Monthly Archives: August 2013

Pret A Manger To Replace Cosi at 3rd and Pennsylvania Avenue in Spring, 2014

Pret A Manger To Replace Cosi at 3rd and Pennsylvania Avenue in Spring, 2014

Douglas Development Increases Capitol Hill Stakes

by Larry Janezich

Pret A Manger is scheduled to open next spring in the space now occupied by Cosi at 3rd and PA Avenue, SE.  The high-end sandwich shop will offer sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit, wraps, soups, baguettes,  as well as pastries, bagels, muffins and hot oatmeal.

From their website:  “We make our stuff fresh so we can sell it fresh (it’s old fashioned but works well).  We donate our sandwiches to charity instead of keeping them over to sell the next day.  Because we make our food by hand in each store throughout the day, you won’t find “shelf life” dates and “display until” messages on our salads and sandwiches.  We simply don’t need to sell old food.”

Their menu can be viewed here:

The announcement came today from Douglas Development.  According to a press release, the development company leased the building and will occupy 4,300 square feet and offer two floors of indoor dining space as well as the outside patio.  London-based Pret A Manger has numerous east coast locations in NYC, Chicago and Boston, including seven in DC.

The move will increase Douglas Development’s stakes on Capitol Hill.  The company is developing the 13,081 square foot retail building at 1442 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, formerly occupied by Kentucky Fried Chicken.  That project (which has apparently changed its identity from residential, to mixed use, to its latest incarnation – solely retail) will feature a green roof.

Douglas Development will make a presentation on its plans for the two properties at the September 10 meeting of ANC6b at 7:00pm in Hill Center.  More details on the two projects will likely be available at that time.

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Rep. John Lewis Opens LOC Photo Exhibit on 63 March on Washington 8/28 – MLK’s ‘Dream” Speech on View One Day Only

Congressman John Lewis to Open “A Day Like No Other” March on Washington Photo Exhibition, Aug. 28

Library to Present Additional One-Day Display of Treasured Holdings from March

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who was a young civil-rights leader in 1963, will open the photo exhibition “A Day Like No Other: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington” at the Library of Congress on Aug. 28.

The Library will present an additional one-day display of treasured documents and materials related to the March on Washington, including a copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech submitted for copyright registration on Oct. 2, 1963.

Lewis will speak at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28 in the Great Hall on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets and reservations are not needed.

The display, which is also free and open to the public, will be on view from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28 in the Coolidge Auditorium Foyer and in the Whittall Pavilion on the ground level of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The Library’s photo exhibition “A Day Like No Other” features 40 black-and-white photographs from newspaper and other media photographers, independent photojournalists and people who participated in the march on Aug. 28, 1963. The images represent the cross-section of individuals who attended the largest nonviolent demonstration for civil rights that America had ever witnessed. The exhibit conveys the immediacy of being at the march and the palpable excitement of those who were there. A video screen in the exhibit will show an additional 58 photos.

The photo exhibition is located in the Graphic Arts Galleries on the ground level of the Jefferson Building. It is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and will run through March 1, 2014.

More information here:


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MotoPhoto To Relocate Above Labyrinth Game Shop

When One Door Closes...

When One Door Closes…

...Another One Opens

…Another One Opens

MotoPhoto To Relocate Above Labyrinth Game Shop

Survives Turnover as Displacement of Capitol Hill Retail Continues

by Larry Janezich

As the displacement of Capitol Hill retail by food and drink establishments continues, MotoPhoto and Sprint follow The Blue Iris, the Capitol Hill Frame Shop, Backstage, The Dollar Store and Yes! as the latest victims of the trend toward the higher rents that fast food and high end-eateries can afford.

Having had their month-to-month lease terminated by Stanton Development to make way for the new Sona Creamery and Wine Bar opening this fall at 7th and PA Avenue (as reported on July 10 below), MotoPhoto will relocate directly across Pennsylvania Avenue to the second floor space above the Labyrinth Game Shop.

Owner Stuart Hovell says he would prefer to be where he is, but settled on the move across the street after a potential deal to move to the building which formerly housed The Village next to Port City Java fell through.

Hovell says the space above Labyrinth is slightly larger and the interior more open.  He expects to run the same operation with more emphasis on custom framing.  Most of his business, he says, comes from printing – photos and enlargements.  The shop will continue to offer passport photo services.  Hovell says he shoots 20-30 passport photos a day – many of them for Canadian passports, as his shop is one of five in the area approved by the highly particular Canadian Embassy.

