Greater Greater Washington

Development


Hine project will build a livelier Capitol Hill

David Garber, Near Southeast resident and ANC commissioner, has written an excellent letter supporting the proposed Hine school development at Eastern Market Metro. He addresses arguments from some other residents who have been pushing hard to shrink, limit, or entirely block the project.


Image from Stanton-Eastbanc.

The ANC has multiple meetings on this project in coming weeks. If you live, work or shop in the area, please take a moment to send a letter to the ANC commissioners and Zoning Commission asking them to support the project.

If you want to see the plans and speak to the developers, Pro-DC has arranged a briefing this tomorrow evening at the Hill Center. Space is limited so RSVP right away.

In his letter, Garber points out how valuable the project will be for the neighborhood, but says that taking one story off has made it look more boxy at the expense of its "graceful transition" to the sky.

Some say that there won't be enough room for the flea market in the planned plaza along C Street, but Garber notes that closing 7th Street on weekends would create plenty of room. Another recent change placed a daycare at a prominent corner instead of retail. It would be better to locate the daycare elsewhere as long as it doesn't reduce affordable housing.

Here is Garber's letter:

Dear Chairman Hood and Members of the Zoning Commission:

I am writing in support of the Stanton-EastBanc development team's Hine School redevelopment project. Please note that although I serve as the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for the Navy Yard neighborhood and as the Vice Chair of ANC 6D, my comments here are not meant to represent the opinions of my entire ANC.

I have been a regular visitor to Eastern Market my entire life; I have been following this redevelopment process closely since the school was closed in 2007; and I currently live one mile southwest of the Hine School site. I engage with the site almost dailywhether shopping or dining nearby, swimming at the Rumsey Aquatic Center, working from the neighboring coffee shops, or visiting with friends and family in the adjoining neighbor­hood, and can confirm that as much as the Eastern Market area is an amenity and point of interest for those immediately adjacent to it, it is also an important place for people from all sides of Capitol Hill, the city, and the region.

Our goal for this redevelopment should be to createthrough architectural and urban design, landscaping, tenanting, and programming1) an atmosphere that will bolster our mutual affection for the immediate area, 2) a diversity of options in affordability, size, and type of residential, office, and retail spaces, 3) connections across the site that do not exist now, and 4) a place that will sensitively take advantage of its location above the Eastern Market Metro station to bring more residents and daytime employees to the neighborhood already flush with local retailers that will only be strengthened by the presence of additional customers brought in by this project.

Acknowledging that no one development or design proposal will meet everyone's individual or group ideas for what is most appropriate, I support Stanton-EastBanc'current proposal because it goes a long way to accomplish many of the diverse hopes for the site. Their proposal communicates architecturally with the surrounding neighborhood without inauthentically bowing to it, adds a significant amount of affordable housing in an area that increasingly needs it, reopens C Street SE across the site, and respects the scale of the existing neighborhood while adding appropriate new density to a transit-accessible location.

I remain concerned about some recently-altered elements of the project. First, I believe it is short-sighted to use the corner retail space at 8th and D Streets SE as a day care center. That space would be put to better use as a vibrant retail corner that, as such, would go a long way to visually connect retail activity on the north and south sides of Pennsylvania Avenue SE. The day care center would be more appropriately located somewhere on or off the site with less retail potential. Any relocation of the day care center within the site should also stear clear of space currently promised for use as affordable housing.

Second, although I understand that the removal of the penthouse level of the office building at the corner of 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE was in response to concerns that the building was too large, a new problem has emerged from its removal: there is no longer any graceful transition between the top of the building and the sky. What was a tiered structure has been left as a box, and I am confident that more can be done to gracefully break up or distinguish elements of the massing while retaining or sensitively adding to the building's existing square footage.

I would also like to speak to the concern that this redevelopment, as proposed, will reduce general open space as well as the size of the weekend flea market currently located at Eastern Market and on the Hine School parking lot. I would like to add my support to the idea of closing 7th Street SE between C Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE for use by the flea market on weekends, and point out thatalthough currently underutilized in its present statethe Eastern Market Metro Plaza is a sizable neighborhood amenity immediately adjacent to the Hine School that could be designed and programmed for a variety of uses.

Again, I support Stanton-EastBanc's plans for the redevelopment of the Hine School. I know they are working hard, alongside ANC 6B and neighborhood organizations, to plan a project that will be a benefit to the neighborhood and the city. The inclusion of affordable housing and the reopening of C Street SE exemplify the kinds of community benefits expected from a Planned Unit Development and public land disposition. I am confident that their proposal will only bolster our affection for the site, and will finally bring a sense of completion to a place that has beensave for weekend market functions that can be redistributed across the site and surrounding streetsan economic and visual hole for too long.

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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7th Street from C to Pennsylvania is nowhere near as large as the flea market. That's just one block of two lanes and some street parking, with already-crowded sidewalks. There's no way that that's a viable alternative for the flea market space.

by Nathan E. on May 29, 2012 2:13 pm • linkreport

If the flea market needs a space, then it should buy or rent a space. Why is it up to the DC Government to ensure its continued existence in the current environment?

This DC Taxpayer would like to know.

by William on May 29, 2012 2:24 pm • linkreport

Hi David - The Pro-DC briefing is tomorrow night at 6:30, not today.

The Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital
921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003

by Alejandro Golding on May 29, 2012 2:25 pm • linkreport

@Nathan E -- the appropriate question is not whether that block of 7th street is the size of the current flea market, but whether it makes up for the amount of the flea market (roughly half, IIRC) that will be lost as a result of the development. I would guess that that size comparison is much closer.

This whole argument reminds me of a similar argument over whether Hardy MS in Georgetown should be allowed to build a small field, along with tennis courts. Several folks in the neighborhood objected, based on the fact that it would downsize the parking lot used for another flea market.

Now, in addition to the Middle School students having a wonderful set of facilities (including an educational wetlands garden and a new vegetable garden), the flea market continues apace, utilizing some sidewalk space, as well as space in rear parking lots. In fact, the space is used for far more community benefit now, as there is a 3-year old farmers market that developed on Saturdays in the new, smaller parking lot.

by Jacques on May 29, 2012 2:29 pm • linkreport

An excellent letter that makes many good points. I'm a bit surprised by the prominence of the idea of closing 7th street. Not that it's a bad idea in and of itself, but the letter mentions the Eastern Market Metro Plaza as well, which is vastly underused. Moving the flea market there would seem to create a natural connection between activities at the Market and down 8th street.

by Distantantennas on May 29, 2012 2:37 pm • linkreport

I am so glad GGW is highlighting this issue. This is a good development that has been hijacked by a vocal minority of some people who are absolutely convinced that the world will end if the project moves forward. The people badgering patrons for petition signatures at the flea market this weekend were stopping just short of name-calling those of us (read: me) who were not interested in signing. It's all I can do to not just SCREAM at these people to chill the EFF OUT! As evidenced by this letter, and by various comments and other proposals, the community will not let the flea market die! We will find an alternative and it will be even better than what we have now. What's irritating is that all these dissenters notice is that I won't sign their petition; they fail to recognize that I, and thousands more like me, patronize the flea market and surrounding businesses every single weekend. How that makes me anything but a friend of the flea market is beyond me.

by MJ on May 29, 2012 2:57 pm • linkreport

Well written letter. As a DC resident, I support this project because it will bring much needed residential and commercial space (and reopen C Street - yay for L'Enfant's Plan!)

