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Parker-Gray development asks for more density and less parking

Proposed 805 N Columbus Street development (image via City of Alexandria)

A new five-story residential development in the Parker-Gray neighborhood is moving forward this fall.

The 805 Columbus Street development led by PT Blooms LLC is docketed for review at the Planning Commission on Oct. 5 with a handful of requested zoning modifications — like an increase to the maximum building height, an increase in density, and a parking reduction.

The applicant is applying for a Special Use Permit (SUP) as the current zoning doesn’t allow multifamily building design.

“The Applicant proposes a 5-story multifamily residential building of 78 units on five vacant lots,” PT Blooms LLC said in the application. “A concurrent rezoning request to the CRMU-H Zoning District has been filed under separate cover. A Master Plan Amendment to the 1992 Braddock Metro Small Area Plan (SAP) is requested to allow for a 50′ max. building height instead of the 45′ called for in the SAP. The Applicant also requests an SUP to allow for a density of 2.5 FAR (floor area ratio), bonus density for affordable housing, parking reduction and a TMP (traffic impact study) SUP.”

Despite the application’s note that the project was designed to fit into the existing fabric of the neighborhood, the project faced criticism earlier from the Board of Architectural Review for imitating more of an Old Town style than the buildings around it.

The developer is requesting that parking for the 78 unit building be reduced to 17 standard spaces and 49 compact spots, with three handicap accessible spots. That reduction will come mostly from the affordable housing units.

“The Applicant proposes a parking reduction from seven parking spaces to four spaces to allow for four parking spaces for the proposed for sale eight on-site affordable housing units,” the applicant said. “Of the eight affordable housing units, the Applicant proposes one space for the one three-bedroom unit and one space per unit for the three largest one-bedroom and den units. For the remaining four one-bedroom affordable housing units, the Applicant proposes zero parking spaces. This allocation of parking spaces is similar to the market rate units where the Applicant will not be providing any parking spaces to the twelve smallest market rate units.”

The project is surrounded by two and three story townhouses and the under-construction Towne Hotel.

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