New condos in DC



4330 48th Street NW Washington DC 20016

  • Developer | Valor Development
  • Architect | Torti Gallas replacing BKV Group
  • Price Point | Undetermined
  • Construction Stage |  Pre-construction PUD
  • Delivery | 2023-2024
  • Location | The Ladybird is bounded by Massachusetts Avenue to the southwest, 48th Street to the southeast, and Yuma Street to the north. Windom Place and Warren Street intersect 48th Street between Yuma and Massachusetts. The site is located in the Spring Valley – American University Park neighborhood of Washington DC.


The Ladybird is a planned mixed-use development on the former Superfresh market site in the American University Park neighborhood of Washington DC. The plan includes a mix of townhomes and rental units, ground floor retail including a Mom's Organic Market, courtyards, plazas and walkways, and parking.

After many revisions to this project over the years of public debate, the current project version offers 214 for-lease apartment units, five townhouses and an organic market. Most of the details from the 2016 update to the project remain in the final draft.

Ladybird Redesign
The Ladybird 10-16-18



In early December 2019, the reject received unanimous Zoning Commission approval for 219 residences and a Mom's Organic Market.  The vote followed a long process of community engagement and a hearing in October 2019 for testimony by those for and against the development.

On July 18, 2019 developers submitted to the Zoning Commission via its representative Holland & Knight, a motion to withdrawal of their application for Voluntary Design Review, citing two years of meetings and hearings that resulted in unclear on aggregation of density in a design review application. While, in March 15 2019, the Office of Planning submitted a proposed text amendment to the Commission which provides the necessary clarification that aggregation of density is permitted in a design review application (Z.C. Case No. 19-06, Text Amendment to Subtitle X to Clarify Voluntary Design Review FAR Aggregation), the developer opted to pursue the project as a PUD, noting the significant amount of time and resources already invested and the concern that the text amendment could take a substantial period of time to be fully processed.

On March 11, 2019 developers submitted to the Zoning Commission a motion to request reopening of the record (approved) and request to hold the case in abeyance while the developer pursues the project as a Planned Unit Development (“PUD”), and/or awaits the outcome of the text amendment to the design review regulations proposed by the Office of Planning in Z.C. Case No. 19-06.

The Commission discussed whether it needed additional time to consider whether flexibility from building bulk control (i.e. aggregation of density) was implicitly permitted under the design review regulations, or if there was a need to clarify the regulations prior to rendering a decision. The Commission decided to delay consideration of the case while it clarified the voluntary design review process re: aggregation of density. The Commission acknowledged how delaying its deliberations on the case impacted the developer, and questioned whether pursuit of a PUD would be more time effective than waiting for completion of the text amendments to the voluntary design review process.

On March 15, 2019, the Office of Planning submitted proposed text amendments to the design review regulations. See Z.C. Case No. 19-06. Among other things, the proposed text amendments clarify that aggregation of density is permitted as part of a [voluntary] design review application. The Commission set down the proposed text amendments on March 25, 2019. As of the date of this motion a public hearing has not been scheduled on the proposed text amendments.

On October 16, 2018 developers submitted a revised plan to the Zoning Commission. 

Updated plans for The Ladybird presented in October 2018 enlarge the grocery store space and reduce the visible height of the project by redistributing 42,000 square feet of space. Building 2 will be comprised of five townhouses.

Unaffected are the number of condominiums, which remains at 30 units, and the number of apartments, which remains at 200 units. The number of affordable housing units are also unaffected. All residential is essentially the same in size.

The following changes were made:

Building 1

  • Reduction in overall GFA by approx. 42k SF through removal of one floor;
  • Adjustments to remaining above-grade floor-to-ceiling heights;
  • New residences added with extension of southern portion of the building into area previously proposed as Windom Walk;
  • Addition of lower-level residences in area previously devoted to parking;
  • Courtyards adjacent to 48th Street lowered by one level;
  • Increased SF for grocery/retail use in Building 1 (approx. 2300 SF);
  • Added condenser units and mechanical screen wall to upper PH;
  • Addition of partial parking level to maintain previously proposed number of parking spaces;
  • Modified loading facilities to provide one 30' berth, one 55' berth and a 20' delivery space;
  • Changed window frame color on western portion of building from black to white.


Building 2

  • Replaced with five lower-scale townhomes

The developer's February 2018 request to defer deliberation by the Zoning Commission so that revised plans could be submitted by June 18. 2018 was approved.

In Spring 2016, updated plans for The Ladybird called for a combination of 30 condos, 200 apartments, a grocery store and other ground floor retail, approximately 300 parking spaces, and a Capital Bikeshare station. The project was to offer a 10% (25 units) ADU/IZ component housed through both buildings. Drawings showed two residential buildings separated by a promenade, (one condominium and the other for-lease apartments). The 48th Street side was broken down into two buildings: The 4 story southeast building to be solely residential. a small, beaux-arts French Revival style building with a mansard roof at the 4th floor, intended to reduce scale and give the appearance of a three-story building. The 5 story northeast building was changed to three 4-story pavilions, each with two three-story bays to further reduce scale and blend with adjacent single-family homes, for mixed-use including residential and retail. Along Yuma, the building façade showed two different styles; a classical façade wrapping the corner and continuing halfway down Yuma, stepping back and terracing down one story. This gave the appearance that it was 4 stories tall, while the retail level is exposed as the grade fell to the west. Fifty percent of the 1st floor was below ground, the proposed grocery store below grade. The façade language of the western portion of the building was high style classical with a rusticated arcaded base and ornamented colonnaded top. A residential lobby and retail was to occupy the ground floor. Between them, “Windom Walk, a public promenade connecting Windom Place to Massachusetts Avenue. Both buildings offered roof terraces and lounge areas, at least one showed a swimming pool.

Original plans included 200-250 two and three BR units within two buildings for the former Superfresh market site PUD (Planned Unit Development) with 2-story townhomes along 48th Street and a five-story residential building at 48th & Yuma along with 60k – 70k SF of retail, possibly including a grocery store. There were approx. 150 dedicated parking spaces in this design, 50 for open parking and 100-130 retail spaces.

DCOZ Case Exhibits for The Ladybird


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