In the comment section of another article on this project, an opponent claimed that under the current proposal C Street would be open to traffic but sold to a private party. It sounds odd, but I have to ask: is that true?

by 7r3y3r on May 29, 2012 3:58 pm • linkreport

The metro plaza seems like a natural location for an expanded Flea Market. Google maps even calls it "Market Park".

by David C on May 29, 2012 4:14 pm • linkreport

I live very near here and support this project. I was at a party and a neighbor of mine (a good friend, in fact) was talking why he was against it. On the possibility of a hotel going in the space he said, "I think a small boutique hotel would be great so my parents would stay there. But I would oppose any chain hotel going in."

Are you kidding me?

by beatbox on May 29, 2012 5:16 pm • linkreport

One the advantages of the flea market is the contiguous access shoppers walking around. Because browsers must cross the busy Pennsylvania Avenue, using the Eastern Market Metro Plaza as flea market space presents major safety concerns. This is a bad idea -- when a beloved somebody gets killed crossing this street, the cry of grief will put this idea away for good.

by goldfish on May 29, 2012 5:36 pm • linkreport

goldfish: good call-- for safety reasons, the retail stores around the metro plaza should be closed, as well.

by JustMe on May 29, 2012 5:44 pm • linkreport

The horror! I mean it's not like people have to cross Pennsylvania Ave to get from the major transit station in the area to the flea market and Eastern Market, or to get from the flea market and Eastern Market to the retail on 8th!

This is the best people can do?

by MLD on May 29, 2012 5:47 pm • linkreport

And, the biggest open space (the NE quadrant) in the Metro Plaza is on the SAME side as Eastern market. That doesn't require crossing Penn.

by David C on May 29, 2012 5:52 pm • linkreport

I absolutely oppose the project as configured because it eliminates any open space that could be used by the public or a viable market. The developer is required by agreement to provide space, and their plan does not adequately do so. A closed 7th Street of Metro plaza is not in the developers purview. There is no guarantee of that space being allocated or agreed to by surrounding neighbors, retail, property owners or DC gov. Further the EM Metro plaza is not viable space for many reasons. Folks obviously do not understand how markets operate or the logistics involved.

Lastly, as the operator of the Sunday market, I would never scream or argue at anyone. This clearly did not happen on a Sunday.

Open space is good public planning, better for the community and the city, good placemaking and helps Eastern Market as a whole thrive, not dive. It is not an unreasonable request.

by Michael Berman on May 29, 2012 5:55 pm • linkreport

Further the EM Metro plaza is not viable space for many reasons. Folks obviously do not understand how markets operate or the logistics involved.

Please, enlighten us. What changes would need to happen to the Metro Plaza to make it viable for the market?

by Alex B. on May 29, 2012 6:08 pm • linkreport

@Michael Berman:

Open space is good public planning, better for the community and the city . . .

How is this necessarily better for the community and city than putting that space to productive use? I can see how it might be a good use of space in many cases, but how are you so sure the best possible use of this space is to leave it open?

by Gray on May 29, 2012 6:09 pm • linkreport

I absolutely oppose the project as configured because it eliminates any open space that could be used by the public or a viable market.

It limits, perhaps, but does not eliminate. So that's one correction. And what other public uses for the land do you see other than the flea market (which, as someone else pointed out isn't so much public as commercial)? Is it worthwhile to have "open space" near a Metro that is only used 2 days a week?

Open space is good public planning, better for the community and the city

True, but there's a limit right? We wouldn't want to knock down 8 city blocks to make more open space. Nor would we want to build on every available plot from one end of the city to the other. And the question now is about balance. Is this the right amount of open space and if not how much is needed?

by David C on May 29, 2012 6:12 pm • linkreport

If allowed to stand as is, maybe the fleas will be made whole, maybe they won't. I wouldn't want the fleas' cards if that is all the assurance they get: "Hey, we'd never screw you again, would we?" @ Berman has it exactly right: "The developer is required by agreement to provide space, and their plan does not adequately do so." This is not disputable. And who is going to make them?

by Read Scott Martin on May 29, 2012 7:02 pm • linkreport

There is no guarantee of that space being allocated or agreed to by surrounding neighbors, retail, property owners or DC gov.

Perhaps there is no guarantee. However, that's on them-- the surrounding neighbors, retail, property owners, and DC government -- to make it a priority. If the flea market is considered important enough to provide additional space for beyond what Hine gives, then it will happen. If it doesn't, then the flea market is not a priority of the community, and that's the way it goes.

by JustMe on May 29, 2012 7:33 pm • linkreport

The developer is asking for more density than allowed. In doing so it must provide amenities. Open space is not one of them. They are providing a street (private) and a wedge of a plaza dominated by a water fountain and for private use of the building. What is the amenity?

My proposed compromise would not take away any residential space that they propose, nor any retail space. In fact it doesn't even have to affect the density negatively. I am not suggesting the project doesn't get built. But the project could be more accommodating of the communities desires and for continuation of the commercial activity that has occurred on this site for 20 years.

by Michael Berman on May 29, 2012 7:40 pm • linkreport

I completely agree that there should be more open space - there are only 1-2 european-style, square plazas in DC. An ideal compromise would have entailed an architecturally bounded open space for the flea market and twenty story building to add the sufficient density to make the best use of the adjacent metro stop.

by Neil Flanagan on May 29, 2012 7:48 pm • linkreport

There seems to be a recurrent theme of developers promising amenities in projects throughout the city which never come through.

It's always nicer to deal with developers who will respect you in the morning but probably more sensible to get promises in writing and ironclad up front.

by Tom Coumaris on May 29, 2012 8:07 pm • linkreport

Open space is not one of them. They are providing a street (private) and a wedge of a plaza dominated by a water fountain and for private use of the building.

If the community -- neighbors, local retailers, and the DC govt -- consider the flea market worthwhile, they will pitch in to offer up available space and allocate it to you all on flea market days (such as on 7th Street). If not, then that's the way it goes. Hine is more important than the empty lot that it replaces. You shouldn't rely on Hine to give you what it is the community's responsibility to allocate.

by JustMe on May 29, 2012 8:20 pm • linkreport

I seem to recall some older renditions of the Hines site having more plaza open space. I bet when they were rejected for being too tall by the nearby NIMBYs that they had to reconfigure the site plan to maintain the square footage needed to make this project worthwhile. Lots of open space on top of a metro station is a dumb place for it though.

by NikolasM on May 29, 2012 8:23 pm • linkreport

"An ideal compromise would have entailed an architecturally bounded open space for the flea market and twenty story building to add the sufficient density to make the best use of the adjacent metro stop."

Wonderful idea sir!

by H Street Landlord on May 29, 2012 8:38 pm • linkreport

I agree with the sentiment of the previous few posts. "The Community" cannot have it both ways: less density AND open space for a flea market. Chose one the other, or buy the property yourselves.

by William on May 29, 2012 9:15 pm • linkreport

It is interesting that many here see this as a fault of unreasonable NIMBY looking to get more out of the developer. In fact, the opposite is true: The developer agreed at the beginning of the project to provide the space needed to continue a viable flea market, as a condition of winning the bid. Now thee years later, the amount of space provided by Stanton/Eastbanc is only 1/3 of that presently, with many restrictions. It is the developer that has broken the deal; the community is only trying to get what it was promised.

See here for info on how Stanton/Eastblanc the has not honored its promises.

by goldfish on May 29, 2012 10:35 pm • linkreport

I guess someone who had no sense of the history of 8th and D Street SE could write, as Mr. Garber does, that it would be "short-sighted to use the corner retail space at 8th and D Streets SE as a day care center." This site was dedicated to use by DC Public Schools on the Fourth of July 1864, the first of a series of schools built across the District to educate rich and poor, white and black, the children of longtime free African-Americans and recently emancipated black families. That school building program demonstrated the Union's resolve to create a new, free nation by demonstrating how black and white children would be educated in the District after President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in D.C. a year earlier, on April 16, 1862. Imagine being so proud of dedicating a new development at 8th and D that you'd make it a reason to celebrate the Fourth of July in the middle of the Civil War! And this corner has endured in that use for 148 years, even attracting a Carnegie Library and a Catholic school across the street from this site.

