A new apartment project in Barney Circle is moving forward. Plans call to replace the existing used car lot at 1550 Pennsylvania Avenue SE with an 81-unit apartment building. The site is at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue with Barney Circle in the Hill East neighborhood of DC.
The 1500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue is currently home to three-story row houses, and the new apartment project in Barney Circle will follow suit with three stories on the northern portion of the new building. The apartment building will eventually rise to five stories as it approaches Barney Circle, which is the maximum height allowed in the zone.
The penthouse of the new apartment project in Barney Circle will include common roof terraces and a party room. Unit sizes will vary from 383-square-foot efficiencies to 916-square-foot two-bedroom dwellings, while the majority will be one-bedroom units.
Plans for the new apartment project in Barney Circle call for 30 parking spaces. Twenty-two of those spots will be underground, and the remaining eight spaces will be located along Freedom Way Southeast, the alley behind the property. In the garage, 11 spaces will be for compact cars, 1 for handicapped use, and the rest will be standard spaces.
However, 42 parking spaces are required for this size development, and the developer is requested a variance from the Board of Zoning Adjustment. The developer argues that the irregular shape of the property makes it difficult to provide the required 42 parking spaces, and building a second level of underground parking would be too expensive. The developer also believes that the site’s proximity to mass transit like the Potomac Avenue Metro makes parking less of an issue. In order to get the variance, the developer agreed to provide two parking spaces for car sharing and will petition DDOT for additional on-street parking on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Many residents seem excited to be rid of the unsightly used car lot, but others are concerned about additional traffic and scarcity of parking. In order to improve traffic flow with the new density, some neighbors have suggested making Kentucky Avenue SE a two-way street.
Once all the zoning variances are approved, look for development of a new apartment project in Barney Circle.