More Residences Added to 2900 M Project
By May 10, 2023 0 526•
At the May 1 meeting of the Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC2E), the major construction project at 29th and M Streets NW, known as 2900 M, was part of the Old Georgetown Board application discussions.
Chris Martin, head of leasing and construction for Martin Diamond Properties, co-owners of the properties at 2900-2922 M Street NW, told commissioners and the audience the project would offer more residential space.
The trend that converts office space, existing or proposed, into residential units is active in Georgetown as well as other downtown corridors. The other owner of the 2900 M properties is Meridian Group.
The project also includes 1132 29th Street, NW, occupied for now by the Say Cheese! eatery. The remade block does not include the buildings at Salon Omer & Spa (2924 M), Niccolo Giotto clothing (2928 M) and Angolo Ristorante (2934 M).
Martin, a board member of the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID), and whose company owns the Georgetown Theater property, where Compass Coffee operates, presented concept plans to “increase the size of the buildings to attract larger tenants.” Several times, he referred to existing offices and shops to be redone as “residences.”
While still in the concept stage, the commercial new development will make alterations to historic row houses which front M Street. Developers will reconfigure street-facing existing buildings into two- and three-story “residences” with a five-story building hidden in plain sight behind in the alley portion of the property.
Martin said there would be 60 separate rentable units built — with 10 parking places in the lower-level garage. While he said the front of M Street buildings might be painted a similar color as now, the back five-story building — that would barely be seen from the street level — would be gray. Commissioners questioned why the front surfaces wouldn’t be brick to fit the “historic” neighborhood.
The developer admitted one sticky element in this plan that was modified from past plans is the addition of a small rooftop or upper balcony garden facing 29th Street on the third floor from the back apartments. Some commissioners questioned the possibly unacceptable noise level of having an outside space.
It could take more than a year, depending on approved plans and permits, before construction begins. Already, established businesses such as the men’s clothing store Ike Behar and eatery Say Cheese! have been told to leave soon — perhaps in the summer.
The 2900 M promotional material called for a late 2023 availability — “Delivering Fall 2023” — which looks like that’s not happening.