What is so "short-sighted" about dedicating this corner to a use by all young families with children age 0 to 3, in a prominent way, to celebrate that history?

I guess someone who has no sense of what is unique about Capitol Hill's Central Business District (CBD) around Eastern Market could write, as Mr. Garber does that "a vibrant retail corner...would go a long way to visually connect retail activity on the north and south sides of Pennsylvania Avenue SE."

The funny dog-leg shape of this CBD was created when Eastern Market moved here in 1873. Somehow, for 139 years, the CBD thrived without "a vibrant retail corner" at 8th and D Street. [Deleted.] Street paving, street light and tree locations, trolley car routes and everything else for generations aimed to connect the two legs of the dog-leg across what is now Eastern Market Metro Entrance Plaza, strengthening and focusing the commercial link rather than dissipating it with a "vibrant retail corner" a block away from the CBD, at 8th and D, where homes belong. Until Mr. Garber came along and had a much, much better idea.

Or, in the alternative, we could build a monument to service to children in the form of a vibrant daycare center at that corner instead, if Mr. Garber did not object so strenuously to continuing to serve children at this corner, as we have for almost 150 years.

Is Mr. Garber ready to stack up his bold vision for "a vibrant retail corner" against what this neighborhood stands for and what it has come to represent? Thanks, but I'll take the judgment of L'Enfant, Washington, Lincoln, Wallach and Cluss over that of Mr. Garber on what will best serve generations to come.

by Trulee Pist on May 30, 2012 2:28 am • linkreport

I go to Eastern Market almost every weekend. I think using the Metro stops plaza for weekend market space would be a great idea. I typically arrive by metro, wander thru markets and then look for lunch. I like the restaurants down on 8th, south of the metro stop but thy are separated from the north of metro stop market spaces. Why not extend my wandering by spreading out the market spaces?

by Melanie Stegman on May 30, 2012 7:09 am • linkreport

I like the letter and support this project whole heartedly, but I will throw in two cents anyway. First, he says...

"Their proposal communicates architecturally with the surrounding neighborhood without inauthentically bowing to it," Not my choice of wording, but fair enough. But then he goes on to says...

" a new problem has emerged from its (floor)removal: there is no longer any graceful transition between the top of the building and the sky. What was a tiered structure has been left as a box, and I am confident that more can be done to gracefully break up or distinguish elements of the massing"

I don't think removing that floor was necessary, but it's not the floor removal that makes that building boxy looking, it's the building's stripped down style. Then again there's a grab bag of architectural solutions for this problem if one dosen't artificially limit their tool box by qualifying certain esolutions as "inauthentic".

As for the flea market, I fully support closing 7th street on the weekends. It's only going to grow as that part of town matures and infills further, plus the backdrop of the old market building can't be beat for flavor.

by Thayer-D on May 30, 2012 7:28 am • linkreport

This site was dedicated to use by DC Public Schools on the Fourth of July 1864...What is so "short-sighted" about dedicating this corner to a use by all young families with children age 0 to 3, in a prominent way, to celebrate that history?

This is entirely irrelevant. The city need-not be sealed in amber, but should change with the times. The Hill Center is no longer a hospital. The hawk and dove is no longer a car repair. The Archives is no longer a slave market. These are all good things. The fact that this WAS a school should play no part in what it should be NOW.

I guess someone who has no sense of what is unique...

Well, you guess wrong. What Garber has is a DIFFERENT sense than what you have. That doesn't mean he has no sense. And it is entirely unfair to portray him as ignorant when what you really mean is that he doesn't exactly share your values. [Deleted for violating the comment policy.] )

I'll take the judgment of L'Enfant, Washington, Lincoln, Wallach and Cluss

I wouldn't. Because none of them have been here in over 100 years and some even longer. You want to talk about ignorance, those guys are entirely ignorant about the modern Hill and it's needs. You know what Washington would say if he were plopped down on 8th and Penn right now? "Why are so many slaves wearing suits?"

by David C on May 30, 2012 10:22 am • linkreport

Because this site has been DCPS since 1864, there has been no need to determine where on this site to draw a buffer between where retail meets residential on this site, until now.

Why not follow the same pattern in the lot adjacent to the north (residential or a school on one side, retail on the other) and almost every block south through the rest of the Capitol Hill Central Business District (residential on one side, retail facing 8th Street on the other side of each block south of Pennsylvania Avenue)?

A daycare at the corner of 8th and D Street serves as the same kind of buffer between residential and retail as DCPS use has served for 148 years, until now.

Lincoln freed the slaves, and Wallach was on the DC Council when he did so in the District, so I guess they would not have thought black people walking free on 8th Street were slaves. What each might have noticed is that while almost every other block in the CBD except the Marine Barracks itself participates in the neighborhood (the walled-in military site a perfect example of the exception that proves the rule) this is a gated community with almost all the affordable housing located outside the gates in the building north of C Street in the development plans.

Maybe Lincoln and Wallach would appreciate that segregating most of the affordable housing that way insures our new neighbors in that affordable housing building will not use amenities in the gated building, such as the pool. That's another thing that could be fixed in these plans.

This is a very good neighborhood and it's going to be a fine development when a few changes are made, such as putting daycare at the corner of 8th and D. You say things have changed since Lincoln's time. Two things have not: Families have needs and daycare meets those needs today, and gated, segregated communities don't fit comfortably into the neighborhood.

by Trulee Pist on May 30, 2012 10:58 am • linkreport

Why not follow the same pattern in the lot adjacent to the north (residential or a school on one side, retail on the other)?

Excellent question. Why not? 8th street, as you note, is retail. 7th and 9th are residential. But when 7th and 9th reach Penn, that corner is retail. 7th has a CVS and 9th has a gas station. I agree that this is a good pattern to follow.

by David C on May 30, 2012 11:41 am • linkreport

I have to disagree with the idea that there needs to be active retail on the corner of 8th and D. One of the purposes of the development is to help bind together the commercial areas of 8th Street (Barracks Row) and 7th Street (Market Row). To do so, people need to be drawn to the corner of 7th and Penn. Making 8th and D a "vibrant retail corner" draws people in exactly the opposite direction - and thereby undercuts part of the purpose of the building.

by Ken on May 30, 2012 11:56 am • linkreport

Ken,

Making 8th and D a "vibrant retail corner" draws people in exactly the opposite direction - and thereby undercuts part of the purpose of the building.

How so? If you look at the floor plans, very little retail from that corner building faces 8th. Instead, almost all of whatever use is in there will front to the South, towards the Barracks Row area. It will be a key part in providing a continuous retail frontage along the entire southern facade of the development, being visible to pedestrians south on Barracks Row, drawing them across the Metro Plaza, and then providing nice storefronts to walk along until reaching 7th Street.

by Alex B. on May 30, 2012 12:08 pm • linkreport

The daycare on 8th and D at least commits the developer to the kind of 'quiet retail' promised in their proposal. It's not going to be another bland food establishment with massive patio, the kind which have become ubiquitous and played out across town. How is a daycare center less viable than the kind of corporate chain that may or may not be interested in "quiet retail" 8th street -- the part that's separate from the bulk of the development? I'm guessing it would be something like Jo. Banks, Children's Place, or some other comparable retail outlet.

