Sweet Mango Cafe to become 21-unit apartment building (updated)

Image courtesy of UrbanTurf

If you were wondering what was going to happen to the Sweet Mango Cafe after it closed earlier this year, wonder no more. Looks like it's going to be torn down to build a 21-unit apartment building at 3701 New Hampshire Ave. 

According to DC UrbanTurf, "the 65-foot, five-story residential development will have one and two-bedroom residential units on floors two through five and there will be retail on the ground floor."

And of course, the developer wants to get a variance to reduce the amount of required parking spots down from the 13 the zoning laws call for (not sure what the final desired number is). The developer will need to go before ANC 4C and ask for a letter of support, and then the DC Zoning Board will have to approve their request for the variance.

Considering it'll be an apartment building with 1-2 bedroom units located across the street from the Petworth metro and a block from Safeway, etc, I would image that they'll get that variance approved.

7/31 Update: For those lamenting the loss of Sweet Mangos Cafe, bear in mind that the restaurant closed in March 2015 due to financial troubles (the building went into foreclosure). It was subsequently purchased by Rooney Properties for $2,430,000. There had been rumors of a new restaurant, but since the lot is zoned for residential as well, it's not a surprise that it's being redeveloped into a larger building. This redevelopment into a new mixed-use building is not the cause of Sweet Mango's demise.

According to a Park View blog post from April:

"The property is zoned GA/C-3-A. C-3-A permits matter-of-right medium density development, with a density incentive for residential development within a general pattern of mixed-use development to a maximum lot occupancy of 75% for residential use and 100% for all other uses and a maximum height of sixty-five (65) feet. Additionally, the Georgia Avenue (GA) overlay stipulates that the ground floor level of each building shall have a uniform minimum clear floor-to-ceiling height of 14 ft. To accommodate this, buildings permitted an additional five feet of building height over that permitted as a matter-of-right in the underlying zone, meaning that any new development on the site could be up to seventy (70) feet."


Chuck Brown mural on the side of the former Sweet Mango Cafe

It will be a shame to lose that awesome mural, though. The mural was put up in 2012 to honor iconic DC musician Chuck Brown (the mural was drawn from a 1992 photo taken by Washington City Paper) who passed away that year (here's his Washington Post obit). Sounds like a great opportunity for ANC Commissioner Timothy Jones (4C08) to reach out to the developer and work with them to get a new mural created at that location.

There's been some lively discussion on this topic on the Petworth News Facebook page. Feel free to add your thoughts on FB or below.

One resident posted this option on the Petworth News Facebook page:

Courtesy Mike Henry