MotoPhoto will move its operation this coming weekend and expects to reopen September 3, in its new location.  Meanwhile, in the interests of simplifying the move, everything in the current location is 25% off.

Sprint, in the space adjacent to the current MotoPhoto location, is reported to be distributing its stock and services to existing Sprint outlets rather than relocating on Capitol Hill.



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The Week Ahead…ANC6b Committees Meet – Frager’s Fundraiser Thursday – And Photo Essay from Saturday’s March on Washington

The Approach to the Lincoln Memorial from Smithsonian Metro Stop Required Negotiating the WWII Memorial

The Approach to the Lincoln Memorial from Smithsonian Metro Stop Required Negotiating the WWII Memorial

The WWII Memorial Water Feature at About 12:45pm

The WWII Memorial Water Feature at About 12:45pm

North Side of the Reflecting Pool About 1:00pm

North Side of the Reflecting Pool About 1:00pm

From the Lour Speakers: "Today We Celebrate.  Tomorrow We Agitate."

From the Loud Speakers: “Today We Celebrate. Tomorrow We Agitate.”

Beginning of the March from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Memorial

Beginning of the March from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Memorial…


...Lead by Rev. Joseph Lowrey (in wheelchair)  the Oldest Surviving Leader of the Non-Violent Demonstrations of the 1950s and 1960s    - Chief Organizer of the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965.

…Lead by Rev. Joseph Lowrey (in wheelchair) the Oldest Surviving Leader of the Non-Violent Demonstrations of the 1950s and 1960s – Chief Organizer of the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965.


Tens of Thousands

Tens of Thousands

The Week Ahead…ANC6b Committees Meet – Frager’s Fundraiser Thursday – And Photo Essay from Saturday’s March on Washington


by Larry Janezich


Tuesday, August 27


ANC6b Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the September 10 meeting of the full ANC.


Wednesday, August 28


ANC6b Transportation Committee meets at 6:30pm in Hill Center.


Thursday, August 29


ANC6b Alcohol Beverage Control Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center.


Thursday, August 29


American Legion Post 8 hosts fundraiser for Friends of Frager’s featuring food, music, activities for children and a cash bar.  Proceeds from the event will be donated to Friends of Frager’s through the Capitol Hill Community Foundation.


The Smith Team realtors and other local business are donating money and food. The suggested donation will be $10, with no charge for children under 10 accompanied by their parents.


The event will begin at 3:30 p.m. and live music will start at 6:00 pm, with four bands that feature Capitol Hill artists playing a variety of musical styles. The lineup is:


6 p.m. – The Captones – jazz


7 p.m. – The Side Dish – acoustic/rock


8:15 p.m. – The Truck Farmers – Americana/country


9:30 p.m. – Free Lobster Buffet – ska/reggae


American Legion Post 8 is located at 3rd and D Streets Southeast, one block from the Capitol South Metro station.



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H Street Restaurateurs Push ANC for Late Hour Rooftop Decks/More Public Space Flexibility – Joe Englert Calls Current Restrictions “Unfair”


H street Country Club Wants to Extend Roof Deck Hours To 2:30 AM on Friday and Saturday

H street Country Club Wants to Extend Roof Deck Hours To 2:30 AM on Friday and Saturday

Would XII's Sky Bar - Already the Focus of Noise Complaints - Be Far Behind?

Would XII’s Sky Bar – Already the Focus of Noise Complaints – Be Far Behind?

Committee Approves Restaurant Liquor License for Chupacabra

Committee Approves Restaurant Liquor License for Chupacabra

H Street Restaurateurs Push ANC for Late Hour Rooftop Decks/More Public Space Flexibility

Joe Englert Says Current Restrictions Are “Unfair”

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday night, ANC6a’s Alcohol Beverage Control Committee, chaired by Commissioner Jay Williams, heard appeals from H restaurateurs Joe Englert and others to allow later operating hours on rooftop decks and in public space.  Currently, the ANC policy limits hours to 11 pm on weekdays and 12 am on weekends on H Street, NE, rooftop decks, patios and sidewalk cafes.

Englert, who owns food and drink establishments across the city and who was one of the early founders of restaurants on H Street, is asking the ANC to allow him to operate roof decks at H Street Country Club, 1335 H Street, NE; Vendetta, 1220  H Street, NE; and the Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H Street, NE, until 12 am on Thursday and 2:30am on Friday and Saturday.