FWIW, the West End development across from GWU Hospital contains a Whole Foods and about 6 restaurants yet it has a daycare center on 22nd street. You'd barely notice it if you weren't looking for it, which seems like a good compromise for the 8th street residents across the street.

by anon on May 30, 2012 12:56 pm • linkreport

@anon

But the West End development didn't put the daycare center at the key corners of the development - the 23rd and Eye corner is Circa, the 23rd and Washington Circle corner is the Burger place, the 22nd and Pennsylvania corner is more retail (IIRC), and the 22nd and Eye corner is the Whole Foods.

In other words, the corners are valuable, and therefore they have the active uses.

by Alex B. on May 30, 2012 1:24 pm • linkreport

22nd and Penn is a very boring bank.

The day care just looks like an empty retail to me.

by charlie on May 30, 2012 1:37 pm • linkreport

@Trulee Pist
....as a descendant of slaves, I beg of you - please, keep the slaves out of this one.

Your perspective is your own. It is not the perspective of Lincoln, Wallach, the slaves, the freed slaves or anyone else but you.

by What the Wha? on May 30, 2012 1:44 pm • linkreport

another bland food establishment with massive patio, the kind which have become ubiquitous and played out across town.

We want food establishments with massive patios and outdoor diners on strategic corners to become ubiquitous across town. The city is a place for human activity and living.

by JustMe on May 30, 2012 1:50 pm • linkreport

We want food establishments with massive patios and outdoor diners on strategic corners to become ubiquitous across town. The city is a place for human activity and living.

Thank you.

There's nothing more ludicrous than people defending a vacant lot with appeals to European-style plazas, then deriding the kind of programming that actually activates such spaces as "played-out".

by oboe on May 30, 2012 2:15 pm • linkreport

In other words, the corners are valuable, and therefore they have the active uses.

Given Stanton-EastBanc grudgingly agreed to limit this stretch directly across from SFHs to "quiet retail", I don't think any of those corner concepts flies here. It certainly won't with residents of the 300 block of 8th St SE. Not to mention the zoning will never allow for it, and they're facing bigger zoning issues on this project.

This is one of many necessary trade-offs. Ultimately many of the nearby residents are going to hate this project at most any level, and most are going to have to live with it or move. Successful ompromise means everyone is a little less happy. A given for most people living on that block, but that also includes Stanton-EastBanc.

Then again, Stanton-EastBanc is already trying to reneg on daycare as an amenity, as well as digging in their heels on most further changes requested in the PUD process. For a group chosen largely for their self-proclaimed community support, they seem to have an awfully contentious relationship with said community. Then again, they didn't have the best proposal to begin with. That belonged to StreetSense. Stanton-EastBanc had the most political juice.

by anon on May 30, 2012 2:30 pm • linkreport

@anon

There's no conflict between 'quiet retail' and 'active uses.' Any sort of hard goods retail would qualify as an active use in my book, whether that's selling clothes or widgets or groceries. Those aren't really inherently noisy things.

As much as I might disagree with the idea that a restaurant and patio would be a bad idea on that corner, I can at least understand the objections to it from the neighbors across the street. I don't think that should give them veto power over retail tenants, but I understand their angst about it.

So lots of retail could be there while achieving both goals of being active, yet being quiet.

There are other types of uses that would be quiet, but not that active - like a bank branch, or a doctor/dentist office, etc.

Likewise, is daycare really that quiet of a use? Kids are loud. Daycare involves lots of drop-offs at early hours.

I read the desire for quiet retail as 'we don't want late night restaurants next door.'

by Alex B. on May 30, 2012 2:39 pm • linkreport

I have the same read on quiet retail. That pretty much eliminates any food service, as any place will quickly pursue an ABRA license and claim it as an existential necessity to do business, including late hours and patio service.

Daycare is a quiet use, especially for the 6mo to 3 yr old set. Dropoff is no earlier than other morning traffic begins, but car drop-off wouldn't be street level, it's easy to walk with stroller/carrier en route to transit if serving community, and if any outdoor play space is included it wouldn't be on 8th st.

But most importantly, it's an amenity with very strong community support. Not sure I see anyone clamoring for yet another PNC branch or olive oil store... pretty sure those are covered on the Hill.

by anon on May 30, 2012 4:01 pm • linkreport

Instead of demanding more underutilized open space from this project, why don't we push Metro, the DC Govt and the National Park Service to do a better job programing and utilizing Market Park on both sides of Pennsylvania avenue and the medians on Pennsylvania. Better use of this two city blocks of open space could yield far more public benefits than anything Stanton Eastbanc could do on the Hines site.

by Sean M on May 30, 2012 6:06 pm • linkreport

re: anon@2:30 and Sean M -- that's why I was on record supporting the StreetSense proposal (although they set up a separate business I think, but one of the principals is the same). I got s*** from it from one of the people in the winning team, because of their local track record. I said I liked the other proposal better.

Relating to Sean M.'s point, I made that in the statement submitted to the city as well, that there is so much open space now in that area that is undermanaged, why add more, presumably better managed, to make that other space even more poorly functional.

I do think the points people make about accommodating the vendors is important.

I am resigned to the parking, although I don't think it will be managed that well. If you knew how f*ing loud the EM inside vendors clamor for parking, well, I'd rather be able to say "here it is" and be done with it.

Quiet retail I think is a "bad" idea, at least at 7th and Penn, and partway up the block.

FWIW, I've argued first for an EM master plan since 2007, and since about 2010, a Capitol Hill destination development and management plan, to cover this stuff.

All along I said that the RFP process was better than nothing, but not as good as a plan. That an RFP isn't a plan.

This process proves my point.

My big thing is that the north building ground floor should have been developed as an extension of Eastern Market, a re-creation and "permanentization" of the temporary East Hall building.

With all the additional supermarkets in the Retail Trade Area served by EM, plus the addition of a revitalized "Union Market" and a food hall at CityCenterDC (9th & H NW), Eastern Market is seriously constrained in its ability to be competitive.

by Richard Layman on May 30, 2012 8:18 pm • linkreport

Why not follow the same pattern in the lot adjacent to the north (residential or a school on one side, retail on the other)?

Excellent question. Why not? 8th street, as you note, is retail. 7th and 9th are residential. But when 7th and 9th reach Penn, that corner is retail. 7th has a CVS and 9th has a gas station. I agree that this is a good pattern to follow.

Where 7th and 9th come up from the south and meets Pennsylvania Avenue, they enter a commercial zone, where you appropriately find a gas station and a CVS today.

Where 8th comes down from the north and meets Pennsylvania Avenue, you are standing on a traffic island, formerly a Federal reservation.

The corner we are discussing is 8th and D Street, an intersection of two residential streets, an appropriate place for homes, or in the alternative a public use such as a daycare.

Do you not see the difference between D Street and Pennsylvania? Based on evidence of maps available from 1791 to the present, every official before today saw the difference and acted on it.

by Trulee Pist on May 30, 2012 9:20 pm • linkreport

The corner we are discussing is 8th and D Street, an intersection of two residential streets, an appropriate place for homes, or in the alternative a public use such as a daycare.

Not really. It wouldn't be out of line at all for there to be some kind of corner retail.

What they thought belonged there in 1791 when the population was less than 8000 people is of no relevance.

by Tyro on May 30, 2012 10:35 pm • linkreport

Based on evidence of maps available from 1791 to the present, every official before today saw the difference and acted on it.

Really? I'd like to see this 1791 map that shows that corner as residential. Can you show me a link?

Do you not see the difference between D Street and Pennsylvania?

Do you not see the similarities between the two in that spot? Most of D on the south side of Market Park is commercial. The corner of 7th and D we're talking about is separated from Penn by an empty traffic island about the size of a bedroom. So, no, right there I don't see much difference.

by David C on May 30, 2012 10:36 pm • linkreport

@Tyro, a six-story tower with 5000 sq ft of ground floor retail and maybe another 3000 sq ft of below-grade retail is not what we call "corner retail," like a corner grocery or a dry cleaner. It's something different.

