Monthly Archives: April 2017

City Asks Developers for Proposals to Redevelop Hill East Boys and Girls Club

Dion Townley, Project Manager for the development of the Hill East Boys and Girls Club, explains the request for proposals to members of the Hill East Task Force. (L to R, Pat Taylor, resident member, ANC Commissioner/Task Force Chair Daniel Ridge, and ANC Commissioner Denise Krepp)

City Asks Developers for Proposals to Redevelop Hill East Boys and Girls Club

by Larry Janezich

Yesterday, the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development put out the Request for Proposals (RFP) for redevelopment of the Hill East Boys and Girls Club.  The request acknowledged neighbor’s preferences for a residential project containing some sort of “community serving” retail such as a day care center or senior care facility, or another use as a community space.  The question now is what kind of economically viable project potential developers will come up with to satisfy those priorities

A previous effort at redevelopment under the Department of General Services foundered when it produced only one proposal (providing for 100% affordable housing financed by low income housing tax credits) that met RFP requirements.  See here:  http://bit.ly/2crh6Ty  The proposal provoked a strong negative reaction from neighbors who want a project with a mix of affordable and market rate units, as well as a community space.  (A second proposal for a mixed use project was submitted in response to the DGS RFP, but the terms of the RFP specifying a 25 year lease made the project difficult if not impossible to qualify for commercial financing.)

Last night, some 20 Hill Easters heard Dion Townley, Project Manager for the Development of the Boys and Girls Club, describe the just-issued Request for Proposals for the redevelopment. Townley appeared before the ANC6B Hill East Task Force, chaired by ANC6B Commissioner Daniel Ridge in whose single member district the project lies.  Townley explained that the RFP was developed on the basis of community input growing out of a pair of meetings earlier this year.  See here: http://bit.ly/2lTxtiU

In those community meetings, DEMPED listed the limited choices residents had to shape the development.  Zoning limits the use of the site to residential or mixed use (residential with retail limited by zoning regs to neighborhood-serving retail such as a day care center, senior care, or community space) or institutional use.  Likewise, zoning limits height to the current height of the building, unless a zoning change for the property is sought through a PUD process.  Such a change would not change the limitations on any retail component.

The RFP notes that, “There was a consensus within the community that the future development of the site should include residential use.  Some residents expressed a preference for future development that consists solely of residential use, but the majority of the community expressed a priority to also include a neighborhood serving use site such as a community space, day care, and/or senior care in the future development.”

Also, “There were varying preferences within the community regarding housing types for the new development. Priorities included opportunities for homeownership, housing reserved for seniors, multigenerational housing, and a preference for family size units.”

The RFP says explicitly that DMPED’s guiding priorities are to increase affordable housing, and current Inclusionary Zoning regulations require that 30% of the housing in the development of city-owned buildings or land, be affordable.  The RFP, linked to below, has a detailed explanation of the affordable housing requirements on page 8.  Affordable housing residents meet the same criteria as residents applying for renting or purchase of commercial market rate housing.

The Selection process timetable (subject to change) is as follows:

Issuance of RFP – April 26, 2017

RFP response submission due date – July 14, 2017

Selection recommendation panel interviews – August 2017

Public input/disposition hearing: community presentation by development team respondents – September 2017.  (This will be the next opportunity for public input.  Developers will present their proposals to community members and gather comments from the public and the ANCs prior to the selection of a developer.)

Final selection of development team – Fall 2017

Submission of land disposition agreement and accompanying legislation to DC city Council – Spring 2018.  (DMPED will come back to the ANC before final submission to the City Council.)

DMPED’s RFP for the Boys and Girls Club can be found here:  http://bit.ly/2oyoRjt

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The Week Ahead…. Boys and Girls Club & a New Restaurant on PA Ave?

The owner of the building housing Lustre Cleaner at 309 – 311 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., has applied for a voluntary environmental cleanup permit for the property and is proposing to convert it into a restaurant. The property lies between two Spike Mendelsohn restaurants – Béarnaise and We the Pizza – which have done battle with neighbors and ANC6B over rat and trash issues. The privately done environmental assessment is complete. Look for ANC6B to push hard for indoor trash storage here when the application for a liquor license comes up.

