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Zoning Commission Approves Updated Plans For 1,100-Unit Sursum Corda Project

A rendering of the Sursum Corda development

The major development planned for the former site of the Sursum Corda Cooperative received a key approval this week.

The Zoning Commission voted at its Monday evening meeting to unanimously approve Toll Brothers' planned-unit development application that calls for 1,131 units on the 6.7-acre site. 

The approval comes after Toll Brothers acquired the property at M and First streets NW for $60M in March 2018. The developer began demolishing the 1960s-era buildings on the site in November, and filed its PUD application that same month. 

The application consists of the first-stage PUD, laying out overall density levels for the entire site, and the more detailed second-stage PUD for the first phase, totaling 525 units on the southern portion of the property. Roughly 200 of the total 1,131 units would be set aside as affordable. 

A rendering of the Sursum Corda development

After receiving feedback, Toll Brothers submitted updated plans last month that changed the design of the buildings, added balconies to some residential units, increased the amount of bike parking and added a playground to the public park, UrbanTurf reported. The developer is working with WDG Architecture on the project. 

Following the approval vote, the development team must wait for the Zoning Commission to issue its written approval order. The project received unanimous approval from the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission and no opponents signed up to testify at the Zoning Commission hearing. 

The property sits in an area between two fast-growing neighborhoods, Mount Vernon Triangle and NoMa, that has until now been largely passed over by the recent development wave. Adding over 1,100 units to the site could help D.C. reach Mayor Muriel Bowser's goal of building 36,000 new housing units by 2025, including 12,000 affordable units.