The Week Ahead…..Things Are Picking Up

View of the Hine project from 8th and D Streets, SE, last week.

View of the Hine project from 8th and D Streets, SE, last week.

The Week Ahead…..Things Are Picking Up

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, August 30

ANC6B Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the September meeting of the full Commission.

Thursday, September 1

PSA 107 (Police Service Area) meets at 7:00pm at SE Library (lower level), 403 7th Street, SE.

Friends of Southeast Library (FOSEL) meet at 5:30pm in Southeast Library.  Anyone wishing to join the Friends is welcome to attend.

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Editorial: The GSA Massacre Should Spell the End for Bowser

Editorial: The GSA Massacre Should Spell the End for Bowser

by Larry Janezich

Editorial:

Department of General Services Director Admiral Chris Weaver resigned rather than fulfill a request by City Administrator Rasheed Young that he fire two employees involved in the contracting process which failed to award contracts to a major Bowser contributor.  That was on August 12.  On August 15, the city placed the two employees on administrative leave.

This WAMU story (link below) claims that the resignation/placing-on-leaves at the Department of General Services were directly related to the failure of DGS to award contracts to Bowser’s contributor, Fort Meyer Construction.  The story does not surprise those of us who followed the awarding of the contract for the Hine Development.  If true, it should spell the end of Muriel Bowser’s political career….or maybe, it’s just “Forget it, Jake.  It’s Chinatown.”

When was the last time a DC Government official resigned over a matter of principle?  You have to salute Chris Weaver’s Richardson/Ruckleshaus-Watergate-Saturday-Night-Massacre style resignation – and you remember how well that worked out for the chief executive.

Enough is enough.

See the WAMU story here:  http://bit.ly/2bOH5Vt

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The Week Ahead….And Photo Essay – King’s Court Community Garden

The main entrance to King's Court Community Garden (click to enlarge)

The main entrance to King’s Court Community Garden (click to enlarge)

The lushness of King's Court Garden on a drowsy, bee filled morning in mid-August.

The lushness of King’s Court Garden on a drowsy, bee filled morning in mid-August.


The Week Ahead….And Photo Essay – King’s Court Community Garden

By Larry Janezich

King’s Court Community Garden occupies much of the interior of the 200 block of 14th and 15th Streets, SE.  The garden comprises 32 plots of differing shapes and sizes.  Long time Hill East Resident Pat Taylor, one of the founders of Capitol Hill’s community gardens, chairs the King’s Court Community Garden Board.

For more on Capitol Hill Community Garden’s see Catherine Plume’s Hill Rag article here: http://bit.ly/2bIgsRX

Also, check out the update on Life on Capitol Hill – link at the top of the home page.

Monday, August 22

ANC 6A Community Outreach Committee meets at 7:00pm at Maury Elementary School, Multi-Purpose Room, 1250 Constitution Avenue, NE (Enter from 13th Street) to discuss ANC 6A Grants and process.

…….And the rest of the week is dark.

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The Week Ahead… Nothing Scheduled

Photo of the Hine project from the grounds of Hill Center.  June 28, circa 7:00pm

Photo of the Hine project from the grounds of Hill Center. June 28, circa 7:00pm

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City Advances Shotgun House Project – Sends Shakespeare Plan Back to Drawing Board

Capitol Courts - mixed use project planned for 1200 blocks of PA Ave SE - South Elevation

Capitol Courts – mixed use project planned for 1200 blocks of PA Ave SE – South Elevation

SGA Architect's revised plan for preserving the Shotgun House

SGA Architect’s revised plan for preserving the Shotgun House

8th Street Elevation of the Proposed Mixed Use Building at 507 8th Street on Barracks Row

8th Street Elevation of the Proposed Mixed Use Building at 507 8th Street on Barracks Row

City Advances Shotgun House Project – Sends Shakespeare Plan Back to Drawing Board

(Also, click of Life on Capitol Hill on the Home Page to see updates)

by Larry Janezich

At its July 28 meeting the Historic Preservation Review Board advanced the plan to reconstruct the Shotgun House at 1229 E Street, SE, and found the new mixed use residential and retail project proposed by SGA Architects at 1230 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, to be compatible with the Capitol Hill Historic District.  The vote was unanimous, 6 – 0.

