3400 Connecticut ARC Review Monday


The project at the corner of Connecticut Ave and Newark St will be reviewed Monday evening, November 11, by the Architectural Review Committee of the Cleveland Park Historical Society, the voluntary group of neighbors that makes recommendations to policy makers about design compatibility with the Cleveland Park Historic District.

If you can make this meeting and let the ARC know your thoughts on the project, please try to come.  If you cannot make it, write an email to the members of ARC and send it to staff@clevelandparkhistoricalsociety.org.  From the CPHS website:

At its monthly meeting on Monday, November 11, 2019 at the at the Cleveland Park Congregational Church, 3400 Lowell Street, NW,  two proposals will be presented to the Committee…


The CPHS Architectural Review Committee will hear a presentation on plans for 3400 Connecticut Avenue/2911 Newark Street NW. The proposal is for the addition of two new buildings to the site for residential units and retail space.  Click on this link to see the plans filed with the Historic Preservation Office.

The public is welcome to attend the meeting to hear the presentation, ask questions, and make comments. You can also submit comments either before or after the meeting to staff@clevelandparkhistoricalsociety.org.

If you are not on the Cleveland Park Listserv, I posted a basic rationale of why building this project is a net benefit to the neighborhood, and it’s not just about traffic & parking…

I think the project proposed at Connecticut & Newark is a positive for several reasons. I approach it from a few different perspectives: 1) our commercial area continues to struggle; 2) our planet is on fire; 3) our part of the city, with its restrictions on growth, has exacerbated displacement in less affluent areas as the city grows.

Adding 35 new units of a range of sizes will add more customers in immediate walking distance to our stores and restaurants. The engagement of the streetscape on the site (which is currently awful) and the addition of a public plaza will draw people in to not just transact, but to enjoy. Moreover, the owner is looking into housing a co-working tenant in one of the several retail spaces, which would add more day-time foot traffic, a real problem for us. If commercial revitalization is a priority for you, this project will help.

Adding housing on major transit corridor is good for the planet. The fewer car trips generated by living close to stores and transit is a carbon benefit. Transportation is now the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States. If sustainability is a priority for you, this project will help.

While 35 new units isn’t much, the project will yield 10% inclusionary zoning on not just the new units, but on the total 52 units the site will house. Much has been made recently by the Mayor and equity-oriented NGO’s about Ward 3’s lack of contribution to permanent affordable housing. This small project is a start. Adding market rate and/or affordable housing in our area, rich with good schools, walkable amenities, and well served by transit, displaces no one. If equity is a priority for you, this project will help.

Some notes from the ANC3C’s Planning & Zoning Meeting on Monday night, where this project was presented and discussed, can be found here.

Bob Ward
Macomb St

Not a member of Cleveland Park Smart Growth?  Join us (it’s free!).  We are an informal network of over 450 Cleveland Park urbanists giving voice to a walkable, sustainable, vibrant and equitable neighborhood.  It’s going to be a busy winter!

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