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									                            STAFF RECOMMENDATION




                                                                                           Hart

                                                                          NCPC File No. 7165


                THE YARDS AT THE SOUTHEAST FEDERAL CENTER
                                  PARCEL D

                         M Street between 4th Street and 5 ½ Street, SE
                                       Washington, DC

                       Submitted by the General Services Administration

                                      September 30, 2010



                                           Abstract

The General Services Administration has submitted for approval 35 percent design drawings,
Parcel D, located in the northeast portion of the development known as The Yards, formerly
referred to as the Southeast Federal Center. This proposal includes a nine-story, 475,000 square
foot development composed of retail and residential uses. Retail uses will be limited to the
bottom three floors and the upper floors will be residential units. Parking is provided on two
subgrade levels for retail and grocery store use and the third level for residential use.

                        Commission Action Requested by Applicant

Approval of the 35% design submission pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding between
the General Services Administration and the National Capital Planning Commission regarding
the transfer by sale and/or long-term ground lease to Forest City SEFC, LLC and the mixed-use
development of the Southeast Federal Center.



                           Executive Director’s Recommendation

The Commission:

Approves the 35% design submission for the development plans for parcels D, as shown on
NCPC Map File No. 41.11(38.00)43163 as this design is consistent with the Southeast Federal
Center Master Plan.

Recommend that the massing and façade scale and articulation of the new building on Parcel D
be studied and refined further as the design is developed. Staff notes that the grocery store
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should be treated with cladding that differentiates it from the residential tower and clearly
acknowledges the presence and complements the scale of the sentry tower.

                                 *            *             *



PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Site
The Southeast Federal Center (SEFC), also known as the Yards, consists of 55 acres in Southeast
Washington, DC. It extends from Isaac Hull Avenue on the east to 1st Street on the west, and
from M Street on the north to the Anacostia River on the South. The site is adjacent to the
historic Washington Navy Yard and also to the historic Main Pumping Station, which is operated
by the Washington Area Sewer Authority (WASA). The site includes six historic resources, all
of which will be retained and adaptively developed for use according to the Master Plan.




                                                                                  Parcel D




Background
The Southeast Federal Center Public-Private Development Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-407, the
Act) authorized GSA to enter into agreements with a private entity for the redevelopment of the
SEFC, in consultation with the National Capital Planning Commission. GSA selected Forest
City Washington as the developer.
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In January of 2004 the Commission approved comments to GSA on the redevelopment plan,
pursuant to Section 3(f) of the Act. The Commission also submitted its comments to the Zoning
Commission in response to a referral of text and map amendments to add the Southeast Federal
Center Overlay to the District of Columbia Zoning Regulations. In May of 2004 the
Commission approved the Southeast Federal Center Master Plan.

GSA has executed a Programmatic Agreement (PA) for the treatment of the Navy Yard Annex
Historic District and the remaining historic buildings. Design and treatment guidelines have
been developed in consultation with the other signatories and with consulting parties including
NCPC.

In July of 2007 the Commission approved 35% design for Parcel D along with E1, K, and M.
Changes in the economy since this time have necessitated a redesign of the project. In 2007 this
mixed use project included office, retail and residential uses. The current proposal only consists
of retail and residential uses.

Guidelines for development of the SEFC include the preservation of views and vistas to and
from the waterfront, as well as to federal monumental buildings. High-density residential and
mixed use is encouraged and plazas and open space destinations are an integral part of the site.
The guidelines recommend an appropriate mix of neighborhood and waterfront-oriented retail,
service and cultural uses located at ground level along major streets and buildings that face onto
the Waterfront Park.

The developers’ design approach is: the creation of contemporary new architecture and site
design, the adaptive use of historic buildings and site features where they exist, and the
integration of compatible new construction and modifications with historic resources in scale,
materials, fenestration, and bay patterns.
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Proposal
The revised building now proposed for Parcel D will consist of 475,000 square feet of mixed-use
development, contained within two towers sitting on a single base. The proposed retail
component includes a grocery store, sports club, and additional retail space. This is different
from the 2007 proposal which included commercial office, retail and residential.

This revised building design will be 102 feet in height, as measured from M Street, SE. Parking
is proposed for both subgrade and on a floor between the retail and residential uses. This
separation of parking is to accommodate both retail and residential needs. The retail parking is
in two subgrade levels which includes parking for the grocery story, while the residential parking
is directly beneath the residential units on the third floor of the building.