@ David C: Here's the link to the 1792 map L'Enfant created:

http://rumsey.metropolisnewmedia.com/servlet/Enter?gui=professional&city=dc&client=navigator&width=1370&height=790

You can find the 1791 map L'Enfant (made to win the assignment from Washington to plan DC) on the same website. You won't be able to interpret it without some academic study, but it's there for you to look at.

Also at the same site, you can run forward to 1880 and see the type of pavement, placement of trees and streetlights and trolley path to see how that same treatment of 8th and D persisted for another 90 years, then jump to 1910 after the great growth in population, and so forth....it's all there but you'd have to study it and look up the history of the times in order to understand why 7th and Pennsylvania is commercial in the current PUD, and 8th and D at the other end of the southern border should be homes, or in the alternative, a public use like daycare.

I don't think the historic use of 8th and D Street from 1791 (are you aware that Scottish land speculator George Walker was running advertisements in papers in London and elsewhere encouraging other speculators to buy lots "along 8th Street south of Pennsylvania Avenue" in 1791?) to the present should dictate uses now or in the future. [Deleted for violating the comment policy] appreciating how all those earlier decisions add up to the neighborhood we now admire.

As for D Street being "similar" to Pennsylvania, that's the point. As for D Street being commercial south of Pennsylvania but residential north of Pennsylvania (same for 8th Street), that's point. Similar, but not the same. Why did we maintain a buffer between residential and commercial all these years? That's the point. [Deleted for violating the comment policy.] Violating those patterns now, while it might work fine, might fail bigtime, and for generations to come.

by Trulee Pist on May 31, 2012 12:06 am • linkreport

[This comment has been deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by DCprez on May 31, 2012 11:18 am • linkreport

@Richard Layman

Quiet retail I think is a "bad" idea, at least at 7th and Penn, and partway up the block.

I agree with many of your points and find the lack of a more comprehensive plan most puzzling, but quiet retail in question applies to 8th St. not 7th. I don't see any similar qualification on 7th St

@Trulee Pist raises a good point about the incongruity of the entire PA Ave area. A more comprehensive plan could tie in the existing commercial properties and better connect Barracks Row, the Hine site, and Eastern Market. Unfortunately, this idea was roundly rejected by residents who feared the traffic impact

by anon on May 31, 2012 11:26 am • linkreport

@JustMe
We want food establishments with massive patios and outdoor diners on strategic corners to become ubiquitous across town. The city is a place for human activity and living.

@oboe
There's nothing more ludicrous than people defending a vacant lot with appeals to European-style plazas, then deriding the kind of programming that actually activates such spaces as "played-out".

Given the zoning changes this project requires, this isn't an urban wishlist. There are real people immediately impacted by both massive scale construction and the long term impact of the decisions made. I don't live adjacent, but I sympathize. There has to be some compromise on this front, and "quiet retail" on 8th is a completely reasonable one.

It amazes me how narrow and self indulgent many pro development supporters can be. How does "European style plaza" translate to ubiquitous sit down restaurants. I'm so jealous of the SW Waterfront, which despite the commercial development plans has adopted human LIVEABLE scale multiuse space without depending on bars and restaurants to constitute the sole so-called community amenities. It draws people to the space, which seems more important than sequestering them and sticking in menu in their face.

Or look at the Flatiron Pedestrian Plaza in NYC. In the middle of 5th Ave in freaking midtown Manhatten, the city managed to include an inviting space with human scale not dependent on a sole proprieter to operate as a business. Despite its verticle height, is NYC somehow less space constrained than DC?

For lack of a better term, the Hine Project has a serious VISION defect. That's its biggest flaw. I suspect it's never going to be fixed at any size.

by anon on May 31, 2012 11:42 am • linkreport

How does "European style plaza" translate to ubiquitous sit down restaurants.

Well, having been not just to European style plazas but actual plazas in Europe, I can tell you that the sit down restaurants in and around the plazas are, in fact, ubiquitous.

by JustMe on May 31, 2012 1:11 pm • linkreport

Trulee Pist, I was talking about the corner which had an actual house on it-- that is ripe for corner retail. The empty lot catty-corner? Build away. It is not residential-- it has no residents, it is empty. A purely residential use is totally incompatible with its use on the opposite corner.

by Tyro on May 31, 2012 1:18 pm • linkreport

You won't be able to interpret it without some academic study

OK. So the map doesn't show that "from 1791 to the present every official before today saw the difference and acted on it"

I don't think the historic use of 8th and D Street from 1791 to the present should dictate uses now or in the future.

Then we're in agreement. So perhaps you should stop mentioning the "historic" uses of this property as though it is somehow relevant. It is not.

As for D Street being "similar" to Pennsylvania, that's the point.

Then, again, we're in agreement. At that point, D street is indistinguishable from Pennsylvania Avenue, which is all commercial.

Why did we maintain a buffer between residential and commercial all these years?

We didn't. In many places in that neighborhood, commercial bumps right up next to residential. In fact, people live on 8th street south of Penn.

Violating those patterns now, while it might work fine, might fail bigtime, and for generations to come.Now we're getting where the rubber meets the road. How might it fail bigtime? Lay out the failure scenario for me.

by David C on May 31, 2012 1:44 pm • linkreport

anon@11:26 & TruleePist -- I stand corrected. I think quiet retail can work there. There's no question that particular corner abuts 100% residential and should be programmed appropriately.

Were day care to go there, it would be interesting to put a playground in the reservation across the street (between 8th and 9th, D and Pennsylvania), although there might not be enough room and there is that pesky issue of PA Ave. traffic.

by Richard Layman on May 31, 2012 4:07 pm • linkreport

A kid's playground would work there. Neighbors have left out play equipment for little kids for a couple of years now, no problems. Kids at daycare could cross 8th St at D Street and play there.

by Trulee Pist on May 31, 2012 4:32 pm • linkreport

A nearby playground is a fantastic idea. The proximity to Penn is no big deal, as long as it's big enough to be self contained (like Lincoln or Stanton Parks). While the new Watkins playground isn't too far and there are certainly other neighborhood parks, having something close to a commercial strip makes a lot of sense, especially land which would not subtract from any other development.

It's a far better incentive for kids to cooperate while running errands if offered some quick playtime instead of swinging on bike racks or being plied with treats. Nearby rest facilities help too. My kids often get bored going to Eastern Market and Barracks Row (unless enticed with gelato or frozen yogurt). There's not much for kids (or adults) who want more than food and limited shopping.

A number of families have suggested to CM Wells repurposing the 9th street green north of Penn to playground space. Until a few years ago it was a federal parcel administered by NPS, but DC has jurisdiction now. Ultimately, this could have been incorporated into a master plan, instead of the grab bag we're witnessing today.

by anon on May 31, 2012 5:04 pm • linkreport

This is the park we're talking about, where kids at an 8th and D daycare could play.

http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-years-post-3-how-about-more.html

by Trulee Pist on May 31, 2012 5:38 pm • linkreport

Yes, they could play there, as could kids not at the daycare, or kids at a daycare located somewhere else on the Hine footprint.

Here'e the thing about the daycare on the corner. You can ask for that and you might get it, but the price is something else that the community might need more. There are only so many concessions you can get from them before they walk away. Is this really the next most important thing on the list? Especially since - to some - it actually reduces the utility of the development? Aren't there amenities we can all agree on?

Perhaps instead of asking for this day care in this spot we could ask for seed money for the playground - for example.

The thing that drives me crazy is that the ANC team that is negotiating with the Hine developers are fighting for things that I oppose (more parking, less size, pushing out retail) instead of things that I would support like money for the Metro plaza or rooftop access for the community. It sucks when your elected officials are actively working against you.

by David C on May 31, 2012 7:59 pm • linkreport

David C -- (1) they won't walk away. They need this project. (2) so what if they do walk away. Others would step in as it's very desirable.

