October 5, 2006

Washington Gateway Regional Retail Center in the Fort Lincoln Urban Renewal Area
(File Number UR10/6685)

The Commission commented favorably on the overall design concept for the Washington Gateway Regional Retail Center in the Fort Lincoln Urban Renewal Area bounded by New York Avenue, South Dakota Avenue, 33rd Place and Fort Lincoln Drive, NE.

To ensure conformance with the Fort Lincoln Urban Renewal Plan (adopted by the Commission on May 6, 1972 and re-adopted on April 5, 1990), the Commission required the National Capital Revitalization Corporation include the following with its preliminary design submission:

• More fully developed pedestrian connections to adjacent housing areas and Anacostia Park through the design of crosswalks, site lighting, and landscaping at major intersections with Fort Lincoln Drive and 33rd Place.
• More extensive fenestration, surface treatments, or landscaping to minimize the effects of blank façade areas of both large-scale retail stores and buildings fronting on Fort Lincoln Drive. The treatments that may be used include additional fenestration, changes in façade materials/plane, landscaping, and/or other surface treatments (i.e., trellises, color, texture, etc.)
• Detailed landscape designs and lighting alternatives that minimize visual impacts to adjacent streets and residential development as well as enhance views and vistas to/from/within the site. Since much of the proposed retail design is not oriented toward Fort Lincoln Drive, landscaping or other site elements along that edge should be extensive and designed to provide for year-round screening, especially adjacent to loading areas.
• A parking and circulation plan showing trees, shrubs, and other landscape elements that reduce adverse visual impacts and may aid in minimizing storm water runoff.
• An Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and NCPC’s Environmental and Historic Preservation Policies and Procedures. The EA or EIS is required to guide the decision making process for, and must be reflected in, the preliminary and final site and building plans.

The Commission recommended that the following also be included at the preliminary design stage:

• Low-impact design strategies to minimize the effects of storm water runoff on Anacostia Park and the Anacostia River due to expansive areas of roof and paved surface.
• Screening methods to minimize visual effects of rooftop mechanical equipment from adjacent residential areas and circulation arteries.

The 42-acre site is owned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is subject to the terms of the Urban Renewal Plan. The proposed development would include four large-scale big-box retailers (possibly including Costco and Target) and a variety of smaller, independent retailers and service providers. The total planned development includes 424,000 gross square feet of retail space and approximately 2,200 surface parking spaces.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Consent Calendar: The Commission voted on Consent Calendar items without staff presentations or public testimony.

Delegated Decisions: Projects for which the Commission delegated decision-making authority to the Chairman, Executive Committee, or Executive Director.