For the shotgun house addition, the Board asked at its August 4 meeting, that the “proportions of the fenestration continue to be refined and the height of the roof be lowered; for the new construction on Pennsylvania, the Board asked that the size of the penthouse be reduced to the greatest extent possible, and that the design of the garage door continue to be refined.  It was recommended that the applicant work with HPO on evaluating the potential for archaeological resources on the site.”  Final approval was delegated to HPO.  Vote:  6-0.  See CHC post on the projects here:  http://bit.ly/29buF8j and here: http://bit.ly/29O9X1Z

Michael Oxman’s proposal for a mixed use retail, office, residential project at 507 8th Street – currently used by the Shakespeare Theater as rehearsal space, did not fare as well before the board.

The Board found “the concept of adding a two-story addition of this size and visibility from the 8th Street, SE, right-of-way to be incompatible with the character of the historic district and advised the applicant to reduce the addition such that it will be smaller and less visible from the 8th Street, SE, right-of-way and return to the Board for further review.” The vote was unanimous, 7 – 0 .   (See earlier CHC post on the project here: http://bit.ly/29XUNYi

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Final List of ANC Candidates for Ward Six – 11 Incumbents Not Running

Ward Six ANCs

Ward Six ANCs

Final List of ANC Candidates for Ward Six

by Larry Janezich

The close of business yesterday August 10, was the deadline for ANC candidates to file their 25 signature petitions with the DC Board of Elections.  Candidates must be registered to vote and have resided in their Single Member Districts (SMDs) for 60 days (since June 11, 2016) in order to qualify to stand for election and gather the signatures of at least 25 residents who are also registered residents of their SMDs.

The general election day is Tuesday, November 8.  Qualified electors may register to vote and/or cast ballots for their precincts at the polling places for their precincts.

The following current Ward Six ANC commissioners are not seeking re-election: 

ANC6A:  Omar Mahmud 6A01

ANC6B:  Daniel Chao 6B07

ANC6C:  Daniele Schiffman 6C01, Tony Goodman 6C06

ANC6D:  Marjorie Lightman 6D01, Stacy Cloyd 6D02, Rachel Reilly Carroll 6D03

ANC6E:  Kevin L. Chapple 6E02, Rachelle Nigro 6E04, Antonio Barnes 6E06, Alfreda S. Judd 6E07

List of incumbent Ward Six ANC Commissioners and candidates

6A01 Omar Mahmud (incumbent) not seeking reelection

6A01 Marie-Claire Brown

6A02 Phil Toomajian (incumbent)

6A03 Michael B Soderman (incumbent)

6A03 Gil Thompson

6A04 Matt Levy (incumbent)

6A05 Yair Inspektor

6A05 Patrick Malone (incumbent)

6A06 H.J. Amons Sr.

6A06 Peter Grant

6A06 Stephanie Zimny (incumbent)

6A07 Sondra Phillips-Gilbert (incumbent)

6A08 Calvin Ward (incumbent)

*

6B01 Jennifer E Samolyk (incumbent)

6B02 Diane Hoskins (incumbent)

6B03 James M Loots (incumbent)

6B03 Brian Ready

6B04 Kirsten Oldenburg (incumbent)

6B05 Steve Hagedorn (incumbent)

6B06 Nick Burger (incumbent)

6B07 Daniel Chao (incumbent) not seeking re-election

6B07 Aimee M. Grace

6B08 Chander Jayaraman (incumbent)

6B09 William Reed

6B09 Daniel Ridge (incumbent)

6B10 Cam Norris

6B10 Kathryn Denise Krepp (incumbent)

6B10 James Zeigler

*

6C01 Daniele Schiffman (incumbent) not seeking reelection

6C01 Christine Healey

6C02 Karen Wirt (incumbent)

6C03 Scott Price (incumbent)

6C04 Mark Eckenwiler (incumbent)

6C05 Chris Miller (incumbent)

6C06 Tony Goodman (incumbent) not seeking re-election

6C06 Heather Edelman

6C06 Graham Smith

*

6D01 Marjorie Lightman (incumbent) not seeking re-election

6D01 Gail Fast

6D01 Wes Ven Johnson

6D01 Martin Welles

6D01 Dorinda “Rindi” White

6D02 Stacy Cloyd (incumbent) not seeking re-election

6D02 Paul Biedlingmaier

6D02 Tori L. Collins

6D02 Cara Lea Shockley

6D03 Rachel Reilly Carroll (incumbent) not seeking re-election

6D03 (no candidate)

6D04 Andy Litsky (incumbent)

6D05 Rebekah Caruthers

6D05 Dana Lutenegger

6D05 Katelynd Mahoney

6D05 Roger Moffatt (incumbent)

6D06 Rhonda Natalie Hamilton (incumbent)

6D07 Meredith Fascett (incumbent)

6D07 Kathy Newman

*

6E01 Alexander M. “Alex” Padro (incumbent)

