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Renderings via Donatelli Development

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Mayor Muriel Bowser, joined by Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner, signed her first Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) for a roughly 2 acre parcel of the Hill East District Development, a 67-acre site located between the eastern edge of the Capitol Hill neighborhood and the western shore of the Anacostia River.

“This is a great day for a community that began planning Hill East’s revitalization nearly 12 years ago,” said Mayor Bowser. “The signing of this agreement will advance this catalytic project and transform an historic neighborhood, bringing more affordable housing to residents in the District of Columbia.”

The LDA for the sale of the Hill East District Development was a joint venture between Donatelli Development and Blue Skye Construction. This is a significant milestone for a project that will include 354 housing units (106 will be affordable), up to 40,000 square feet of retail and create a combined 120 construction and permanent job opportunities for District residents. A public village square and green space adjacent to the Stadium-Armory Metro Station is also planned.

The LDA now paves the way for construction to begin next year, with a completion date scheduled for 2018. Once fully built, this new waterfront community will connect the surrounding Hill East neighborhood – home to nearly 14,000 residents – to the Anacostia waterfront via tree-lined public streets, recreational trails, and accessible waterfront parklands.”

From Councilmember Charles Allen’s Office:

“This afternoon Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen attended the signing of the city’s Land Disposition Agreement for the transfer of two parcels to Donatelli Development and Blue Skye to begin the redevelopment of Reservation 13.

Allen said, “Today is a big day for Reservation 13, the Hill East neighborhood, and the entire city. It’s an important step toward realizing the vision for and full potential of this corner of the city, as well as finally delivering on promises made to the Hill East community. Bringing over 100 new affordable residential units, over 100 new jobs, and much-needed retail amenities, this project will begin the process of redeveloping Reservation 13 and extending the Hill East community to the Anacostia River.”

The DC Council approved the surplus and disposition of Parcels F-1 and G-1 last year. Mayor Bowser’s signing today of the resulting Land Disposition Agreement allows Donatelli and Blue Skye to move forward and begin construction on the project.”

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3146 16th Street, NW

@ohmykevin tweets us the photo above:

“@PoPville work coming along with the meridian hill baptist church on 16th, roof + back wall gone”

Washington Business Journal previously reported:

“Valor Development picked up a permit on Feb. 6 to convert the entire structure — with a large rear and side addition — into an 85-unit multifamily building.”

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809 Upshur Street, NW

And even more good news for the increasingly popular 800 block of Upshur Street, NW. The former church at 809 Upshur has been sold. This in and of itself is not necessarily great news but who the new owners are makes it so. The folks that bought it were the local development team who found the Domku space (nearby) and the El Chucho space (on 11th Street.) IE two incredibly transformations. This will be their third. They told me that they are already in talks with a few potential clients and they emphasized that they are looking for someone local and someone interested in daytime (as well as night) hours. I asked if their was a preference of restaurant over other retail or vice versa and they replied the important part was that the renters be local and invested in the community. Given this and their track record at transforming neglected spaces around this is very promising!

The partners pictured above left to right are:

-Lynn Yaudes
-Norm Veenstra, N12 Development
-Brie Husted

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Lots more updates when a lease is signed.

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1780 Columbia Rd., NW

Thanks to a reader for sending:

“Update on The Line hotel in Adams Morgan some may be interested in. Seems the lack of progress is due to a lack of permits. Washington Business Journal reports:

“770 Euclid St. NW: This permit calls for the installation of eight temporary dewatering wells by advancing a 12-inch soil boring to a depth of 60 feet on the site of the future Line DC hotel in Adams Morgan. The sheeting and shoring and building permits for the hotel itself are the subject of not-yet-approved applications.”

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Rendering for 16th St NW & Crescent Pl NW please see full proposal below

“Dear PoPville,

I was hoping you could help get out the word that the Meridian International Center is proposing to add a 140-unit, 9-story condo building. They had proposed something similar last year, then told the ANC that they were tabling it. Well, it’s back before the ANC zoning committee (meeting this Wednesday 2/18 at Mary’s Center at 7:00), and then it will go before the Historic Preservation Review Board on March 26th.

I am really concerned about how this will impact a DC historic site, especially as it will eliminate the connection between the historic mansion and the park. I’m also terrified of what this is going to mean for neighbors of the site (myself included). Turning onto Belmont from 16th St. is the only way by car to access Beekman Place, Belmont, Crescent Place, and the 2300 block of 17th St., including the parking garage for a large condo building on 17th & Kalorama. It is is one-way and one-lane everywhere except for the first 200 feet or so. Now they want to add 90 cars going in and out of that building from Belmont. I also don’t know if the residents without parking spaces will get residential parking permits. The demand for parking spaces in the neighborhood already far exceeds supply. The addition of massive construction trucks and equipment for a year or more certainly isn’t going to help.

Considering all the new condos and apartments in the area (above Harris Teeter, Dorechester West, more coming on 2400 block of 17th, new ones at 17th & Euclid, the Ontario, plus the ones going in at the former Planet Pet/parking garage just southwest of us), I’m just not sure why we need another 140 units on a historic site.

Meridian proposal (PDF)

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13th and K Street, NW

Today’s question is a reader request. A year ago we first learned about plans for transforming the historic Franklin School building into “exhibit space for contemporary art, sculpture, installations and performances”. Folks were pretty excited about the prospect and then plans were scrapped. The art critic from the Post eviscerated the decision by the Mayor:

“Little more than a month into her administration, Muriel Bowser has abruptly canceled one of the most promising cultural projects to take root in the District in decades, tearing up an agreement two years in the making with the Institute of Contemporary Expression.

The city’s office for planning and economic development has decided after a “top-to-bottom review” that it no longer supports the plan. And so we have a first, clear and painful indication that despite professed support for the arts and arts education, Bowser will prioritize the interests of commercial developers over the public well-being.”

So I guess the question is – what do you think should be done with the building? Should there be a preference towards a cultural institution like was proposed before? Or should top dollar win? Do you think a place like the Institute of Contemporary Expression could flourish in a place like the Franklin School? Do you think the decision to cancel the project was political? If a museum/cultural institution has no chance – what would be the next best thing?

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Thanks to all who emailed (and Ron for sending photos) about the raze permits posted on the 1700 block of Columbia Rd, NW in Adams Morgan.

“I was walking to work and noticed raze notices on a row of old shops in Adams Morgan (probably 5 buildings) on Columbia Rd (by the PNC bank). Do you know what’s going on with these? What’s going to happen to Pho 14 and the Burger King?”

Pho 14 and Burger King are safe. Washington Business Journal reported:

“weighing plans for retail-over residential once the current retail leases expire. Retail tenants include Radio Shack and T-Mobile; previous tenants included the Old City Cafe of Jerusalem and Payless ShoeSource.”

This is across the street from the big hotel coming too.

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