*HPA Number: 2005-042
*Case Name: In the Matter of Yale Steam Laundry
*Location: 437 and 443 New York Avenue, N.W.
*Date of Order: 05/03/2005
*Type of Permit Sought: Subdivision
*Date of Case Summary: 06/12/07
IBG Investors 2, LLC (the "Applicant") sought approval of a subdivision to combine two lots on the Yale Steam Laundry site into a single record lot. The site is an individually designated historic landmark listed in both the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register of Historic Places, and also is located within the Mount Vernon Square Historic District. The purpose of the project was to restore the Yale Steam Laundry and its smokestack, and to add adjacent new construction (collectively, the "Project"). The Project had been previously approved by the Historic Preservation Review Board ("HPRB"). The subdivision would facilitate modification of the Project by eliminating one elevator, one of two approved penthouses and one of two approved curb cuts and garage entrances on the New York Avenue, N.W. facade of the new construction, and would permit what had been approved as two new buildings to be joined together as one (although they would be built with different facades so they would appear like two distinct buildings). Applicant asserted that the subdivision was necessary in the public interest because it is consistent with the purposes of the Act. The Mayor's Agent agreed and concluded that the subdivision "improved the overall design" of the Project, which would enhance the Yale Steam Laundry site and adapt it for current use, restore its facade and smokestack and assure that new construction is compatible with the character of the neighborhood and was therefore necessary in the public interest.
*Mayor's Agent - Procedural:*
*Before the hearing, the Mayor's Agent offered the Applicant the option to waive the necessity of calling witnesses and instead stand on the record that was previously filed with the Mayor's Agent. The Applicant accepted this offer.
*Necessary in the Public Interest:*
The Mayor's Agent concluded that the proposed subdivision was necessary in the public interest as consistent with the purposes of the D.C. Landmark and historic Preservation Act of 1978 (the "Act").
*Consistent with the Purposes of the Act:*
The Mayor's Agent stated that the subdivision would "enhance the significant character of the Yale Steam Laundry because it will facilitate construction of a project that will retain, restore and adaptively reuse the landmark" and was therefore consistent with the purposes of the Act. The changes to the Project made possible by the subdivision would "improve the New York Avenue facade of the new construction, as well as the greater New York Avenue streetscape, by allowing the first floor of the facade immediately adjacent to the Yale Steam Laundry to be designed without a garage entrance."
The Mayor's Agent concluded that the new subdivided property would be even more compatible with the character of the Mount Vernon Square Historic District than the Project constructed on two separate lots, because it would allow the facade immediately adjacent to Yale Steam Laundry to be designed without a garage entrance.
The Mayor's Agent explained that, with the subdivision, this Project would restore the Yale Steam Laundry facade, and would allow what had previously been approved as new construction of two separate structures to be joined together, however, two different facades would be required for the new joined structure.
See HPA No. 2000-026 order of September 6, 2000 for related history concerning this property.