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WC Smith Plans Another Huge Capitol Riverfront Project

A rendering of WC Smith's 520-unit project at 850 South Capitol St. SE

Less than a year after delivering the final phase of the three-building Capitol Riverfront development The Collective, WC Smith is moving forward with another project in the neighborhood where it is headquartered. 

The developer filed a design review application Friday with the Zoning Commission for a 520-unit project at 850 South Capitol St. SE. 

The application, first reported by UrbanTurf, comes two weeks after the development team presented its plans to the community. WC Smith is working with Studios Architecture to design the project, and Holland & Knight is its land use attorney. 

The 13-story project sits near the intersection of South Capitol and Eye streets SE, directly next to the Interstate 695 freeway (soon to be renamed to I-395). It is owned by railroad giant CSX Transportation, according to property records, and it sits directly to the west of the site CSX sold to Greystar and J.P. Morgan Asset Management in July 2019. 

WC Smith Executive Vice President Brad Fennell, in an emailed statement to Bisnow, said the company is under contract to acquire the site from CSX. 

"We have been monitoring the property for some time, as well as plans for the redesign of South Capitol Street, and when the opportunity presented itself to acquire the land we did," Fennell said. "We’re excited to bring an additional 500 units to the neighborhood.” 

A street-level rendering of WC Smith's project at 850 South Capitol St. SE

The property is about three blocks from The Collective, WC Smith's Whole Foods-anchored, 1,140-unit development at the intersection of New Jersey Avenue and I Street SE. The developer began leasing in September at The Garrett, the 373-unit final phase of the development. WC Smith is headquartered nearby at 1100 New Jersey Ave. SE. 

The latest application calls for 520 multifamily units with 296 vehicular parking spaces. The developer would create a dedicated bike lane and pedestrian path leading from Eye Street to the building's bike storage room. 

The building would have two double-height lobbies, one on the north side of the building and one on the south side. It would have amenity space on the ground floor and rooftop, including a pool. The project doesn't appear to include retail.

The project adds to the already massive multifamily development pipeline in the neighborhood. According to Delta Associates' Q2 report, the submarket including Capitol Riverfront, Capitol Hill and Southwest led the District with 3,400 new units delivering over the past 12 months, and it has 5,340 units planned for delivery in the next 36 months.