The Bike Estate - Foulger-Pratt Unveils its Plans for Eckington Park

Artist rendering of R St NE / MBT trail
Image: Foulger-Pratt
The Bike Estate scours local blogs and government websites for information about bike facilities in new, recently opened, or planned residential or commercial buildings. The following is recently-filed development applications with the Zoning Commission.

As reported by Urban Turf and the Washington Business Journal (WBJ), Foulger-Pratt submitted to the Office of Zoning preliminary plans for its new residential and retail property, Eckington Park.

The development will be adjacent to NoMa Green, a proposed park supported by the NoMa Parks Foundation, The project also improves the orientation of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) and lies just north of New York Avenue, NE, west of Metro's Rhode Island rail yard and east of Harry Thomas Way. The preliminary plans show general building designs as well as describes how the project will integrate with NoMa Green, the MBT and the community.

According to Karen Goff, Staff Reporter for the WBJ, Eckington Park will be a 328-unit rental residential building that features nine, two-story artists’ lofts, a more pedestrian-friendly environment on Harry Thomas Way, and continuity with the nearby Eckington Yards project. Foulger-Pratt purchased the 1.8 acres that are within the NoMa Business Improvement District from Pepco for $12.6 million and gave 23,000 square feet back to NoMa Parks Foundation to add to the planned park space.


The application to the Office of Zoning for highlights the project's amenities including its proximity to NoMa Green and the addition of the "East Park" that contains a dog park and realigns the MBT. Discussed at the NoMa Green public meeting, the plan calls for modifying the current "Z curve" along the MBT at  R Street by creating an "S curve. The developers will also fund improvements for the "South Park", the park space directly south of the building, in the amount up to $350,000 and may include food service kiosks, public art, or a performance amphitheater for the benefit of the general public.

Site ground floor plan includes an elevator for residents using bike to "South Park"
Image: Foulger-Pratt

The project includes 174 long-term bicycle parking spaces in an enclosed bike storage area in the below-grade garage and will include 30 short-term bicycle parking spaces in the public space adjacent to the site. This amount of bicycle parking exceeds the 111 bicycle parking spaces and 20 short-term bicycle parking spaces required. The plan also adds a sidewalk on R Street, which will contain a 6-foot wide continuous tree amenity zone, a 7.5-foot sidewalk, and a 14-foot wide building zone.

The site plan also calls for bike and pedestrian access shuttle elevators connecting to the below-grade parking garage and a walkway adjacent to those elevators, which abut the South Park. The developer states that it will work closely with the the NoMa Parks Foundation to integrate this walkway with the overall design of the South Park.

Vehicular Access

All vehicular traffic enters through R Street NE
Image: Foulger-Pratt

Plans for R Street NE, a connector to the downtown and the U Street corridor, maintain some clearance for users of the MBT by designing a loading berth that accommodates front-in/front-out loading access with two 30 feet and two 100 square foot platforms. Preliminary site plans suggest the vehicular movement on R Street could use the entire width of the street, potentially reducing the likelihood of bike infrastructure that provides protection to bicyclists. The Penn Center, a D.C. Department of General Services facility, and an industrial site will also continue to share R Street for vehicular access.

Site parking contains 2700 sq ft dedicated for bike parking
Image: Foulger-Pratt

All access to the development's 124 parking spaces, which exceeds the 60 required spaces, is also through R Street. Residential vehicle parking totals 110 spaces and 14 retail spaces. Residential bike parking totals 2700 square feet and is located near the garage entrance.

Below are addition images of the project from the plan.

Looking north along Harry Thomas Way, NE

Looking west from the WMATA tracks

Looking South from R Street NE

Looking North from "South Park"

Project overview