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Planned Mt. Vernon Square office building expansion now calls for rezoning

A pro-Israel lobbying group hopes to expand their headquarters by two stories and construct an eight-story building next door

A rendering of the two-story addition to the existing AIPAC headquarters, submitted October 2015.
Rendering via AIPAC/Perkins & Will

Only four blocks away from the Judiciary Square Metro station, there are plans to rezone a site in order to allow for an expansion.

The applicant is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a grass roots organization whose mission is to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship. According to the application filed with the Zoning Commission, AIPAC has outgrown its current headquarters at 251 H Street NW.

Recently, AIPAC submitted an application to the Zoning Commission to rezone a property that is adjacent to their existing headquarters. The hope is to rezone the property to the D-4-R Zone District, which is intended to promote high-density development of commercial and mixed uses. The site currently houses a surface parking lot and 15,000 square feet of land.

The expansion and rezoning plans were first revealed in October 2015. At the time, AIPAC hoped to begin a two-phase project that would call for a two-story addition to the existing headquarters and construction for an eight-story office building designed to wrap around and mask an existing air shaft for I-395, according to Washington Business Journal. By the end of construction, both buildings are planned to total 130 feet in height.

Along with the expansion and rezoning, AIPAC also hopes to support the design and improvement of Cobb Park, which is south of the headquarters building.

The developer plans on meeting with Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6E soon to review the project.

Citing rapid growth, leading pro-Israel lobby pitches major D.C. HQ expansion [Washington Business Journal]