Englert’s requests were supported by other H Street restaurateurs including Phil Peters of Smith Commons at 1245 H Street, NE, and Sarosh Hussain of Cusbah at 12th and H.  Cusbah, is currently the only restaurant on H Street operating on its patio/sidewalk café until 3 am – allowed by a previous license agreement which is now up for renewal.  The ANC is protesting renewal of Cusbah’s liquor license to bring Cusbah into line with its policy governing other H Street patios.

Englert’s justification for his request to extend operating hours for his rooftop decks is that “other establishments operate later” – both on H Street and elsewhere in the city – and earlier hours for H Street is not only “unfair,” but puts his places at a competitive disadvantage.

Jason Martin, owner of Sticky Rice, Dangerously Delicious Pies, as well as a piece of the Rock & Roll Hotel, is requesting a new tavern license for his Tacqueria Chupacabra at 822 H Street, NE (which actually is well down the north side of 9th Street adjacent to a residential area).  The taco place which seats six inside, wants to serve beer and frozen margaritas both at the six stools inside and at the picnic tables seating to up to 60 patrons in the large public space outside the restaurant.  His request is being supported by the other restaurateurs.  The former taco food truck operation which morphed into the brick and mortar carryout sells food so cheaply – according to Martin ($3 tacos) – that its survival without a liquor license is questionable.  And, he claims, since it would be hard for him to meet the 40% of revenue from food sales required by a restaurant license, he wants a tavern permit which has no percentage requirement.

In general, the restaurateurs made the case that they must have greater flexibility to compete or survive, and if the ANC doesn’t work with them to prevent the situation from getting “out of control like Adams Morgan and U Street,” and if the ANC continues to “nitpick everything” the city’s desire for development and revenue will provide a win for the business operators in the end.  They warn that with the coming of the trolley cars and new venues like Ben’s Chili Bowl – scheduled to open early next year at 10th and H Streets, NE, the businesses, community, and ANC need to work together to address potential problems now or face a bigger issue a few years from now.

Commissioner Williams’ response was that the ANC has a standard Settlement Agreement on its website, and business operators know what they are getting into when they open up on H Street, saying that uniformity of standards provides for predictability.  He noted that it is generally the policy of the ANC to discourage tavern licenses in favor of the more restrictive restaurant licenses to reassure neighbors and to insure that some food is being served.

Residents who attended expressed concerns about the impact of granting greater operating flexibility to the business owners.  Chupacabra adjoins residences and has little support from those residents for late night drinking in public space according to one representative of those neighbors.  Another neighbor representative expressed concern about noise issues associated with operating late night rooftop decks and with patrons filtering through the neighborhoods in the early morning hours.

In the end, the ANC Committee voted to recommend a restaurant liquor license for Chupacabra, William’s announced that the discussion of the request for expanded hours for rooftop decks would carry over to the September when a broader conversation with more participants can occur. The owner of Cusbah stated that he was willing to compromise on his request for late hour operation of his patio and would seek a further meeting with Commissioners.  Separately, the Committee voted to protest a request from Sarah at 1200 H Street to add an entertainment endorsement/dancing and cover charge to its license.  These recommendations will go to the full ANC at its September 12 meeting at 7 pm at the Sherwood Recreation Center, 10th and G.


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The Week Ahead… Chipotle Fund Raiser for SE Library – H Street Liquor License Issues

The Week Ahead…..Fund Raiser for SE Library at Chipotle – H Street Liquor License Issues

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday, August 20

Chipotle partners with DC Public Library Foundation to raise funds for South East Library.  Chipotle has offered to host in-store fundraisers at most of its D.C. locations from 5 – 8 PM and will donate 50 percent of the proceeds from that evening’s sales to the DC Public Library Foundation, designated for the neighborhood library nearest the Chipotle restaurant.  Below is the flyer which will need to be presented in order for the proceeds to go to Southeast Library.

Chipotle – Southeast Full-Size (1)

BTW – this is an original Carnegie Library – their website is – check it out for the latest on programs for children.

Tuesday, August 20

ANC6A Alcohol Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm in Sherwood Recreation Center at 10th and G Streets, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Update on Cusbah, 1128 H Street, NE , protest hearing

Request by Sahra, 1200 H Street, NE, to add an entertainment endorsement/dancing and cover charge to license.  (Some neighbors have concerns regarding noise.)

