Housing Complex

Pillbox Apartments: Part of Capitol Hill’s Specialty Hospital Going Residential

Specialty as it stands.

Specialty Hospital of Washington at 8th and Constitution Avenue NE is a weird one: A big office building in the middle of a residential neighborhood, with pretty much nothing going on during the weekends. While the northern half of the building is a nursing facility with 60 beds, the southern half has been lightly used as offices for hospital staff and the landlord.

That piece will be a lot more intensively used, if a plan by IBG Partners works out. The developer has secured a 75-year lease on the southern chunk, and plans to convert it into as many as 140 apartments, while the hospital part of the building goes about its business as before.

Their first step is historic preservation review, since a piece of the original 1928 building is a contributing part of the Capitol Hill historic district. According to IBG's Scott Fuller, the old part will be restored to its original condition, with all the ugly 1970s wrapping torn down. A 1950s addition will get bay windows going up three stories. The whole project is contained within the footprint of the existing building, with the exception of a small addition that won't be visible from the street and won't add overall square footage. Finally, they'll be adding parking underneath the building, with the number of spaces depending on the number of apartments they're able to fit inside (the floorplans below represent the highest-density case).

There's a concept presentation for the Historic Preservation Review Board after the jump.

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  • Patricia Schans

    I think that space would be prime for an assisted living facility so that all of us living in homes with steps who might need increasing assistance as we age could still live in the neighborhood.

  • http://twitter.com/tonytgoodman Tony Goodman, ANC 6C04

    This is on the agenda for the ANC 6C meeting Wednesday (tomorrow) at 7 pm. The meeting will be at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Mass Ave NE. For the full agenda, see http://www.anc6c.org.

  • Dan

    I live on the Hill and am all for it- it would be a good use of an ugly building. Maybe they could do something about the intersection that is 8th-Constitution-Mass Ave NE? The worst pedestrian intersection on the Hill, and so bad they don't even bother with walk signals, because it is too damn confusing. Pedestrians have no idea when (or even if) they're supposed to cross the street(s).

  • Nick

    I agree with Dan. It is terrifying to cross that intersection as a pedestrian, as cars headed southeast on Massachusetts Ave and turning left onto Constitution do not respect the crosswalk or walk signal.

  • Bert

    "Specialty Hospital"??

    I recall that this used to be known among the wags in DC's medical community as "Capitol Kill", er...Hill.

  • Hillman

    Any chance of first floor restaurant? That would go a long way as a neighborhood amenity.

  • Thayer-D

    That's great news! I've offten wondered about the cornice. I know many older New York buildings got their cornices removed, but this one almost looks like they thought about it aesthetically.

  • Jake

    I'd be interested to hear how they intend to construct underground parking while preserving the existing building on its current footprint. Did I read that correctly?

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  • Bceasar

    Something needs to be to the " lightly used" portion of the facility. On the Massachutes side of the hospital there are homeless people living in the window wells and probably in the building At ground level there is currently empty soda bottles, water jugs, a fabreeze container, pizza box and hospital items. A cast,stethoscope, etc. Unacceptably!!!!!!! There is probably access to the hospital/nursing home facility and dangerous for the neiboring residents.

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