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George Washington University (GWU) and DC Public Schools (DCPS) joined in a unique public / private partnership to develop land through a joint development project. DCPS’ School Without Walls shares a common wall with the site that GWU was wanting to develop. Ultimately, the Agreement allowed for property re-zoning that gave the site more allowable square-footage. GWU was also seeking to increase their student housing offering but in an unusual apartment configuration, addressing current market demand with atypical units offering four bedrooms, open plan living, dining and kitchen, laundry and two full bathrooms. This arrangement allowed GWU to rent-out apartments to the community rather than use the urban site for students housing only.
As part of a joint venture, CGS Architects provided the architectural services for this new 10-story, 116-apartment undergraduate student residence hall. Building amenities include student lounge space, meeting and study rooms, a Community Director’s Suite, and outdoor activity area, in addition to approximately 178 below-grade parking spaces. The building planning and design are highly sensitive and responsive to the urban campus within the context of a multi-scaled institutional and residential neighborhood. The complex review process included significant and wide-reaching stakeholder outreach, yielding project support from DC Office of Planning, DC Department of Transportation, and many local residents.