It's better to take more time to do a great project, because you will have that project _forever_ in all likelihood. If it goes condo, there is no way that the buildings will come down for generations and generations. (3) but yes, there should have been a plan in place, as I have advocated since 2007.

WRT day care, it's a reasonable tradeoff. Plus it's logical if some could be subsidized, as it's proximate to transit (for awhile FTA had a program that allows transit dollars to be spent on day care projects proximate to transit, WMATA did that with a project at Shady Grove).

And a playground at the reservation would activate the space in a great way.

Trulee Pist -- the other thing that I suggested to my contact on the ANC is that the special pavers currently in front of EM be extended not just to PA Ave. (that was in the original plan I thought), but across to D St. @ 7th St., on D St. to the Haines building, but I was questionable on whether or not the residents abutting the north 800 block of D St. and the park side of 9th St. between D/No. Co/and PA Ave. would be interested in having the pavement extend around their side of the "Metro Square."

Again, that ought to be covered in a general plan, but can also be addressed in the "Info. Hub" proposal, in which my biz. is involved in on a consultative/hardware side at least from a bidding basis (the general proposal is still under development).

If you think the playground part/street stuff could be added to a more integrated project (I am game although not the lead, just in a supportive capacity) I am interested because it will help smooth buy in from area residents. (E.g., I am worried that some of the things I want to do there will engage the not supportive side of you and others and that worries me greatly, because we have the opportunity to do some of the best bicycle support facilities in the DC area there, plus other great stuff).

If you want to talk about it, you know how to reach me.

by Richard Layman on May 31, 2012 8:33 pm • linkreport

@Richard, you have no reason to be shy about proposing the strong branding you describe, it would win a lot of support. I'll send you a note.

by Trulee Pist on May 31, 2012 10:33 pm • linkreport

Others would step in as it's very desirable.

In my scenario, the community's asking price is set so high that no one would want to undertake the project. I'm unclear on why one developer could make the numbers work if this one can't.

by David C on May 31, 2012 10:33 pm • linkreport

David C -- all along I've said about this project that what matters the most is producing the best project with the best long term gains for the neighborhood and the city.

How you satisfice the desires of the community, the developer, and the city is to work on the price for the land.

I've always said that getting $ upfront for the land is not important, although it's part of the development agreement.

So if they don't have to pay any upfront fee for the property, that's how you deal with the costs of providing various community benefits.

As well as for allowing the project to be larger in certain aspects to create more value.

I don't know what the going values per square foot are on the various elements of the program (retail, office, residential, hotel). But on avg. it's probably at least $600/s.f. developed. So a 400,000 s.f. project is worth at least $240 million after being developed. This is why I think there is still a lot of room for negotiation.

Note also that this is yet another indication of weaknesses in the community benefits negotiation process, which I've written about for years, e.g., http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2011/11/what-community-benefits-are-supposed-to.html

It's ill-defined, and the community doesn't get a lot of assistance.

Anyway, you and I, we see the proposal as generally a good thing, because Hine school became a dump physically, the building is ugly etc. (There is a great auditorium there that could have been an incredible community asset, programmed with movies etc. at nights and on weekends that was totally wasted. It should have been developed that way rather than North Hall as an arts center, as I think the food offer at the market needs to be extended.)

At the same time, the ugly-ass parking lot is active on the weekends.

People living closer to the project have to live with it every day (just like you might not care about the Walmart on Georgia Avenue, but I do, because it shapes the ability of the corridor to revitalize and because my street is a through street to GA Ave. and I live 3/4 mile from the development) and had certain expectations.

While I think the height issue is a matter of opinion (I can see a taller project, they can't), there is no question that height does make a difference. E.g., when I was on ANC6C's zoning committee, I was a strong proponent of the tall now apt. buildings to be newly constructed on the Senate Square (H St.) site. In the ground, built, I believe I was wrong, the buildings are a floor or two too tall and impinge on the viewshed of the Capitol. At the same time, buildings that tall aren't being considered at 7th-8th and Penn. OTOH, while I think 6 story buildings are fine there, the reality is that the other three corners will never be taller than they are today, and so there are height issues.

The community and stakeholders (vendors) were promised some things (including a reasonable amount of space to retain flea market vending) that now that don't seem to be getting. So they're pissed. And they are using the only leverage they have. Height.

Plus, people are pissed because the development group seemingly with the community's best interest at heart, Stanton Development, (1) isn't treating them the way they expected and (2) is using their past track record of reasonably decent projects to justify their current actions. (In fact, my concerns about these ongoing relationships and their quality is why I favored the other bid from the group led by Jonathan Eisen/Streetsense.)

Plus/2, people have a bad taste in their mouth about the Capitol Hill Village Green project, not because they don't want more green but because the green was going to be produced by dropping the traffic lanes next to their houses. (It was a great idea, just not practical.) And a key person of that effort is the lead architect for the Hine project. (My problem with that previous project is that it was never put out to bid, but given to a particular team to design.)

Plus/3, something that concerns me, that didn't seem to be part of the original agreement, is that the developer is supposed to have full control of the re-created 700 block of C St. SE for the life of the lease. Normally this would be a public street under the control of DC Government, with the normal public accommodations rights and privileges possessed by citizens while using that space.

by Richard Layman on Jun 1, 2012 9:38 am • linkreport

People living closer to the project have to live with it every day (just like you might not care about the Walmart on Georgia Avenue, but I do, because it shapes the ability of the corridor to revitalize and because my street is a through street to GA Ave. and I live 3/4 mile from the development) and had certain expectations.

I couldn't agree more. Even as a Hill resident, I feel like the concerns of people closest to the project carry more weight than mine, and certainly more than people who don't live there (stakeholders, but of a different degree). I similarly wouldn't weigh in on Walmart in DC beyond a general dislike of the company and it's labor practices. Until Walmart wants to build in Cap Hill, I'll keep my $.02 in my pocket.

by anon on Jun 1, 2012 10:52 am • linkreport

@David C

Here'e the thing about the daycare on the corner. You can ask for that and you might get it, but the price is something else that the community might need more. There are only so many concessions you can get from them before they walk away. Is this really the next most important thing on the list? Especially since - to some - it actually reduces the utility of the development? Aren't there amenities we can all agree on?

I don't see how the two are mutually exclusive, and the playground doesn't begin to address the limited availability of daycare options (for Feds or otherwise).

And define "need". Cap Hill is the biggest family magnet in DC east of Potomac Park. Daycare is incredibly tight and comes at a premium. By the time the Hine site is built, it won't impact me whatsoever, but I'd still support daycare for other young families before yet another PNC branch or an olive oil store. God knows we don't need more restaurants.

by anon on Jun 1, 2012 10:59 am • linkreport

anon@10:59 -- :) I might have to respectfully disagree about an "olive oil" store. 1. It fits in with the food district ideal, as anchored by Eastern Market, and Eastern Market can't grow. (Unless it digs out the basement...) 2. There is a cool as hell olive oil and vinegar store in Culpeper.

It's set up as a tasting place, with "vats" of the oils and vinegars and tasting cups. If you buy something, they go in the back, draw it out, and package it into high quality containers.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Taste-Oil-Vinegar-Spice/200310416707189

I think it would qualify as quiet retail too...

We were hooked and bought some oil, figuring we can use the container as a refillable container easier to pour from than the gallon tins we normally use.