                                  Computer Generated Perspective
                        looking southeast from M Street and 4th Street, SE intersection
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                                           Floor Plans




            First Floor Plan                      Second Floor                         Third Floor




Floor plans are shown above for reference. Retail for the site including the grocery store which is
spread over two levels and will consist of 99,750 square feet of the total 475,000 square feet of
development. The sports club will include four levels, with the forth level to include a pool and
outdoor patio.

There are several changes proposed in this redesign of the building and site. The massing for the
building has changed significantly since 2007 with reductions in the building volume occurring
along both M Street, SE and Tingey Street, SE as shown in the two images below. The massing
is now offset with a volume removed along both M Street, SE and Tingey Street, SE. This
massing and a strengthening in the horizontal delineation of the building base allows for a lighter
design response with more horizontal expression.
                                       NCPC File No. 7165
                                                   Page 6

          2007 Design
Corner of Tingey and 4th Streets, SE




                                            VIEW




          2010 Design
Corner of Tingey and 4th Streets, SE




                                            VIEW
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PROJECT ANALYSIS

Executive Summary
Staff finds that the changes to the development of Parcel D are consistent with the master plan as
the proposed building will contain a grocery store, as well as residential use. The elimination of
office use at this site is not a major factor in the development of this site. Staff therefore
recommends that the Commission approve the 35% design submission for the development
plans for parcels D, as shown on NCPC Map File No. 41.11(38.00)43163 as this design is
consistent with the SEFC/Yards Master Plan.

The proposed mixed-use building (to be constructed in two phases) for this empty parcel will be
an important signal for the future architectural design direction of buildings at The Yards.
Prominently situated on M Street just inside the brick Navy Yard wall, the proposed new
building features bold massing forms and glass and brick facades in a distinct contrast to its
immediate neighbors: the DOT Headquarters to the west and Building 202 to the east.
Therefore, staff recommends that the Commission recommend that the massing and façade
scale and articulation of the new building on Parcel D be studied and refined further as the
design is developed. Staff notes that the grocery store should be treated with cladding that
differentiates it from the residential tower and clearly acknowledges the presence and
complements the scale of the sentry tower.



CONFORMANCE

Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital
The staff has determined that policies in the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital:
Federal Elements apply, in particular the following policies in the Preservation and Historic
Features Element.

       Express the dignity befitting the image of the federal government in the national capital.
       Federal development should adhere to the high aesthetic standards already established by
       the planning and design legacy of the nation’s capital. This legacy encompasses both the
       old and the new—the capital’s rich architectural heritage, continually augmented by the
       design contributions of each generation. (National Capital Image: #1)

       Use historic properties for their original purpose or, if no longer feasible, for an adaptive
       use that is appropriate for the context and consistent with the significance and character
       of the property. (Stewardship of Historic Properties: #9)

       Ensure the continued preservation of federal historic properties through ongoing
       maintenance and transfer to an appropriate new steward with when disposal of historic
       properties is appropriate. (Stewardship of Historic Properties: #10)
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National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Pursuant to Section 3(f) of the Southeast Federal Center Public-Private Development Act of
2000 (Public Law 106-407), the Commission is acting in its capacity to comment on a proposal
involving the Southeast Federal Center. Since NCPC comments are to advise only on Southeast
Federal Center proposals, the Commission has no NEPA obligation regarding this review.



National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)

GSA executed a Programmatic Agreement (PA) with the D.C. State Historic Preservation Office
and with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The PA guides review of proposals for
the historic buildings on the site and for treatment of archaeological features and other site
conditions and characteristics of the setting, which is a historic district eligible for listing in the
National Register of Historic Places.

GSA and the DC SHPO are consulting further on the revisions to Parcel D including the
proposed alterations to the approved plans for the brick boundary wall on M Street, SE.


CONSULTATION

Coordinating Committee
The Coordinating Committee reviewed the proposal at its September 15, 2010 meeting and
forwarded the proposal to the Commission with the statement that the proposal was coordinated
with all participating agencies. The participating agencies were the NCPC; the General Services
Administration; the District Department of Transportation; the Department of Housing and
Community Development; the District of Columbia Fire Marshal; the National Park Service; the
General Services Administration and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

								
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