards that goal.”
For its part, the Georgetown-Burleith-Hillandale ANC issued a resolution on the project at its June 3 meeting.
“ANC 2E is pleased to see the attention being paid to this piece of our community. The ANC has a few pieces of feedback for the Old Georgetown Board to consider as it reviews this new concept. First, from a transportation perspective, the ANC appreciates that the loading needs for this iteration of the project are significantly smaller and less burdensome on the neighborhood.
“From a design perspective, ANC 2E looks forward to reviewing a massing and light study from Wisconsin Avenue, M Street, and Prospect Street NW so that the ANC, the Citizens Association of Georgetown, and the Old Georgetown Board may evaluate the light and air changes due to the height of this new building.
“ANC 2E has received feedback from a neighbor noting interest in highlighting the potential for wide sidewalks on this block should the retail be set back from where it is currently proposed. The ANC agrees that a setback of the retail space would create a lovely walking environment for the community, particularly considering the significant setback of the building across the street and the concept in front of the Old Georgetown Board at 1234-1242 Wisconsin Avenue NW. Furthermore, it is believed that this could be accomplished without losing interior square footage. The ANC highly recommends that the applicant explore this idea to determine if it is practicable and desirable.
“ANC 2E asks the Old Georgetown Board to consider the Citizens Association of Georgetown’s recommendations regarding the differentiation of the design of each proposed retail storefront. The ANC also notes that the neighbors to the west have not yet been notified regarding the concept and that the roof decks may overlook the backyards of neighbors, which would not be supported by the ANC.
“ANC 2E looks forward to continuing to work together with the developer to create a new space that is unique both to and within Georgetown.”