by Shaun Courtney
Level 2 Development filed a Planned Unit Development (PUD) Application with the Zoning Commission this week for a proposed 315-unit apartment building with 8,472 square feet of retail at 320 Florida Ave. NE, steps from Union Market and the NoMa Metro on the current site of a Burger King.
The project, dubbed The Highline at Union Market, is a joint venture of Level 2 Development and Clark Enterprises, Inc.
“We set out to design a building that considered the adjacent rail uses as well as the industrial and commercial uses of Union Market, drawing on inspiration from New York City’s High Line and Meatpacking District,” said Level 2 Principal David Franco in a statement.
The project is proceeding under a PUD application to rezone the cite to C-3-C to allow a mixed-use project (instead of the current commercial only zoning) and to build a denser project that C-3-C would generally allow–Level 2 proposes to build to 8.0 floor area ratio (FAR).
Unlike Level 2′s The Harper, which is entirely studio apartments, the Union Market project will include a mixture ranging from studios to two-bedroom units, with 8% of the residential square footage set aside as affordable dwelling units.
The proposal estimates below-grade parking would total 143 spaces, though the developers request flexibility based on market demand when the project is actually constructed.
The site will offer 105 bicycle parking spaces and Franco said his team plans to actively pursue a bicycle shop for the new building’s corner retail space to serve the already popular Metropolitan Bike Trail and in anticipation of a new bicycle link between Union Market and the new development coming to Ivy City.
Franco said a key amenity stemming from the project is the inclusion of a new green space and public plaza at the adjacent D.C. Government-owned land. The large, hilly swath between the project site and the railroad tracks is overgrown and littered with trash. Level 2 will clear the site, include new seating areas and create a new pedestrian connection from Florida Avenue that would connect to the parcel behind The Highline with the assumption that when the lot to the rear is redeveloped, the path would be continued.
“Ours is the first link,” said Franco. “We can really create a sizable green space at the market,” he added.
Pending Zoning approval, the project could break ground in late 2016 and open in late 2018.