New license for Chupacabra, 822 H Street, NE, and request for stipulated license

And…three of H Street developer Joe Englert’s restaraunts are asking to extend their rooftop deck hours beyond 11:00pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends:   H street Country Club at1335 H Street, NE; Vendetta at 1220-1212 H Street, NE; and rock and Roll Hotel at 1353 H Street, NE.  (Could be an issue for nearby neighbors.)

Wednesday, August 21

ANC6A Economic Development and Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm at Sherwood Recreation Center at 10th and G Streets, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

A report on vacant properties (DCRA is moving to inspect and cite vacant house owners in neighboring ANC6B)

H Street Business Liaison Report

Three cases which appear to be routine regarding zoning relief, variances, and historical preservation issues.

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Barracks Row Photo Update: Hine Clean Up – Progress on Kraze Burger and Rose’s Luxury – Hookahs at Cafe 8 – New Paint on the Fridge – Sidewalk Hazards at Cava and Yes!

Barrack Row Photo Update:  Hine Clean Up – Progress on Kraze Burger and Rose’s Luxury -Hookahs at Café 8 – New Paint on The Fridge – Sidewalk Hazards at Cava and Yes!

by Larry Janezich

Notice from Ken Golding of Stanton Eastbanc Posted on Exterior of Hine Building

Notice from Ken Golding of Stanton Eastbanc Posted on Exterior of Hine Building

According to a notice posted on the exterior of the Hine building and signed by Stanton Development partner Ken Golding, Stanton-Eastbanc (SEB) is now responsible for the management of the Hine School property, following lease of the land from the city.  The notice states that next week, SEB will embark on a cleanup campaign in advance of the future demolition and construction.  Golding states that “this will involve weeding, cutting grass, throwing out all debris and we will need anyone residing in or around the buildings to leave.”  A phone call requesting additional information to Eastbanc representative Matt Harris, who reportedly will oversee the clean up, was not returned.

Work in progress at Rose's Luxury, the $46 per person price fixe family restaurant coming to 717 8th Street, SE

Work in progress at Rose’s Luxury

Rose’s Luxury, the family-style no-reservations restaurant named after chef Aaron Silverman’s grandmother is scheduled to open seven days a week for dinner starting in September.  The new venture will feature a $46 per person five course dinner with a menu leaning toward vegetarian dishes.  Diners will select from a five section menu comprised of dishes of cold, warm, pasta, other goods, and meat – one each from the first four sections, and a meat served family-style.  Desserts will be separate. Upstairs will hold a separate bar and a room for private dining.  According to their website at for every meal eaten at Rose’s the restaurant will donate .25 cents to WFP-USA to help feed a hungry child around the world.

Work in progress at Craze Burger

Work in progress at Craze Burger

Kraze Burger at 415 8th Street, SE, also hopes to open in September.  The South Korean based chain has an empire of more than 100 outlets and opened their first American restaurant in Bethesda in late 2011.   The menu from that outlet lists 14 burger choices which can be cooked to order, including the Hawaiian Burger with cream cheese sauce, grilled pineapple, and greens; the Vege & Bean Burger with grilled tofu patties, Swiss cheese, grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce and garlic butter; and classic beef and classic veggie patty burgers.  The menu also offers salads, other sandwiches, fries, chili, onion rings, grilled asparagus and frozen yogurt.  Patrons can build their own sandwiches, choosing their bread, protein and toppings.  See the Bethesda outlet’s menu here:

Hookas on the Menu at Cafe 8

Hookas on the Menu at Cafe 8

Cafe 8, the Mediterranean Restaurant at 424 8th Street, SE, is now serving tobacco via hookahs in their rear outdoor patio.  If they’d put Turkish tea in addition to Turkish coffee on the menu, you’ll think you’re in Istanbul.

The Fridge, in the alley behind 516 8th Street, SE

The Fridge, in the alley behind 516 8th Street, SE

The Fridge

The Fridge

The Fridge

The Fridge

The Fridge, the quirky art/performance space in the alley behind the Shakespeare administrative offices at 516 8th Street, SE, has freshened itself up in celebration of a month long exhibit and series of performances titled “The Elements of Hip Hop.”  See their website here:

Hazardous sidewalk in front of CAVA

Hazardous sidewalk in front of CAVA

And again in front of Yes!

And again in front of Yes!