6E02 Kevin L. Chapple (incumbent) not seeking re-election

6E01 Mary A. Sutherland

6E02 Anthony Brown

6E02 Valerie Randolph

6E02 Eugene Simms

6E02 Leroy Thorpe

6E03 Kenneth James

6E03 Frank S. Wiggins (incumbent)

6E04 Rachelle Nigro (ncumbent) not seeking re-election

6E04 Lily Roberts

6E04 Sterlicia Rodney

6E04 Mohammed Seid

6E04 Phil Tsolakidis

6E05 Marge Maceda (incumbent)

6E05 Alex Marriott

6E06 Antonio Barnes (incumbent) not seeking re-election

6E06 Alvin Judd Sr.

6E07 Alfreda S. Judd (incumbent) not seeking re-election

6E07 Kevin M. Rogers

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Stanton Eastbanc Launch Leasing Efforts for Hine Project Retail/Office Space – Latest Renderings

View of Hine Project Looking Northwest .  Image from At Eastern Market website - see link below

View of Hine Project Looking Northwest . Image from At Eastern Market website – see link below

View of the 7th Street side of the Hine Project,  looking Northeast.  Image from At The Market website, see link below.

View of the 7th Street side of the Hine Project, looking Northeast. Image from At The Market website – see link below.

View of the Affordable Housing Component (North Building) of the Hine Project, with First Floor Retail.  Image from At The Market  website - see link below.

View of the Affordable Housing Component (North Building) of the Hine Project, with First Floor Retail, from the corner of 8th and the newly reopened C Street, looking Northwest. Image from At The Market website – see link below.

Image of the First Floor Retail Space Plan for the North and South Building.  Image from At The Market website - see link below.

Image of the First Floor Retail Space Plan for the North and South Building. Image from At The Market website – see link below.

Stanton Eastbanc Launch Leasing Efforts for Hine Project Retail/Office Space – Latest Renderings

Project Has Changed Since Zoning

By Larry Janezich

Stanton-EastBanc has launched the marketing of the retail and office space in the Hine project scheduled to open in the fall of 2017.  There are 14 retail spaces available – ten in the main South building ranging from 3800 s.f. to 1700 s.f., and four in the North Building, ranging from 1500 s.f. to 800 s.f.

These do not include the Trader Joe’s already scheduled for the below grade corner of the project at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, nor the infant day care facility scheduled for the first floor corner of 8th and Pennsylvania Avenue.  Sources tell CHC that SEB is negotiating with a major national retail outlet to anchor the first floor retail space at 7th and Pennsylvania.

No word yet on marketing of the residential space, but indications are the units will be apartments rather than condos as originally planned.

The office space is being branded as “700 Penn” – http://700penn.com/; the retail space is piggybacking on the Eastern Market brand with “At Eastern Market” –  http://ateasternmarket.com/

The project has changed modestly since it went before the Zoning Commission for final approval.

46,699 s.f. of retail has been increased to 60,000 s.f.

163,392 s.t. of office space has been reduced to 150,000 s.f.

158 residential units have been increase to 162

260 parking spaces have been increased to 320

The At Eastern Market website claims some interesting facts regarding the neighborhood – though not specifically stated – perhaps defined by the census tract – see below.

stats

The two marketing websites list an Eastbanc telephone number as the contact for questions, though the At Eastern Market website says Stanton-Eastbanc is handling development and retail.  A third entity – Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) is listed as a team member on the 700 Penn website office leasing website and appears to be a property management company.

 

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Recommended: The Antipodes Project at The Fridge – Through August 29

The Antipodes, completed in 2016.

The Antipodes, completed in 2016. Click to enlarge.

A Transitional Moment, completed in 2015.

A Transitional Moment, completed in 2015.

Part 4 of The Antipodes Project - The Myth - is a work in progress.

Part 4 of The Antipodes Project – The Myth – is a work in progress.

A list of the artist collaborators on the project.

A list of the artist collaborators on the project.

Recommended:  The Antipodes Project at The Fridge – Through August 29

by Larry Janezich

Antipodes:

Wikipedia – “The term … changed its sense from the original ‘under the feet, opposite side’ to ‘those with the feet opposite’… referring to hypothetical people living on the opposite side of the Earth. Medieval illustrations imagine them in some way “inverted”, with their feet growing out of their heads, pointing upward.”

The Antipodes Project is an example of visionary art comprised of four large scale multi-paned tableaus began in 2006.  Three of the works are complete and the fourth is still a work in progress.  Tolman chose The Fridge for the premier of the project – a ten year collaboration of more than 30 artists, each of whom shares Tolman’s capacity for attention to detail.  There are an additional dozen or so individual visionary pieces by Tolman and some of his collaborators in the show.

