Developers propose 500-unit project in Capitol Hill 

Donatelli, Blue Skye pitch plan for one of D.C.’s last vacant parcels

Donatelli, Blue Skye Plan 500-Unit Project in Capitol Hill
Blue Skye Development's Bryan Irving, Donatelli Development's Christopher Donatelli; renderings of planned project in Capitol Hill (Getty, Blue Skye Development, dmped.dc.gov, app.dcoz.dc.gov)

Two developers filed plans for one of Washington, D.C.’s last vacant parcels, Reservation 13.

Blue Skye Development and Donatelli Development filed plans for a pair of parcels in D.C.’s Ward 7, the Washington Business Journal reported. The Capitol Hill site formerly housed the D.C. General Hospital. The parcels span more than two and a half acres, south of Independence Avenue SE between 20th and 21st streets SE.

Blue Skye and Donatelli are looking to develop two seven-story buildings on a site being used as parking for the nonprofit St. Coletta of Greater Washington. The proposed buildings will include about 500 residential units and 14,000 square feet of retail space, steps from the Stadium-Armory Metro Station.

The site is owned by the District of Columbia and requires 30 percent of the units to be affordable, totaling at least 150 affordable units.

A hearing date hasn’t been set for the joint venture’s proposal. The partners have also worked together on the 262-unit Park Kennedy and 100-unit permanent supportive housing development, The Ethel.

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Mayor Muriel Bowser’s push for the redevelopment of Reservation 13 began in earnest two years ago, when the mayor awarded development rights to the joint venture for up to 1,068 units, at least a third of which would need to be “deeply” affordable by the district’s standards, meaning for families earning no more than 30 percent of area median income. R13 Community Partners also received development rights expected to yield 1,246 units.

While the affordable housing component of the latest project will juice the numbers, Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C. are falling well short of affordable housing goals laid out in 2019. There have been only 301 units of affordable housing built in the Capitol Hill planning area since then, less than a quarter of the targeted 1,400 units called for by 2025.

Holden Walter-Warner

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