Barracks Row Main Street has launched an ambitious project to redesign the Eastern Market Metro Plaza.  One would think they could get DDOT or the Capitol Hill BID or maybe the owners of the establishments above to spend a half an hour to fix the hazardous conditions presented to Barracks Row pedestrians.


















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Taskforce Begins Work on Redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza

The North Parcel of the Eastern Market Plaza Complex Will Be Re-Designed to Encompass a Playground

The North Parcel of the Eastern Market Plaza Complex Will Be Re-Designed to Encompass a New Playground

How to Deal with the Community's Homeless Who Currently Frequent the Plaza and Nearby   Spaces Protected From the Elements Constitutes One of Several Issues Facing Planners

Taskforce Begins Work on Redesign of Eastern Market Metro Plaza

by Larry Janezich

Last Wednesday, the “Taskforce on Eastern Market Metro Park” met at Hill Center to receive a presentation from the Market Plaza design team, led by Amy Weinstein of Escoff & Associates Architects.  The discussion was guided by Barracks Row Main Street (BRMS) Board Vice-Chairman, David Perry.

The convening authority of the Taskforce is BRMS, and the Taskforce is composed residents, groups, and businesses who Councilmember Tommy Wells referred to as the “front row stakeholders” to the redesign process.  A complete list of the Taskforce membership is not yet available to the public.

According to the design firm charged with the project, the goals of the redesign are to beautify it, and to increase its functionality as a connector between the 7th Street Eastern Market commercial corridor and the Barrack’s Row, 8th Street south of the freeway, and the M Street commercial corridor.  The firm also cites the goal of developing a portion of the parcel on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue into a playground funded in part by a $50,000 grant from Stanton EastBanc (SEB) as part of the community benefits conceded by the developers as part of the Zoning Commission’s Planned Unit Development (PUD) process.

Escoff & Associates was awarded the $500,000 contract for the study in April, via funds earmarked by the US Congress; by law, this money had to be expended by the end of September 2013.  Another $1 million in earmarked funds remains to implement the design changes, though it is certain that additional monies will need to be sought from city or federal sources.

By Wednesday night, the design team had compiled and grouped a list of community comments gathered from the Eastern Market Metro Park website, from community meetings, and from a suggestion box located in the North Hall of Eastern Market until August 7, 2013.  The Taskforce advising the design team had only a few minutes to look over the compiled comments and a diagram of existing conditions.  These materials are expected to be available on the Eastern Market Metro Park website at during the coming week, as is a Taskforce roster.

By the end of the 90 minute meeting, a rough consensus on priorities seemed to emerge, with the focus being on the following main points:

Maintain and improve multi-modality transportation features

Improve orientation and make the Plaza a functioning portal

Create an interactive space

Provide a design for evening use of space

Create a place for relaxation, socializing and gathering

Plaza should be utilitarian rather than commerce-oriented

It should be a muti-generational space

The façade of the South East Library should be integrated into the plan

Weinstein asserted that the plans for the redesign already addressed several community concerns including environmental sustainability, pedestrian safety, and on-going maintenance of the park.

The Design Team – specifically Amy Weinstein, Ohme vas Sweeden Landscape Architects, and Kittleson & Associates traffic and transportation consultants – will come back at the end of September to present two alternative concepts to the Taskforce for discussion.  Input from the Task Force meeting will be incorporated into the two concepts which will subsequently be presented to a community-wide forum for community input.  The Taskforce will then select the “final” design concept.  Further consideration will then be given to details concerning the north parcel and the playground.

One option that will not be considered is the possible rerouting of Pennsylvania Avenue.  The issue was raised by a member of the Taskforce, but Perry noted that it was “off the table” having been rejected by the community when considered during a 2010 effort to redesign the Plaza.

An issue which the group tiptoed around was the use of some of the four parts of the plaza as a gathering place for those who seem to be indigent, in need of services, homeless, or some combination of all of these.  Community Connections, the city’s largest private contractor of mental health services, was not present at the Taskforce meeting, even though some of its offices sit directly adjacent to a portion of the plaza.  While it is unclear whether the group has been invited to participate, Amy Weinstein reported portions of a conversation with Joe Cullen, Director of Operations for Community Connections.  According to Weinstein, Cullen is aware of the activities of CC’s clients in the community.  She said that according to Cullen, “some of the clients (specifically those suffering from schizophrenia who talk to themselves) go to the north parcel to avoid the stares of passersby; other clients go to the Metro Plaza which is financially rewarding.”

