Big plans are on the boards for one of DC’s oldest known surviving apartment buildings.
Renaissance Centro has been working for over five years to retrofit The Harrison at 704 3rd Street NW (map) into a larger hotel-apartment hybrid dubbed The Canterbury, having originally received approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) in March 2012.
Now, after two separate two-year extensions, the developer is moving forward with an application to seek concept approval from the Historic Preservation Review Board.
As previously approved, a 91,100 square-foot, 12-story addition would join the existing five-story building. The 2012 ruling granted variances from lot occupancy, rear yard and minimum parking requirements, as well as a variance to have a roof with walls of unequal heights and a special exception to renovate and expand a historic building for hotel and/or apartment use.
As of last year’s zoning regulations, however, the planned development would be considered matter-of-right. A 2011 Historic Preservation (HP) application requested to largely demolish the existing building while restoring and underpinning the exterior walls. The HPO staff recommended approval at the time, citing how piecemeal work from a series of owners had compromised the building’s structural integrity.
The new application looks different from that of six years ago, with Gensler in place as the architect of the development and Jonathan Nehmer and Associates handling the interior architecture. The ground floor will house a restaurant and bar along G Street, with outdoor patio spaces on the edges of both 3rd and 4th Streets. The second through seventh floors will contain nearly 200 hotel rooms, while there will be up to 65 apartments on the uppermost five floors. Two terraces will be on the 6th floor. The roof will have a pool, bar/lounge, hotel terrace and a residential lounge and terrace. Thirty-nine parking spaces will be provided across two below-grade parking levels.
The existing building was designed by Johnson and Company in the Romanesque Revival style and completed in stages from 1888-1890. The building was designated as a DC landmark in 1990 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.