Developer Plans Six New Houses at Site of Polish Ambassador’s Residence in Forest Hills

This summer, developer Robert A. Gottfried disclosed his intent to add six houses to the site of the former Polish ambassador’s residence in Forest Hills. Now, a zoning application has been filed to seek approval for the planned-unit development (PUD) that would help realize those plans.

The historic ambassador’s residence is located at 3101 Albemarle Street NW (map); Gottfried, doing business as Soapstone Valley Ventures, is proposing to convert the three-story stone building at 3101 Albemarle into a residence. The PUD would allow Soapstone to construct a 4,280 square-foot, three-story detached single-family home and five 3,300 square-foot rowhouses on the surrounding acre.

Rendering of the planned redevelopment

Two of the rowhouses will be on the northwest corner of the site while the other three will be on the southwest portion of the site; a communal courtyard will sit between the sets. The east side of the property will largely remain as-is, with a total of 25,000 square feet of green space after completion of the development.

Perspective rendering of the planned single-family home

All of the newly-constructed houses will include elevators and attached garages; the townhouses will have terraces above those garages. The existing asphalt driveway that cuts through the site will be replaced with a permeable driveway.

The application is requesting to rezone the 1.09 acre site between Albemarle, Appleton and 32nd Streets from R-8 to R-3 while seeking relief from the two-acre minimum lot area requirement necessary to build a development this dense. The developer is also pursuing historic landmark designation for the existing residence. At an ANC meeting last month, the developers also presented a site plan for what would be allowed by-right on the land if the PUDis not granted.

Christian Zapatka is the architect on the development. Although a zoning hearing has not yet been scheduled, construction is anticipated to begin next year for a 2019 delivery.


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