One Taskforce member expressed concerns about the “camp site” for the homeless that had developed on the north parcel between PA Avenue and D Street.

In response, David Perry of BRMS, cited a study which he said shows that with an “increase in activity level, the problems we’re alluding to will disappear – some of the more problematic issues are inimical to large numbers of people.”  It is clear that these issues will continue to be raised, but it is equally clear that no known member of the Taskforce has the competence or expertise to speak authoritatively about them.


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Capitol Hill Residents Appeal to Wells on Hine Project – Court of Appeals Sets Hearing Date

Hine Sign

Capitol Hill Residents Appeal to Wells on Hine Project

Court of Appeals Sets Hearing Date

by Larry Janezich

A group of Capitol Hill residents who are appealing the decision of the Zoning Commission on the Hine project has written to Councilmember Wells to urge him to support their efforts for reconsideration of the PUD order by the Commission.  A copy of the letter to Wells is below.

Oral argument before the DC Court of Appeals on the resident’s appeal has been scheduled for September 26th at 9:30am in Courtroom 1 of the DC Court of Appeals, 430 E Street, NW.

August 9, 2013


Councilmember Tommy Wells

Council of the District of Columbia

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 402

Washington, DC 20004

Dear Councilmember Wells:

We are a group of Ward 6 residents who write in response to your recently stated support for the Planned Unit Development (“PUD”) that the developer Stanton-EastBanc, LLC proposes to build on public property where the former Hine Junior High School is located.  We have serious concerns about several aspects of this deal, not least of which is the lack of transparency regarding its basic terms.  Many people have no idea, for example, that the District will convey ownership or control of this valuable public property to Stanton-EastBanc at a sharply discounted price, or that District taxpayers will pay for many of the “public benefits” Stanton-EastBanc claims its PUD will provide.  The PUD also appears to violate key provisions of the District’s zoning regulations and Comprehensive Plan, which are intended to ensure that new developments are compatible with existing neighborhoods, and that the District remains affordable to all residents – not just the wealthy.

Because the PUD will be located in the heart of the Capitol Hill Historic District, we are particularly concerned about its excessive size and height, and the negative impact it will have on the historic character of our community.  The PUD will top out at seven stories and 94.5 feet – more than twice the height of the historic rowhouses and other buildings surrounding it – and will tower over everything in the vicinity.  Remarkably, however, the Zoning Commission approved Stanton-EastBanc’s PUD without even addressing this extreme disparity in height, despite the Comprehensive Plan’s express requirement that developments in historic districts “shall be consistent with the height and density of contributing buildings in the district.” 10 DCMR § 1011.11. We are therefore raising our concerns in an appeal to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

The Court has not yet decided whether the PUD complies with District of Columbia law, but the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (“DMPED”) is nevertheless pressing ahead in its deal with Stanton-EastBanc.  In July, DMPED reportedly transferred the Hine School property to Stanton-EastBanc by means of a hastily-executed lease and sale agreement that was not subject to public review.  As your constituents, hundreds of whom wrote letters or signed petitions in opposition to this ill-conceived PUD, we therefore ask that you reconsider your support for it, based on the following:

(The facts included herein may be verified by reference to materials in the public record of Proposed Resolution 18-963, the “Hine Junior High School Disposition Approval Resolution of 2010,” which are available online through the Council’s Legislative Information Management System.)

1. The 2010 tax-assessed value of the Hine School property was $44,672,920, but DMPED agreed to sell the “North Parcel” to Stanton-EastBanc for only $800,000, and granted the “South Parcel” to Stanton-EastBanc under a 99-year lease for only $21 million – a sharp discount even before the Zoning Commission upzoned the property to allow Stanton-EastBanc’s PUD to be more than twice the height and density currently allowed;

2. District taxpayers – not Stanton-EastBanc – will pay for demolition of the Hine School, including asbestos abatement and other environmental remediation, and for construction of the 700 block of C Street, even though Stanton-EastBanc will own this formerly public street;

3. Because the PUD has been exempted from the Inclusionary Zoning regulations, District taxpayers also will pay for the affordable housing units in the PUD, which Stanton-EastBanc otherwise would be required by law to provide, see 11 DCMR § 2600 et seq.;

4. The affordable housing units, most of which are intended for District seniors, will expire after 40 years, in violation of the requirement that they be set aside “for so long as the project exists,” 11 DCMR § 2602.7(b), and the Comprehensive Plan policy of increasing the amount of affordable housing for “current and future residents,” 11 DCMR § 2600.1 (emphasis added);

5. The affordable housing units will be significantly smaller than the market rate units, and will be segregated in the North Building, without access to the “luxury” amenities in the South Building, in violation of the Inclusionary Zoning regulations’ purpose of “ensuring the benefits of economic integration for the residents of the District,” 11 DCMR §2600.3(e), as well as Comprehensive Plan policies intended to promote an “inclusive city,” 10 DCMR §§ 100, 500.3, 500.14.

