At a Capitol Hill site roughly one-half mile from two Metrorail stations, higher density condos or apartments would make more sense than rowhouses
The Washington Business Journal reports ("In Hill East, a multipronged project takes shape on a shuttered school's grounds") that in Capitol Hill, on a site of vacant schools--the site had long ago been sold to a putative higher education project that never got off the ground, residential housing will be built in its place.
The site backs up to the Safeway supermarket on Kentucky Avenue, and is roughly one-half mile in either direction from the Eastern Market and Potomac Avenue Metrorail stations.
Two of the four buildings will be converted to 41 condominiums, while the other two buildings will be demolished and 41 rowhouses--with garages--will be built in their place, as indicated on the site rendering.
The "white building" on the far left depicts the Safeway. Long term, I could see this site being converted to higher density housing with a new Safeway on the ground floor, such as what was done at the Safeway at 3830 Georgia Avenue NW, which is two blocks from the Petworth Metrorail Station.
Given the proximity to the Metrorail stations, I'd argue that -- although it would drive residents absolutely insane in terms of generating opposition -- higher density condominiums or apartments ought to be built instead of the rowhouses, to:
(1) leverage transit accessibility
(2) add diversity to the housing stock (type and tenure) in that part of Ward 6, which is dominated by single family rowhouses
(3) add more residents to the area, generating more support for retail and community improvement, and generating greater income tax revenue
(4) develop the property to a higher value use in terms of the generation of property tax revenue, even while it is likely that as rowhouses, likely they will sell for $1.5 million to $2 million, depending on the final design.
which was sold a couple years ago in a transaction worth $70 million.
A nicely designed six-story building could fit in well at that site and would extend the range of housing offered in a neighborhood where there will always be greater demand than the available inventory of housing.
However, residents would likely express opposition to the height and the type of housing.
In a situation where housing prices are escalating rapidly, maximum attention should be paid to maximizing housing production in a manner that achieves multiple objectives.
Adding rowhouses with parking is somewhat disadvantageous from a sustainable mobility standpoint because even though the site is well located for transit use, and arguably is still walkable-albeit at a distance--to the US Capitol Complex and more distant points, the housing is likely to appeal foremost to potential residents who prefer automobility and use cars, because each unit will have on-site parking, an amenity that is not available to most residents in Capitol Hill.
At a minimum, the rowhouses could be developed to include basement apartments (English basements), which would also extend the amount and diversity of available housing in the area, providing a mix of owner-occupied and rental housing.
Difficulty finding an on-street parking space encourages attraction of residents who get around by means other than the automobile.