Developer Hopes to Start on Res 13 in 3rd Quarter 2017 – also – RFK Road Plan Riles Residents

Larry W. Clark, VP at Donatelli, said the developer hopes to break ground on the Res 13 Development in this year's third quarter

Larry W. Clark, VP at Donatelli, said the developer hopes to break ground on the Res 13 Development in this year’s third quarter

Jennifer Iwa of EventsDC (left) revealed a plan for a new road connecting Benning Road and Barney Circle.  ANC6B Commissioner Denise Krepp, at right, responded, "No."

Jennifer Iwa of EventsDC (left) revealed a plan for a new road connecting Benning Road and Barney Circle. ANC6B Commissioner Denise Krepp, at right, responded, “No.”

ANC6B Commissioner Dan Ridge (right) questions the impact of a proposed connection between Benning Road and Barney Circle

ANC6B Commissioner Dan Ridge (right) questions the impact of a proposed connection between Benning Road and Barney Circle

Some 40 Capitol Hill residents turned out for the community briefing

Some 40 Capitol Hill residents turned out for the community briefing

Developer Hopes to Start on Res 13 in 3rd Quarter 2017 – also – RFK Road Plan Riles Residents

by Larry Janezich

Last night, Donatelli Vice President Larry W. Clark said that the developer hopes to begin construction on Donatelli/Blue Skye’s mixed use development on Reservation 13 in the third quarter of 2017.  Clark presented a development timeline at a Hill East community meeting organized by ANC6B Commissioner Denise Krepp to update the community on plans for Reservation 13 and the RFK Stadium.

Last December, Donatelli/Blue Sky asked and received from the city council, a one year extension of their building permit application, while DC Department of Transportation reviews the project’s infrastructure plan.  Clark estimates DOT will sign off in June, allowing the permitting process to go forward and construction to begin in the third quarter.

The project envisions 353 residential rental units, 30% of which will be affordable, and 20,000 plus square feet of retail.  The latter would allow for up to ten ground level retail spaces in two buildings, with the possibility of expansion into some 8,000 square feet below grade for a retailer with additional space needs. The rental units – both market and affordable – will range from studio to three bedroom units.

In answer to a question, Clark said the developer had looked at LITHC financing for the affordable housing portion, but that the agency has a lot of regulations, and financing through other agencies could be easier.

Asked for his reaction, ANC6B Commissioner Daniel Ridge told CHC, “My takeaway is that Donatelli/Blue Sky’s financing seemed less than certain, a sense I got from their answer to the LIHTC question and from what we heard recently about the postponed M Street development. If that project is soft, it could stall the site for another 10 years.”  Last week, CHC posted on the difficulty Cohen Seigel Investors are having in finding financing for their proposed 673 unit project at 1333 M Street, SE, see here:   http://bit.ly/2kTQKxy

As previously reported, EventsDC’s vision is to turn RFK into a five component development comprised of three multi-purpose recreation fields, a 47,000 square foot market hall, a 350,000 square foot sports and recreation complex, three pedestrian bridges connecting the main site to Kingman and Heritage Islands, and a memorial to Robert F. Kennedy.

Much of last night’s meeting was devoted to community reaction to EventsDC’s infrastructure plan for the RFK Stadium site.  What riled the community was part of the transportation plan to facilitate access to the new complex.  The preliminary plan calls for for a road connecting Benning Road to Barney Circle, which Commissioners and residents fear will funnel Maryland commuter traffic through their neighborhoods.  Krepp declared a preemptive “No” to the proposal, and promised residents future meetings with Events DC on the matter.

Krepp told CHC, “I’m very concerned about EventsDC’s transportation plan. They made it very clear that the design is for commuters not residents.  It moves cars, not people. ”

Ridge said, “Residents should accept an EventsDC role in the future of the Hill East Waterfront as neither natural, nor automatic, nor inevitable.  What I heard from EventsDC about a road from Benning to Barney Circle was preposterous. So preposterous and so poorly defended that it nearly overshadowed the question of why we were talking to EventsDC about it at all.”

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Developer Hopes to Start on Res 13 in 3rd Quarter 2017 – also – RFK Road Plan Riles Residents

  1. Eric

    Anyone have any idea on how they plan to connect Benning Road with Barney Circle? I assume they mean the neighborhood of Barney Circle and not the actual circle (of which only a small piece remains.)

    • dcgent

      Essentially imagine a road running parallel to the bike path. Come over bridge on Benning, turn left, follow river under east capitol bridge, continue along river behind congressional cemetery, and potentially connect into Circle at mass ave. Meant to provide better access to proposed fields and rec center but also a perfect commuter short cut. Though I bet there are ways to make it inefficient for commuters, Maybe make it a U instead–take benning up to Oklahoma and make cars enter there and double back down to river on a 2 lane road with speed bumps. Sounds like a major fight may happen over the road in any case

    • Cassie

      There is already a road that connects Benning Road to Barney Circle itself. I think it’s blocked off by gates at the parking lot off Benning. But reopening/improving that road for regular use really is absurd, creating such a dangerous physical barrier that it does totally negate the whole purpose of connecting people to the river.

  2. freshaire

    What is the definition of “affordable”? Today, in 2017, what income range must a family of 4 in DC have to be in the category of “affordable”? Over the years, our elected officials continue to talk about “affordable” housing when they SELECT/APPROVE some development around the city. So, i am puzzled as to why the number of homeless people keep on rising?

    A couple of related questions: For all these new developments that became available, say in the last 5 years, how many DC residents live in these “affordable” housing?

    What do the city statistics show, (regarding the number of homeless): What was the number of homeless BEFORE the “affordable” development compared to the number of homeless AFTER the “affordable” became available?

  3. Tom

    A major part of the rationale for building the new 11th St. bridges, connecting both ways to I-295, was to remove traffic from Hill East neighborhoods. This new proposal seems to negate DDOT’s implicit premise to the comity, back then, not to route commuter traffic through such neighborhoods.

    And connecting people to the river doesn’t feel quite the same when you have to cross a a busy commuter thoroughfare.

    • Tom

      Make that DDOT’s implicit promise to the COMMUNITY. Don’t you hate spellcheck’s tendency to insert a word you don’t mean, in this case “comity” for “community”?

  4. muskelunge

    Would like to read more about the EventsDC’s road plan, and Commissioner Krepp’s objection to it.

    As it stands now, the capitol hill streets are choked with commuter traffic — check out Pennsylvania Ave any morning or afternoon. This impacts all residents. Another route could relieve this.

    • Cassie

      If there were a road, it could only be open during morning weekday rush hour, and it couldn’t be open at any other time, because that’s when kids will be using the fields, and we don’t want them hit by commuters. Unless kids do use fields in the morning, then it shouldn’t be built/improved at all.

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