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New mixed-use development, and potential dance space, coming to Old Town North

Rendering of 901 North Pitt Street development from N Montgomery Street, image via City of Alexandria

Just caddy corner to where an office building is getting a new restaurant space, another developer is coming forward with plans to redevelop 901 N Pitt Street into an eight-story mixed-use building.

At an April 7 meeting (Item 9), the Planning Commission is scheduled to review the development’s development special use permit. The 901 N Pitt Street development is proposed by the somewhat unimaginatively named 901 N. Pitt Street, LLC, which the application says is a mix of The Oliver Carr Company and Carr Holdings II LLC.

“The applicant, 901 N. Pitt Street, LLC, requests approval for an eight-story mixed-use building with 250 multifamily units with a restaurant and an arts and cultural anchor on the ground floor,” a staff report said. “The main portion of the building (eight stories) will front Montgomery, N. Pitt, and N. Royal streets with the primary residential entrance on Montgomery Street. Retail storefronts will be located at the corner of Montgomery and N. Pitt streets as well as Montgomery and N. Royal streets.”

Montgomery Street will also host the entrance to a performance space, part of the burgeoning arts district in Old Town North. While affordable housing has been the traditional trade-off for bonus density, the report notes that this is only the second project to take advantage of both the affordable housing option and the new art space tools for bonus density. The new project has a total of 250 total residential units proposed, with 16 affordable units to households at or below 60% of the area median income (AMI) — which the report notes is the equivalent to $54,180-$77,400 in 2021 for a household with one to four members, respectively.

“The proposed redevelopment at 901 N. Pitt Street is utilizing a height and density bonus for an arts and cultural anchor as well as a density bonus for the provision of affordable housing,” the report said, “similar to the recently approved Tidelock project located nearby.”

The staff report indicated that, while nothing is set in stone, City Dance could be the new arts occupant.

“Staff supports the bonus density and height finding that the proposal will bring an established regional arts and cultural anchor to Alexandria,” the report said. “Additionally, the design of the space accommodates a range of arts uses that may have needs for both indoor classroom space and outdoor performance space in the outdoor dining area, should the arts and cultural anchor change in the future. Although not yet officially announced, the applicant has indicated that City Dance is the most likely tenant for the arts and cultural space.”

Much of the building’s massing is shifted towards the other nearby developments of a similar height, with a 40-foot courtyard providing a setback from the adjacent Watergate Condominium Complex.

“The mid-rise red brick massing portion of the building occupies most of the site that fronts along both Montgomery and N. Royal streets,” the report said. “The proposed restaurant, retail, and arts anchor at the ground floor is primarily located within this building form comprised of large storefront windows, with large warehouse-style windows included on the residential floors.”

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