How The Hine Project Has Changed Since The Plan Was Selected by The DC Deputy Mayor’s Office

How The Hine Project Has Changed Since The Plan Was Selected by The DC Deputy Mayor’s Office

by Larry Janezich

Last Monday, the Zoming Commission voted unanimously to “set down” or recommend that Stanton/Eastbanc’s request for a Hine site zoning change – its Planned Unit Development (PUD) application – be afforded a final hearing before the Commission in no fewer than 60 days.  Actually, it is more likely to occur in the next 90 or even 120 days.

The PUD process affords the community an opportunity to raise concerns and provides a process for improving the project in terms of its impact on the community.  Part of this process involves benefits and amenities and mitigations provided by the developer.

ANC6B has appointed a Subcommittee comprised of certain commissioners and resident members to analyze the PUD process and to come up with a list of amenities and mitigations and to negotiate with the developer on behalf of the community to achieve desired results.

Some of the major concerns of the community include its height and mass and how much the development has changed since the bid for development was awarded to Stanton/Eastbanc by the Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development.  The following chart, created for the ANC Subcommittee by former ANC6B Commissioner Ken Jarboe reflects how the project has changed over time.

Best and Final Offer     HPRB Submission    PUD Submission     Term Sheet                        3/1/09                             2/25/11                     11/23/11

Sq. Feet     401,648                          427,530                        464,278                    405,793

Retail          48,285                             45,530                              46,699                      49,200

Office           213,197                           151,350                                163,392               211,999

Residential   140,166                           230,650                            254,187              144,594

No. of Units        150                                   168                                      158                      132

Parking Spaces   391                                   270                                      260                      201

(The figures under “term sheet” reflect what the developer agreed to provide after being awarded the bid by the city.)

Among the changes Jarboe selected for emphasis in a report to the Subcommittee were the following:

Changed shape of the public space from a plaza mid-C Street to a setback of the residential building at the corner of 7th and C Streets, and access to the interior courtyard (originally accessible to the public it is now reserved for residents and occupants of the building);

Increased height of the 8th and D Street residential building;

Added a 7th story (ten feet) to the commercial building at Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th Street;

Added a 5th story (eleven feet) to the residential building at 7th and C Streets;

Removal from the project of participation by the Shakespeare Theater;

Decrease in parking spaces from 391 to 260.

The height and mass of the project are controversial, with many in the community convinced that the development will dwarf and dominate the historic Eastern Market and ultimately work to the disadvantage of the small independent retailers on 7th Street as well as the residences on nearby streets.  Others, some of whom characterize themselves as new-urbanists, support all the density and height the site next to a transportation hub will allow.  Both sides speak from a expectation and perception rather than from any clear ability to visualize the finished project.  That vision will become more clear in mid-March, when the developer will finally produce a three dimensional model of the project extending to one-half block  on each side of the site.  It’s perhaps noteworthy that the developer has resisted pressure to produce the model, relenting only after the Office of Planning urged them to provide one.  Equally noteworthy, the developer elected to present a single graphic of the Hine development in last month’s Hill Rag showing the project from its lowest perspective, minimizing the perception of both its height and mass.

The city, after alreadygranting the developer a one year delay, is pressuring the developer to begin construction as soon as possible.  Some Zoning Commissioners at Monday night’s hearing – as well as the Office of Planning – were skeptical that the project in its current form was ready to move to the final stage.  Despite those reservations and with assurances from the developer that the project will be ready by the time of the final hearing when scheduled, the project has moved to the final stages of approval.

ANC6B’s Subcommittee on the Hine PUD will meet next Thursday, February 23, at 7:00pm in Hill Center to discuss a preliminary list of amenities and mitigations with which to begin negotiations with the developer.  The meeting is open to the public.  The Subcommittee’s website can be found here:


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9 responses to “How The Hine Project Has Changed Since The Plan Was Selected by The DC Deputy Mayor’s Office

  1. Lynette

    Is this the latest-proposed plan?

    If so, is the plan to block off C Street entirely for the flea market on weekends? I’m struggling to see how they can accomodate the same amount of vendors that exist now with this new plan…

  2. The developers plan is to block off only _part_ of C Street for the flea markets. As the Sunday market manager, I too am struggling to see how we can even partially accommodate the market activity (as required by the city). Their proposal claims 65 tents, which is not accurate or honest, given the reality of logistics involved in set up and usable space. The result would be more like 35 actual usable vending spaces. The current market accommodates 150 spaces plus parking for most vendors, as well as direct load in/out. Their proposed market area is so small that vendors (30 or so) would park underground and unload through 1 freight elevator. Obviously their plan is a joke and has hoodwinked Office of Planning, who thinks they have adequately satisfied their requirement of accommodating the markets.

