Seven-story development planned for Tenley’s Dancing Crab site

The former Dancing Crab and the Tenley Bar & Grill could be redeveloped into a seven-story building. (Brian Kapur/The Current/October 2017)

A seven-story apartment building with ground-level commercial retail is being proposed at 4615 Wisconsin Ave. NW, the site of the Tenley Bar & Grill and the former Dancing Crab.

The owner of the property, Carlos Horcasitas, plans to seek approval as a planned unit development, a process in which the Zoning Commission can allow for additional density for a project in exchange for public benefits.

The proposal would replace two-story restaurant buildings and abut a four-story commercial building constructed a few years ago. Horcasitas said his team also tried to acquire the adjacent parking lot at the corner of Wisconsin and Brandywine Street for the project but was unsuccessful.

Current plans include around 40 apartment units, two being affordable housing — representing 12 percent of total floor area, rather than the minimum of 8 percent to 10 percent. Developers hope one unique draw will be a rooftop lounge, to be operated by a restaurant. A garage on the second floor will have 10 parking spaces.

Plans to redevelop 4615 Wisconsin Ave. NW would require significant zoning relief. (Brian Kapur/The Current/October 2017)

The project team outlined its plans at last month’s meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3E (Friendship Heights, Tenleytown), and intends to present again to ANC 3E next month.

At the October presentation, ANC 3E chair Jon Bender said the proposal would require significant zoning relief that the developers will need to mitigate.

“I think we’re going to be very interested in amenities and mitigation,” Bender said. The commission recently negotiated an extensive community benefits package for a planned unit development application for 4620 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Tom McDowell of the project team said that he expects some tweaks after talks with ANC 3E and the D.C. Office of Planning in the coming month or two. In October, developers defended the proposed density as consistent with the D.C. Comprehensive Plan because the site is close to the Tenleytown Metro station. “We have a design with what we think is best,” McDowell said this week.

The project adds to a recent housing development boom in Tenleytown. The 146-unit project at 4620 Wisconsin is nearing final approval at the Zoning Commission, and the former WAMU radio studio at 4000 Brandywine St. NW is being converted into about 100 apartments. Another recent project, Tenley View, opened at 4600 Wisconsin in late 2015.