It’s not as flashy as the historic downtown block next door. It doesn’t draw a fraction of the attention. But 105 Broadway will enjoy the same zoning change as its neighbor.
On the same night elected officials updated the zoning for the Genevieve block — a key step in the push to preserve the historic buildings and greenspace on the site — they tacked on the adjacent property in a separate decision.
“They’re continuous and similar enough that what happens with one should happen with the other,” Mayor Pete Muldoon said.
The property at 105 Broadway divides the Genevieve block from Town Square.
It’s the former location of Raindance Indian Arts and now houses West Weird, Terra and Vision West Contemporary.
Like the Genevieve block, the site is now zoned as Downtown Core, rather than Urban Commercial.
Town planners initially proposed that zoning for the site during a broader downtown rezone process in 2016, but elected officials postponed the decision out of concern for the potential historic properties.
John Stennis, the architect for 105 Broadway and a former two-term planning commissioner, said Downtown Core is more in line with what the Comprehensive Plan envisioned for the area.
“I felt strongly that DC zoning is what we’ve always talked about for that property,” he said.
In some major ways, the two zones are nearly identical. Both allow three-story buildings, for example.
But the new one allows a higher three stories, giving more design flexibility, as well as extra square footage in exchange for building workforce housing.
Stennis said redevelopment plans for the site are underway and may be submitted to the town by late summer or early fall.
He said the owner — who wants to remain anonymous — hopes to start construction in summer 2020.
According to public records, the property owner is listed as Foam Capital, a limited liability company formed in 2017.
“We are working on a design for the property,” Stennis said. “The early stages are in progress.”
Roughly, Stennis said, the new building would stand three stories, with the bottom reserved for commercial use.
The second and third levels would be a mix of residential units. It is likely that at least six units would be designated for workforce housing. Parking for the property would be located under the building.
“I’m not sure exactly where it’s going to land on all the specifics,” he said.
Tyler Valentine, a senior planner with the town, said it’s unclear whether the zoning will remain as Downtown Core in the long term.
Officials are beginning the process of rezoning the Town Square and that could include 105 Broadway.
However, Stennis argued that the alley to the west of the property marks a natural separation from the Town Square zoning.