N.b. as part of the Hine project, I suggested that they try to land World Market... It might not have enough business for them. They have a store in Friendship Heights. Being by Eastern Market (there is a store in the LA Farmers Market complex) could work and strengthen both as a destination.

by Richard Layman on Jun 1, 2012 11:13 am • linkreport

So a 400,000 s.f. project is worth at least $240 million after being developed. This is why I think there is still a lot of room for negotiation.

OK, so what is the cost of construction? What is the cost of community benefits? What is the usual amount of desired profit from a project like this? This should all be determined, with a $ value for the CommBen set aside as part of the cost. Then the community can select the pre-priced items off a menu. All this is taking longer than it should because we aren't opening the books up to look at the values. I 100% agree that tehe community benefit process is ill-defined and that's what I really want fixed.

the ugly-ass parking lot is active on the weekends.

True. But is that enough. Should we set aside land solely for this use? It makes more sense to not do this, and instead to use C street and 7th street for roads during the week and for markets on the weekend. Or to use the Metro Plaza or - God forbid - to move the flea market to some other location entirely. It is an accident that it ended up in this location in the first place, we don't have to let that drive policy.

People living closer to the project have to live with it every day and had certain expectations.

Realistic ones?

The community and stakeholders (vendors) were promised some things (including a reasonable amount of space to retain flea market vending) that now that don't seem to be getting. So they're pissed.

That's fair, but it's worth asking if what they were promised was truly important or valuable. Were they being rational when they asked for what they were promised? Would they ask for different things now that everyone knows more?

Plus, people are pissed because the development group seemingly with the community's best interest at heart, Stanton Development, (1) isn't treating them the way they expected and (2) is using their past track record of reasonably decent projects to justify their current actions.

This sounds like a bunch of high school drama crap to me.

people have a bad taste in their mouth about the Capitol Hill Village Green project

Which is entirely irrelevant. More high school drama crap.

the developer is supposed to have full control of the re-created 700 block of C St. SE for the life of the lease.

You're the only person talking about this.

This is not what Trulee Pist and his neighbors are concerned about. Trulee has been against this project since Hine the beginning. He didn't even want Hine closed. He opposed closing 7th Street, which has been a big success. What he and his neighbors really want is the status quo.

by David C on Jun 1, 2012 11:17 am • linkreport

I feel like the concerns of people closest to the project carry more weight than mine

Maybe. But if so, only in the slightest sense. We can't let projects that serve the larger community's need be derailed by a small group without very good reason.

by David C on Jun 1, 2012 11:23 am • linkreport

I don't see how the two are mutually exclusive

I don't mean to imply that any two community benefits are mutually exclusive. Only that one community benefit comes at the cost of another.

And define "need"

need - Require (something) because it is essential or very important.

I'd still support daycare for other young families

Sure. I support daycare too. I'm not sure this is the kind of market distortion we need to increase daycare on the Hill, but it is one way I suppose. What I don't get is why daycare needs to be on a prime corner instead of somewhere else on the site.

by David C on Jun 1, 2012 11:28 am • linkreport

David C. -- pretend this was an issue about biking. Then what you call "high school drama crap" would be the equivalent of the Gray Administration holding off moving forward on cycletracks.

WRT the privatized street, I am talking about the general stuff, and the limited interactions I've had with some of the people directly involved in the issue, and some of the info I've provided to them on it. (For fun, look up and read Marsh v. Alabama...)

Anyway, sure, the cost of construction is not cheap. It's going to be at least $200/s.f. The building will increase in value over time. The worth to the developers depends on if they hold or sell. Typically, they hold. So that changes how you calculate ROI. WRT your point about calculating a value for imputed community benefits, that's what I argue for my writings on CBAs.

So take the increase in square footage allowed by a PUD, multiply it by the net value after construction, and multiply it by say 10 to 20%. Benefit costs to be subtracted could include reconstructing the street (although I think the city should just do it), etc.

We don't have such a process guiding CBA discussions, which is why they mostly get all f*ed up and become a big source of contention.

I've argued the process remains like this to minimize the cost to developers. But it comes at a cost to community goodwill, plus value is left on the table that the community doesn't get.

You'd think even developers would see the value in changing the process, but they definitely don't want a hard number like 40,000*400*.10 or 40,000*400*.20 on the table.

by Richard Layman on Jun 1, 2012 11:35 am • linkreport

note: all developers don't build to hold. But Stanton Development and Eastbanc Development do, as a rule, build for their portfolio.

by Richard Layman on Jun 1, 2012 11:36 am • linkreport

Sorry, one more way to address this would be with defined impact fees. DC doesn't do that either.

by Richard Layman on Jun 1, 2012 11:36 am • linkreport

Then what you call "high school drama crap" would be the equivalent of the Gray Administration holding off moving forward on cycletracks.

No. One is about actions taken - holding off on cycletracks. The other is about the way someone made you feel.

by David C on Jun 1, 2012 11:39 am • linkreport

It ain't about feelings, but dealings. No different. (Even if people inadequately articulate it.)

by Richard Layman on Jun 1, 2012 12:11 pm • linkreport

@David C: rest assured that all nearby neighbors are watching this project very closely. Regarding 7th St, I agree with RL that the city should pay for this and should control it, and that doing it the developer way sets an unwise precedent (and wrote about it here).

RL described quite well how the process got highjacked and how the neighborhood is not getting what it was promised. We can remember back to 2008, even though the developer has taken those plans off the internet.

Don't forget that this was a public school. Can you remember how the marching band would play so very loudly in the parking lot? This large community amenity that will be lost, and there should be things to make up for that. A small daycare is not even close.

by goldfish on Jun 1, 2012 2:04 pm • linkreport

@goldfish Don't forget that this was a public school...This large community amenity...will be lost, and there should be things to make up for that. A small daycare is not even close.

A good-sized daycare at this corner does not seem like too much to ask. As RL points out, There's no question that particular corner abuts 100% residential and should be programmed appropriately. A public use, like daycare, would be an appropriate use, as an alternative to homes at this corner.

I don't understand why David Garber, an ANC commissioner from an adjacent ANC (not this one) feels so strongly about blocking this community's request for daycare at this corner, close to the park the kids at that daycare might use. He wrote the letter at the top of this post, and since then spoke at a meeting here against allowing daycare at 8th and D. I have written to Garber and asked why he is so intent on blocking community efforts to win this amenity, but he won't write back.

by Trulee Pist on Jun 1, 2012 2:44 pm • linkreport

Thank you for providing me this opportunity to voice my strong disagreement with the project in its current state.

by Simon on Jun 1, 2012 3:01 pm • linkreport

Trulee, to be fair, 4 ANC 6B members voted against continuing to negotiate. So clearly the community isn't united in this effort.

by David C on Jun 1, 2012 3:06 pm • linkreport

I don't think that people closer to the project should have more sway. They moved next to a commercially zoned area or an empty parking lot, so they could not have ignored the opportunity for future growth.

by ccc on Jun 1, 2012 4:07 pm • linkreport

@ccc: They moved next to a commercially zoned area or an empty parking lot

No they did not! They moved next to a school that btw is zone R4 -- residential.

by goldfish on Jun 1, 2012 4:12 pm • linkreport

@Richard Layman: The suggestion that an olive oil store might not be the most productive use for the space results from the fact that the neighborhood already has one.

http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2012/03/sneak-peek-sapore-oil-and-vinegar-opening-sunday-on-capitol-hill/

by WestEgg on Jun 1, 2012 10:33 pm • linkreport

@WestEgg You obviously have no idea how things work in our neighborhood. We need two oil stores within a block and a half of each other--the one where we buy our fancy cooking oils, and the one we would not set foot in. This is what we need at 8th and D. :/

by Trulee Pist on Jun 1, 2012 11:22 pm • linkreport

@David C at 3:06 pm Trulee, to be fair, 4 ANC 6B members voted against continuing to negotiate. So clearly the community isn't united in this effort

