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The InTowner
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Former Central Union Mission Building to Become High-End Residential Project

Accompanying images can be viewed in the current issue PDF

By P.L. Wolff

After 30 years serving the homeless at 14th and R Streets, NW, Central Union Mission is relocating its shelter and outreach program to 65 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, an existing building now in the final stages of total renovation with expected completion in the fall. Until ready for occupancy, the Mission and its services are being conducted from a temporary location near 5th and H Streets, NW.

In addition to the Mission’s former building on the corner, the project will also incorporate the adjacent, existing three red brick late 19th century row houses facing 14th Street. These will be preserved and incorporated into a new connecting structure to be built behind and three stories above the roof line of the original houses.

According to the project’s architect, Eric Colbert, the new structure will be “set back from the historic façades to comply with the standards” of the Historic Reservation Review Board (HPRB). Among the 51 variously sized residences, Colbert further has stated, that some will have a loft-type feeling and some will be two-story duplexes.” There will be seven or eight surface parking spaces at the rear.

As developer Jeffrey Schonberger told The InTowner, the “goal is and has been to create highly aesthetic and thoughtful space for people who gravitate to older buildings;  It won’t be a cookie-cutter place to live.” With that in mind, Schonberger says he “paired prolific architect, Eric Colbert with interiors specialist Olvia Demetriou for the design work.” The project contractor is McCollough Construction.

Of the approximately 7,700 square feet of street level retail space, Schonberger is expecting to attract a restaurant for the 14th and R Streets corner space and three smaller tenants in each of the spaces in the original row houses. As for the corner space, originally an automobile showroom, Schonberger stated that he believes that it, “with [its] double volume ceiling height and outdoor patio space is the most compelling restaurant opportunity on 14th Street.”