Housing Complex

Bozzuto Moving on 460 New York Avenue

Movin' on up.

Hey, another project comes off the shelf! Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Rachelle Nigro reports on her Facebook page:

460 NY Ave., the unsightly old brick federal building, has officially begun to take shape. I received a call last night from the developer Bozutto. Tentative plans are for a 63 unit condo building. The building would be 11 stories and have lift parking. One bedrooms and studios for now. Bozutto will have to appear before the BZA, ANCs etc. but they said they are moving forward with the development. Keep in mind the drawing/plans could change many times. Yippee for the neighborhood!!

Yippee, indeed. The Board of Zoning Adjustment approved the project in 2008, and granted Bozzuto an extension in 2010. The plans back then were for 80 apartments, at the maximum 130 feet tall, so it's been scaled back a bit.

The interesting twist to this development is the three-story brick box now standing on the site, which is neither an historic landmark nor in an historic district, but something the city's Historic Preservation Office wants preserved anyway (Matt Yglesias yelled about this last year). Why? In 2008, Bozzuto's preservation consultant Andi Adams told the BZA that it was designed in 1925 by a notable architect, and used as a car dealership and service facility. The D.C. Preservation League put it on a list of potential landmarks in Mt. Vernon Triangle, and Adams figured someone would probably nominate the warehouse if it were threatened with demolition. Bozzuto's representative said they'd agreed to incorporate the warehouse into the new building, "at significant cost." So, there you have it: Dubious historic preservation is an obstacle, but not insurmountable.

UPDATE, Friday, 6:30 a.m. - According to a reliable source, commenter crin is correct: Bozzuto wanted to keep the old warehouse because 100 percent lot occupancy was grandfathered in under more restrictive zoning that would have allowed only 80 percent lot occupancy had they built anew.


  • crin

    Zombie myths never die on the internet. The HP Office has no desire or plans to make 460 New York a landmark. More likely, the developer WANTS to keep the building so he can take advantage of its 100% lot occupancy. If he knocks down the building zoning regs restrict if to only occupying 80% of the lot.

  • Lily

    More like dubious reporting, to the second power. It looks like the rumor started with Matt Iglesias--or rather Iglesias' ill-informed neighbor. That the owner's consultant testified favorably about the history of the building in front of the zoning board, rather than denigrating it in front of a preservation board, suggests that the owner sought to convince the BZA that building is valuable to keep--and thus serve as a plinth for an over-allowable-FAR building. Doesn't sound like preservation was an obstacle. More like a pretext.