We believe the foregoing facts demonstrate that this oversized PUD will not only cause permanent damage to the unique character of the Capitol Hill Historic District, but also that it represents a gross waste of taxpayer assets.  The District is transferring ownership or control of the Hine School property to Stanton-EastBanc for a fraction of its fair market value, and District taxpayers are further subsidizing the PUD by paying for “public benefits” that Stanton-EastBanc is required by law to provide. Councilmember Wells, we have always supported redevelopment of this property in a reasonable manner that will enhance the Eastern Market neighborhood, rather than destroying the qualities that make it a beloved attraction throughout the District, and for visitors nationwide.  Will you not investigate the foregoing facts, and join us in our effort?   If you still support Stanton-EastBanc’s PUD, however, please respond to this letter by explaining why you believe this seven-story, 94.5-foot PUD is appropriate in an historic district currently zoned for building less than half that height, and why the taxpayer subsidies identified herein are justified. In view of your mayoral candidacy, the voting public deserves to know where you stand on such matters.

We recognize that your position as a Councilmember is a demanding one, but due to the urgency of this matter, we respectfully ask that you respond to this letter within two weeks, by August 23, 2013. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Petitioners, Howell, et al. v. D.C. Zoning

Comm’n., No. 11-AA-366-378


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Franks Place – Photo Essay



Frank Setting Up

Frank Setting Up

Hats, T-Shirts, Sunglasses

Hats, T-Shirts, Sunglasses

Making a Sale

Making a Sale

"Another Level - The Village is Talkin" features the drumming of Frank Lloyd.  $15 at Franks Place

“Another Level – The Village is Talkin” features the drumming of Frank Lloyd. $15 at Franks Place

Frank Lloyd, Vendor and Percussionist

Frank Lloyd, Vendor and Percussionist

Franks Place

One of the First Capitol Hill Neighborhood Vendors

by Larry Janezich

Frank Lloyd has stationed his business on the corner of 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, since 1984, selling sunglasses, hats, t-shirts and other merchandise to passersby.  “I first set up on Metro Plaza,” he says, but “they moved me over here.”  “Over here” is the sidewalk next to CVS where he sets up five or six days a week.  He says his best-selling items are sunglasses and t-shirts. 

Lloyd took over the business from his older brother, who moved on to a career in real estate in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Lloyd recalls the early eighties, when there were not many vendors or wholesalers in DC and he had to drive to New York for merchandise every couple of weeks.  “The 80s and 90s,” he says, “were the good old days because of the economy – money was flowing a lot better.”  Lloyd was born in DC and grew up in Barry Farm in Anacostia – a neighborhood named for its origins as part of the farm owned by James Barry in the mid-19th century. 

While vending is Lloyd’s livelihood, drumming is his passion.  Asked to account for his interest in the drums, he recalls the local groups that played in Anacostia Park in the 70s.  Walking back from one of these events, “I saw a guy playing three congas and that inspired me.”  At first self-taught, Lloyd later trained with the Andrew Cacho African Drummers and Dancers, a group founded in the early 70s which taught African Dance and Drumming to youths at Friendship House and later at a location on 8th Street.  After that, Lloyd was mentored by Baba Ngoma – “Father Drum” – a legendary drum master. 

Though he plays professionally only rarely, he has sat in with local jazz artist Wayne Davis.  Lloyd sells a CD at his stand which features his work on conga, bongo, and djembe drums.  Titled, “Another Level. The Village is Talkin,’” the CD is the result of collaboration among local jazz artists Izyez, Aaron J., Lawrence Williams, and Denyse Pearson AKA Lighthouse.  The music featured on the CD is accessible and carefully considered.  The artists use drums, spoken word, vocals, and instrumentals to explore themes of black community, self-sufficiency, spirituality, pride and, most prominently, the importance of history.  “The Village is Talkin’” is priced at $15. 








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