First Look at the Buchanan School Development

Update: See the Insight Property Group Powerpoint Presentation

On Tuesday evening at the Hill Center the Insight Property Group presented the initial plans for their proposed redevelopment of the Buchanan School site (known to many in the neighborhood as IGU). The site sits on the western end of the block bordered by E, D, 13th (Peter Bug Way), and 14th streets southeast, across from the Watkins Field.

Buchanan School project site in Hill East

Buchanan School project site in Hill East

The team is proposing a residential-only project, which will include a range of housing sizes and configurations. The plan is to retain the historic 1895 Buchanan School buildings, demolish the more recent additions on the north side of the site, and construct new row houses around the perimeter of the site along 13th and D St and along the interior of the site.

Proposed site plan for the Buchanan School redevelopment

Proposed site plan for the Buchanan School redevelopment

The original school buildings will be converted into 40 condominiums, ranging in size from studios, to 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units. For the condo portion of the project the developer will provide 14-16 parking spaces, meeting the parking requirements under DC zoning rules. Ground level units will include patios and window wells. 

Preliminary design for the Buchanan School buildings

Preliminary design for the Buchanan School buildings

The row home portion of the project has two components. On the northeast corner of the site the developer plans to construct nine townhomes "by right" (with no zoning relief). These homes will be 3+ bedroom units with roof terraces, backyards, and parking spaces. The homes will have the option of having elevators, as well.

On the remainder of the site the project will include 32 three-story townhomes, ranging from 16 to 20 feet wide. The houses will be 3+ bedrooms and all will have parking spaces and roof terraces. The designs are still preliminary, but the goal is to varying the townhome styles to better fit into the Capitol Hill style of homes.

The 32 townhomes on the western end of the Buchanan School site.

The 32 townhomes on the western end of the Buchanan School site.

The western townhomes viewed from 13th and D St SE

The western townhomes viewed from 13th and D St SE

Between the western townhomes and the school buildings will be a mews, which combined with walking paths will run the length of the block north to south and serve as a connector between E St and D St that is open to the public.

View of the mews from the north.

View of the mews from the north.

View of the mews from the south

View of the mews from the south

Between the two rows of townhomes on the western side of the site will be an alley, which will provide vehicle access off of 13th St and community space, similar to many small alleys across Capitol Hill.

Alley view between the two rows of townhomes on the western side of the site.

Alley view between the two rows of townhomes on the western side of the site.

The developer will need zoning relief for the 32 proposed townhomes on the western side of the site. They will be applying through the Board of Zoning adjustments to allow two townhomes on one lot, higher lot coverage, 16' wide lots, and nine lots smaller than 1,800 square feet. Applying for the needed zoning relief means the developer will come before ANC6B, likely over the summer.

The proposed project schedule has initial demolition beginning in May, with construction starting January 2016. The anticipated project completion date is March 2018.

Project images provided by Insight Property Group.