Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Renovating the Calvert

View of Renovated Calvert Tower with Low-rise addition along Mt Vernon Avenue
The signs have been up for a while now and not much has changed since we first talked about the concept plans over a year ago. Over the course of many months and several area meetings (reported here and here), UDR, the owner of the Calvert on Mt Vernon Avenue has fleshed out its plans for a major renovation of the aging building.

As Item #7 on the docket tonight for review by the Planning Commission at their September 7th meeting, the City staff report shows that UDR plans to reface the existing tower and replace the front parking lot and retaining wall with a mid-rise (4 story), street-fronting apartment building. The project is designed to maintain (and even expand) the rental housing opportunities in the area while bringing added vibrancy to the Avenue business districts.
The new construction will incorporate the existing ground-floor retail but move it adjacent to Mt Vernon Avenue. Some of the retail space will surround a central art or water feature in an open air plaza at the intersection of the T-shaped building as shown in the first graphic in this post. Most of the parking would be placed underground with some above-ground parking on the north side of the property, just as it is now. The current south parking lot would be replaced with green space adjoining Warwick Village and Goat Hill Park.


Build-out will take many months but it looks extremely promising. The renovation will revitalize an aging building, strengthen existing retail, and suggests that the Calvert will evolve along Complete Street principles.

Conceptual View of Streetscape at Renovated Calvert
Planning Commission meets at 7:30 pm tonight, but comments can also be sent via the City's website.
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