The Antipodes Project references Hieronymus Bosch in an even more bizarre and surreal exercise of imagination, creativity and spontaneity.  The catalyst Tolman provided each of his collaborators was a text from Aldous Huxley’s Heaven and Hell – along with encouragement to seek out the “exceedingly improbable” creatures, in the “remoter regions of the mind.”  The artists sent their ink drawings to Tolman on 11 X 14 Bristol board panels by mail.

Tolman assembled the pieces into 12, 20, and 18 panel compositions and provided the artistic bridges connecting each panel to the others and integrating them into a unified whole.  That required learning the styles of ink drawing of the contributors and then seamlessly morphing one style into another.

According to Tolman, the project started as a hobby, almost died, was rejuvenated and took on a new life of its own.  Now Tolman hopes to continue the project, make more pieces, and “see where it goes.”

The artist currently works in a studio on Capitol Hill.  He received his MFA from American University in 2012 and his BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in 2005. He has exhibited work nationally and internationally including being an exhibited finalist in the prestigious Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.  In addition to The Fridge, he is currently showing works in two galleries in NYC.

You can see more of his large body of work here: http://www.bentolman.com/ and on his Facebook page, here:  https://www.facebook.com/bentolman.art/?fref=nf

The Fridge is located at 516 & ½ 8th Street, SE, rear alley. www.thefridgedc.com  Open hours tend to be irregular.  Watch for the sandwich board sign on 8th Street, next to the Shakespeare Theater Administrative Offices.          

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The Week Ahead….

Eastern Market, Sunday, August 7, circa 9:00am

Eastern Market, Sunday, August 7, circa 9:00am

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

ANCs 6A, 6B, 6C, 6D, EMCAC and the CHRS  do not meet during August.  ANC 6A is the only Commission which holds committee or task force meetings this month.  ANC 6B’s Executive Committee will meet on August 30 to set the agenda for September’s monthly meeting.  PSA’s meet – although MPD was an unexplained no show at PSA 107 last Thursday.

The Week Ahead….

Tuesday, August 9

  1. 901 H Street Redevelopment Community Meeting, 6:30pm at Capitol Hill Towers, 9th and G Streets, NE. General project update construction update regarding the H Street Connection site, which has been demolished over the past weeks.
  2. Police Service Area (PSA) 104 public meeting at 7:00pm. Stuart Hobson Middle School, 410 E Street, NE.   Residents are invited to provide input to police on illegal activity in their neighborhoods.

Wednesday, August 10

ANC6A Transportation and Public Space Committee and the Maryland Avenue Pedestrian Safety Project Design meet at 6:30pm in NE Public Library, 330 7th Street, NE, to review the 30 percent construction documents for the implementation of the Maryland Avenue Pedestrian Safety plan.  The plan, which was approved by the community and ANC6A and ANC6C and adopted by DDOT a few years ago, remains posted on ANC6A’s website where the 30% construction design documents have now been posted as well.  See here:  http://anc6a.org/

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DCRA Has Second Thoughts About Going Easy on Businesses in Dispute with Resident

635 - 633 - 631 Pennsylvania Avenue SE

635 – 633 – 631 Pennsylvania Avenue SE

Here's what happens to the storm runoff from the 3 businesses above

Here’s what happens to the storm runoff from the 3 businesses above (this and following photos courtesy of Ron Tomasso)

And here's where it ends up

And here’s where it ends up

Some of it ends up here

Some of it ends up here

DCRA Has Second Thoughts About Going Easy on Businesses in Dispute with Resident

But Only After ANC6B and the Mayor’s Office Get Involved

by Larry Janezich

What recourse does a resident have when his or her property is being damaged through what appears to be negligence on the part of an adjacent business?  Not much, it turns out.  A resident of D Street, SE, has suffered on-going flooding issues for ten years (since 2006) as the result of storm water runoff – primarily from the building currently occupied by Hank’s at 633 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, but also from the two businesses on either side of the restaurant at 631 and 635.

The responsibility appears to be with the building owners – most leases make structural issues their responsibility rather than that of the tenants – and indifferent absentee landlords find the occupants of a problematic building a convenient buffer between them and unhappy neighbors.  That being said, businesses have a responsibility to be good neighbors to residents and other businesses in the community.

