TESTIMONY: Support for 310 mixed income homes in Friendship Heights DC, Case No. 96-13A

Dec. 2, 2022

Mr. Anthony Hood
DC Zoning Commission
441 4th Street, NW, Suite 200S
Washington, DC 20001

RE: SUPPORT for Case No. 96-13A (Street Retail, LLC – Modification of Significance to an Approved PUD and Related Zoning Map Amendment @ Square 1661, Lot 855)

Dear Chair Hood:

Please accept this letter on behalf of the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG). CSG is the leading non-profit organization in the Washington, D.C. region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Our mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies and investments needed to make those communities flourish. 

We wish to express our support for Case No. 96-13A. The applicant proposes to redevelop the existing building used for retail, into a 12-story, 130-foot mixed-use building consisting of ground floor retail space and approximately 310 rental apartments.

The project will add significant new housing opportunities to this Regional Center. Importantly, the project adds a substantial amount of affordable housing to this transit-rich, high-amenity neighborhood. We want to commend the proffer to expand affordable rental units to not only a 15% set aside (above what is required under IZ), but also to provide much deeper levels of affordability at 50% MFI, and two units at 30% MFI. These deeply affordable homes, which are more expensive and even more valuable than 60% MFI units, are an important contribution to Friendship Heights. 

Overall, the proposal is appropriate to the Regional Center and Metro station location, providing a large number of new homes along with groundfloor retail. We are excited by the number of new homes that will be affordable and deeply affordable. With the decline of the retail market, and the big box retail market, we recognize we must re-create Friendship Heights. We believe this project is a good start for this new reality. 

Thank you for your consideration. 


Cheryl Cort
Policy Director