David, to be fair, on the issue we are discussing, child care at 8th and D, the community's unity could not have been more resoundingly clear. ANC6B Commissioner Kirstin Oldenburg unsuccessfully sought to strike the child care provision. Her motion failed for lack of a second. Her motion had no support whatsoever. None of the other ANC-6B commissioners and none of the other members of the committee would so much as second her motion. Are you being disingenuous?

by Trulee Pist on Jun 2, 2012 12:08 am • linkreport

David A, David G, and David C are right, especially about the reasons it makes no sense to have daycare at 8th and D. The "Right Size" fights aren't going to end with Hine. The Right Size crowd doesn't want to live in a big city, and many of them can't conceive the financial pressures on low income and middle income residents or on the developers who are forced to provide affordable units, too short buildings, too much parking, etc. You're not the only one Trulee Pist.

by David L on Jun 2, 2012 9:51 am • linkreport

WestEgg -- now you know that I don't read PoP... thanks. Still, the one in Culpeper is clearly much better...

by Richard Layman on Jun 2, 2012 10:59 am • linkreport

David L, Eastbanc is running a business. If they are under 'financial pressure' so great that they cannot provide a product that is appealing to the community they serve then maybe it is time that they re-assess how they run their operation.

And I'm sorry but I specifically bought a property near Eastern Market in 2008 because it is historic, because it is quiet, and because parking is not a nightmare. I paid a premium with the expectation that my quality of life would not decrease.

by Simon on Jun 2, 2012 7:30 pm • linkreport

@simon I don't think Eastbank would consider their business model as "serving" the community. Working with it yes, but not listening to a small group of NIMBYS and basing multimillion $ decisions which will last 100+ years on EMMCA or other primarily older, wealthier residents adjacent to the property.

Also, if you knew there was an RFP process on 2008, that was sort of on you for buying a house near EM and then crying foul. This is a city, which is growing, so get used to difficulties parking, more noise and more people. Its the way of life bud.

by josh_hill9 on Jun 2, 2012 7:57 pm • linkreport

I did not know that there was an RFP process in 2008 when I moved from Arlington, VA. I am in my early thirties and certainly not wealthy.

No it is not "the way of life". We live in a democracy which has laws and due process. Eastbanc cannot operate with impunity.

by Simon on Jun 3, 2012 8:42 am • linkreport

@Simon, yes, it's a democracy, but for rights-protection we limit the scope of majoritarian action. Eastbanc owns/leases that land, and but for a dubious historical preservation claim (the school is not historic), could build whatever the liked. These NIMBY efforts often lead to a bland, boxy, by-right development rather than something that truly graces our city.

If only you and the other nearby residents would engage productively, something yes, dense, but also worthwhile could be built. [Deleted for violating the comment policy.]

by RM-S on Jun 4, 2012 9:39 am • linkreport

@Admin: I would appreciate if you enforced the comments policy with RM-S. I did not come to this site to be called a "tin-pot dictator" by people who do not know me: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/commentpolicy/

@RM-S: I am very familiar with bland and boxy developments. I used to live in Arlington where increased density and commercialization has removed almost all character from Clarendon with high rises and office buildings removing almost all local flavor from the place and making traffic and parking a nightmare. It was not perfect but Arlington is definitely moving in the wrong direction with this neighborhood in the last 3-4 years.

by Simon on Jun 4, 2012 9:55 am • linkreport

the hi rises in arlington are almost all on former commercial properties, the SFH areas are still there. Yes, commerce has changed - but it likely would have anyway, as the Viet Namese community moved further out. Today's Clarendon is different, but definitely a lively, liveable place. Its one of the most convenient places in the region, with local roads less congested than are typical in lower density areas in NoVa, as well as with transit, excellent cycling and walking access.

There are a certain number of people who consider free parking the most important aspect of any community, and they certainly do not like how Clarendon has changed. If DC wants to place free parking above the increase in property values which has taken place in an area like Clarendon (and which has contributed significantly to County coffers), then it certainly would not make sense for them to encourage density in Capital Hill.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jun 4, 2012 10:04 am • linkreport

As someone who was in Clarendon last night where I could eat on the sidewalk at a local restaurant (on a block that was almost exclusively local places) as people of all ages strolled by, bikes rode by and motorcycles were cruising up and down the blocks I could definitely tell that the area had no soul and certainly made my and the others around me's spiritual life poorer. We certainly wouldn't want to add more of that to capitol hill.

by drumz on Jun 4, 2012 10:12 am • linkreport

I have had consistent difficulty in finding even paid parking at the public lots in Clarendon. As a result, they have all been jacking up their rates. Might be great for the residents don't get me wrong but it does make it harder to visit than it used to be. I am fine with paying for parking but don't make me go around in circles for 30 minutes.

As far as the high rises, they replaced older commercial buildings that where nowhere near as tall. Likewise with the condo buildings. The traffic in this area did not come from nowhere. There is absolutely more density.

by Simon on Jun 4, 2012 10:26 am • linkreport

@David L
The Right Size crowd doesn't want to live in a big city

Most of the Right Size crowd HAS lived in a big city, probably a lot longer than most of the bandwagoners. Many of them remember when it was a little to a lot scary to live on the Hill.

The people who either gutted out the Hill post riots, settled on the Hill pre Historic District, or invested any real time in promoting liveability on the Hill are the reason its an attractive neighborhood that can support olive oil stores, unlike the many people who seem to think proximity to olive oils stores is the reason people are attracted to the Hill.

by anon on Jun 4, 2012 10:33 am • linkreport

Simon,

You're absolutely right, things have gotten denser. That's why I'm arguing that its become MORE vibrant. And has brought even more visitors. Popular places are popular. We can quibble about the architecture and the restaurant quality but those come down to personal preference.

by drumz on Jun 4, 2012 10:36 am • linkreport

correction, in a historic district you do have to argue about the architecture somewhat. But I was referring to the origin of the dynamism of a particular neighborhood (the three d's of density, diversity, and design)

by drumz on Jun 4, 2012 10:41 am • linkreport

I don't know how 'vibrant' is defined. I can speak to my own experience that shows:

1) More difficulty finding parking ie more money for the garages and perhaps a bit more to the city from parking fees (and time wasted/frustration).
2) The main business I frequent in Clarendon is Delhi Club, however I lived near there and checked out many of the other restaurants. I can honestly say that I have seen no discernible difference in the amount of people attending Delhi Club. My personal taste says that for its price it is a great Indian restaurant. If an established business like them doesn't see any of the upside from all this increased density I don't know why we would expect others to.
3) The restaurants in NoVa that have consistently put out a high quality product at a decent price have *always* done well. The area is safe and affluent with good schools. They've never suffered from a lack of clientele.

Bringing this all back to Capitol Hill and Eastern Market/Barrack's Row, it's still unclear to me why people think it is a good idea to add *more* storefront retail to an area that has at least half a dozen empty storefronts within walking distance on PA Ave and 8th St.

by Simon on Jun 4, 2012 10:53 am • linkreport

" have had consistent difficulty in finding even paid parking at the public lots in Clarendon. As a result, they have all been jacking up their rates. Might be great for the residents don't get me wrong but it does make it harder to visit than it used to be. I am fine with paying for parking but don't make me go around in circles for 30 minutes. "

I have had little difficulty finding paid parking on the occasions I have gone, and at many times of the week I have found free parking.

"As far as the high rises, they replaced older commercial buildings that where nowhere near as tall. Likewise with the condo buildings. The traffic in this area did not come from nowhere. There is absolutely more density."

yes, there is more density, but i question whether that has come at the expense of local flavor.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jun 4, 2012 10:59 am • linkreport

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