Ron Tomasso first complained to DCRA about the illegal construction of an addition to the building at 633 Pennsylvania Avenue currently housing Hank’s in 2006 – long before Hank’s was a lessee.  DCRA took no action, he says, and during the construction aged storm water “leads” from 633 and 631 Pennsylvania Avenue which emptied into the sewer were disconnected and the runoff was allowed to flood into the back yard of his residence which backs up to the building now occupied by Hank’s.  The problem was compounded when the eye glass business at 635 disconnected one of its two storm water leads from the sewer (because, according to Tomasso, they said their basement was flooding) sending more storm water into Tomasso’s yard.

Tomasso said he tried to work with successive lessees of the property at 633 since they were the source of most of the problem but none were receptive.  The building went into foreclosure in 2014, and was purchased by M M T Limited Partnership, which lists its address as its agent’s office in Arlington.

When Hank’s – a popular and highly successful restaurant leased the property, Tomasso said he had hopes of getting the problem solved – hopes that were encouraged by Hank’s representatives pledging to fix the flooding.  Those hopes faded as Hank’s did nothing despite Tomasso’s continued entreaties.

Tomasso then complained to DCRA, and enlisted the ANC who brought in the Mayor’s Ward 6 representative.  DCRA inspected the property in November of 2015, and nothing happened.

When ANC6B Commissioner Diane Hoskins followed up with DCRA recently to find out the status of the a more recent inspection, she found that one of DCRA’s commercial inspectors had filed the following report:

“I spoke with the bartender/manager on site of the above address 633 Penn ave se. The manager stated that the owner has scheduled contractors to come out and repair the roof. I also spoke with the staff at Eye glass shop. They stated that they had no clue of any inspection scheduled for today nor where they of any water damange. Recommend that all three cases be closed for 631-633-635 Pennsylvania ave se.”

Hoskins appealed to one of the Mayor’s Ward 6 representatives, calling DCRA’s response “unacceptable – failure of government.”  Another DCRA inspection was scheduled this past week.

As the result of the latest inspection, Tomasso told CHC that it is his understanding that citations will be mailed today.  Hoskins said citations would be sent to each of the 3 property owners, as opposed to the tenants, by U.S. Mail.  She said the citations will apparently impose a 30 day period for correction, followed by another inspection.

Tomasso says he is looking for some level of assurance that whatever fix the businesses do, it will be effective.  He noted that it is within the rights of the businesses to ask for an extension and says that he expects that, since he doesn’t think the problem can be fixed in 30 days.

ANC6B has tried to get restaurants in ANC6B to adopt best operating practices and has had success with new restaurants opening on Barracks Row.  Getting established restaurants to adopt best practices is more problematic, and ANC6B has protested the renewal of liquor licenses to pressure restaurants to correct the more egregious of neighbor complaints.  ANC6B is currently protesting Hank’s license renewal, hoping to encourage a resolution to the flooding problem and also a secondary complaint by Tomasso regarding the noisy mechanicals on the roof overlooking his back yard.  In response, Hank’s retained liquor license attorney Andrew Klein (see CHC post here:  http://bit.ly/1WPEDPy) to fight the protest.  A similar protest by Tomasso was dismissed by a finding of ABRA on the grounds that the flooding issue was not within their purview.

The fact that the ANC has to resort to such tactics points to either a failure on the part of government in enforcing the regulations or a deficiency in the regulations themselves, or both.

Some city agencies, including DDOT, DCRA, HPRB, the Zoning Commission, and ABRA have a long record of being unresponsive to resident concerns.  Some of those cases have been reported on this blog, but many cases where city agencies have all too often sided with commercial interest at the expense of nearby residents go unreported.

To be fair, there have been instances when a coordinated effort by the local ANC and a committed group of organized neighbors have produced results – for example, the multi-agency effort to address the rat problem on Eastern Market Metro Plaza.  But, too often, when it comes to a single neighbor or a handful of them going up against a popular high-revenue commercial enterprise – for example the three restaurants owned by Spike Mendelsohn on the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, SE – the city gives the benefit of the doubt to the business.

Hank’s told CHC in lawyerly language:  “…Our position is that we will, as we always have done in all of our restaurants, continue to resolve, in good faith,  any legitimate issues related to our business operations…..” The language avoids addressing problems NOT directly related to business operations, but which are simply a matter of being a good neighbor.  Hank’s added they would have “no further comment until the ANC’s inappropriate threat to our license has been resolved.”

Hoskin’s response was, “Hanks has been irresponsible and will not engage to correct the problem — even after repeated requests. Being a good neighbor should be a pre-requisite for doing business. There have been years of empty promises of a solution but enough is enough.”

The Mayor’s office has not responded to requests for comment.

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