Developer hopes better connection to E Madison enough to move Piecora’s building forward

A new look at 14th and Madison

A new look at 14th and Madison

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 6.42.02 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 6.42.18 AMThe developer and architects of the six-story, mixed-use apartment project set to rise where the old Piecora’s building was demolished return to the East Design Review Board Wednesday night with hopes of convincing the body that their new plan truly is worthy of connecting E Madison to the overhauled McGilvra Park and world-renowned Bullitt Center, above.

Design Review: 1401 E Madison

In April, apartment giant Equity Residential and Ankrom Moisan architects were rejected by the board for a design that members said needed “more retail and transparency to engage and interact with the streetscape” on E Madison and needed to do a better job connecting to the neighborhood around the six-story, 137-unit project with parking for 78 vehicles and a planned 3,800 square feet of retail space.

The board was also unhappy with the developer’s plans for the building’s internal courtyard: UPDATE: A Ankrom Moisan Architects rep points out that the courtyard issue was addressed after the first early design guidance session. Sorry for the error.

The response? Equity reps say the new proposal increases the presence of the building’s commercial space “with multiple entries off Madison by increasing the frontage setback” — that is how a developer tells you they’re giving in and planning to create smaller retailer spaces.

The new design also adjusts the eastern “mews” component of the project after the board said the design needs to “create a strong visual connection to the streetscape for pedestrians.” The board also asked that the plans “consider the privacy of the neighboring structure” — the Qualman Apartments — and do more to make the mews component “play off the relationship to the nearby McGilvra Place Park.”

It has now been more than three years since CHS broke the news on the $10.3 million deal to acquire the Piecora’s property from the family who owned the pizza joint and its old building home to a handful of commercial tenants. The project cruised through its first review of the project’s basic bulk and scale in summer 2015.

Will the new plan be enough to push the development over its final review hump? If the project is further delayed, Equity might just decide it’s easier to keep buying completed Capitol Hill projects than build its own.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

6 thoughts on “Developer hopes better connection to E Madison enough to move Piecora’s building forward

  1. Much better! Depth and transparency make for much more dynamic storefronts- rather than same ol’ thing which looks for banks or Walgreen’s (see: Lyric’s retail floor- very boring and ununspiring streetlevel.)

    I’ll make sure to go the design review meeting- I just hope they have small tenant spaces that would really be helpful for the neighborhood.

  2. Looks like every other cheap ass commercial building going up. Zero creativity. At least make the exterior a little interesting maybe? Developers seem to be building to cash out for when the music stops. They have no interest in building something of aesthetic quality.

  3. They didn’t respond to the design review board comments at all. A couple of fake doors that don’t appear to be feasible do not make Madison pedestrian friendly. They need to take out a row of apartments to create real spaces for small business

    • To clarify I mean that the store fronts need to have a greater presence and higher ceilings along Madison St, which is the primary facade. As Madison St becomes a mass transit corridor, it should also plan to become a vibrant pedestrian cooridor not a dead zone.