  3. Jeff Harrell

    The decrease in on site parking while increasing the residential and shopping space is negligent. Street parking will become nightmare. On site parking needs to increase to better accommodate residents and visitors to area that come for shopping, restaurants, and evening entertainment. Fact is parking spaces should actually be approaching 500+ not going down to 260. If you believe that people are going to use metro to visit area and then shlep their packages back on the metro, wake up. They are going to drive in.

  4. Dave

    Increasing parking would be a huge mistake. The site is extremely well-served by transit, including Metro, Metro bus, and DC Circulator. There are no uses here generating large parcel traffic and nobody is driving to the site on the weekends now, since the market uses the parking spaces. Increasing the amount of parking that they are already proposing would induce more car trips to the area and negatively affect the whole neighborhood. This site should be developed to reflect the potential of its location, not the kind of parking that one would provide out in the suburbs.

  5. cathy

    LOTS of people drive to the area now. As a resident, finding parking on the weekend is a nightmare already. I’m a HUGE fan of public transportation..and I’m thrilled that our area has that option. Fact of the matter is, lots of folks drive here already and with increased retail and a dearth of parking for new residents…parking will in fact be a nightmare. Plus, because of our proximity to the metro, lots of folk from across Ward 6 park on our street to then ride the metro. There needs to be more parking!

  6. Daniel

    The site is across the street from a metro and sits on a large, wide street (PA Ave SE). On the 7th St side there are only shops, restaurants, and businesses – including a 4 or 5 story building on the corner and another building on 7th adding 4 more stories. Plus, the 4 story Pennmark Condos is already on C St across from Eastern Market’s South Hall and across from the main hall is another 4 story building. I think challenging the height and density of the Hines project is not a legitimate concern, and a waste of community bargaining, considering the above.

    Plus, the Hines site is perfect for a large scale development that will bring much needed density, retail, and a connecting corridor from 8th St to Eastern Market. Adding a lot of condos will increase street presence and make the neighborhood safer – and there are already many open spaces on PA Ave that, quite frankly, only attract the homeless and vagrants. What the area needs is more density, not less.

    I think the major concern should be how the building looks – the design of the building, the quality of materials used, how the building interacts on street level. Ten years from now THAT will be the issue that everyone is still talking about. If the building is ugly, cheaply made, or some Victorian rip-off, everyone will think its an eyesore, whether its 5 or 7 stories, whether it has 400,000 or 700,000 sq feet, whether it has retail or not, whether there are 250 or 500 parking spots – none of that will matter if the building is not built well.

    Sometimes, as a community, you have to realize that a developer needs to make money on a project, and the question is – would you rather have it smaller and made on the cheap, or larger and made with quality materials.

  7. Rob

    Capitol Hill is an urban neighborhood in central DC. to focus on how many cars you can fit in the area is a style of thought that arrived decades ago, destroyed inner cities (fortunately not ALL of Capitol Hill), and is on its way out. I think focusing on parking is much less important than focusing on the developments street-level integration and style.
    Building something less dense across from the metro on a major avenue is a disservice to the entire metro system, the city, and all the money thats gone into METRO. While it may not be seen as a benefit to the immediate community, it’s a benefit to the larger community and the city. So, with this in mind, I think it is important to focus on the style so that it suits the neighborhood, but not the parking, massing, etc. I’m curious to see how it goes.

  8. Whoa_now

    I cross posted this at housing complex…anyhow. I’ve been a skeptic of many on this board for arguing against the size and not the style. I think size is irrelevant if built well and attractive. I’m a neighbor and would like to say my piece.

    I’m no architect, but I think these pics are what the architect should try and replicate. The view from Penn/once getting off the metro is the ugliest. Its actually terrible. the view from 8th is eh…and the view from the mkt isn’t that bad…but not great either. I have no problem with the height in any area..or the suggested parking. Myself and neighbors are going to have to realize that parking will forever be a nightmare on weekends..thats what makes living here great. I don’t touch my car on the weekends, I walk everwhere. anyhow pics below. picture them in red brick.

    stagger hieghts, make it look like multiple buildings and I think it would go better. Honestly the Penn side of the Hines project is terrible.