The Week Ahead…. Boys and Girls Club & a New Restaurant on PA Ave?

Monday, April 24

  1. CM Charles Allen’s Ward 6 Budget Town Hall meeting, 6:30pm, Jefferson Middle School, 801 7th Street, SW.

2. The office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED)              is scheduled to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for development of the Hill East            Boys and Girls Club.

Tuesday, April 25

  1. ANC6B Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center to set the agenda for the May meeting of the ANC.

Wednesday, April 26

Image courtesy of ANC6B Hill East Task Force Chair Dan Ridge

ANC6B’s Hill East Task Force meets at 7:00pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington, 1901 Independence Avenue, S.E.  DMPED has been invited to provide an update on the RFP for the Boys and Girls Club.  In addition, representatives from the Office of Planning will attend to talk about “tactical urbanism” in the context of pedestrian safety (read the 17th Street “speedway”).

Saturday, April 29

March for climate, jobs and justice.

Participants will gather in front of the Capitol Building at 11:00am.  The march will kick off at 12:30pm, and proceed up Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House and end with a rally at the Washington Monument at 3:00pm.

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The Week Ahead….

New paint at The Fridge, 516 1/2 8th Street, SE, (rear alley)

The Week Ahead….

by Larry Janezich

Monday, April 17

Emancipation Day holiday.  DC offices will be closed.  No trash or recycling pickup.

  1. CANCELLED.  ANC6A Transportation & Public Space Committee is scheduled to meet at 7:00pm, Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G street, NE.

Agenda not available at press time.

Tuesday, April 18

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

Agenda not available at press time.

  1. Capitol Hill Restoration Society board of Directors meets at 6:30pm, Capitol Hill Townhomes.750 6th Street, SE.

Agenda not available at press time.

Wednesday, April 19

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

Agenda not available at press time.

  1. CHRS Historic Preservation Café: 7:00pm, Northeast Library, 330 7th Street, N.E.  Gary Barnhart, owner of GL Barnhart Construction, will present “Elements of Capitol Hill Historic and Modern Masonry”.   Barnhart will discuss various types of older and newer masonry construction systems found throughout Capitol Hill homes and buildings.

Thursday, April 20

  1. PSA 108 meets at 7:00pm, Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, S.E.

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H Street Updates: AVEC Mega Development at 901 H Street & ANC Approves Two New Alcohol Licenses

Architect’s Elevation of the AVEC Development at 901 H Street, NE – looking Southeast.  The site was formerly the location of the H Street Connection.

Rappaport’s Retail Plan for 901 H Street, NE

H Street Updates: AVEC Mega Development at 901 H Street & ANC Approves Two New Alcohol Licenses

By Larry Janezich

AVEC

Excavation for Rappaport and WC Smith’s new two-block long mixed use building at 901 H Street NE – formerly the site of the H Street Connection – is underway.  Rappaport representative Lindsay Moses reported to ANC6A on Thursday night.

Rappaport owns the retail portion of the project, WC Smith the residential portion.  No word yet on the retail tenants for the project, but Moses says they’ve had considerable “buzz” from big players as well as small locals, regarding a mix of proposed restaurants and services.  Developers are currently excavating the first below grade level and have two more levels to go to accommodate three levels of underground parking.  Digging will continue through year’s end and contractors will start pouring concrete early next year.  Developers expect to complete the project in 2019.

The developers give regular updates on the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30pm at Capitol Hill Towers. The next meeting is scheduled for May 10.

New Alcohol Licenses

There are two new alcohol beverage venues opening soon on H Street.  Thursday night, ANC6A signed off on a liquor license for Dio Wine Bar a 904 H Street, NE.  Owner Stacey Khoury-Diaz appeared before the ANC to say that they hope to open in August and that the bar will be devoted primarily to organic wines and a small plates menu.

The ANC also approved a license for Quara Ethiopian Restaurant opening within days at 818 H Street, N.E.  It will be the second Ethiopian restaurant for the owner who also owns Quara in Adams Morgan.  Quara on H Street will offer a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu.

Later Weekend Hours for Nomad Hookah

The Commission also approved a new settlement agreement for Nomad Hookah Bar at 1200 H Street, N.E., extending the hours of operation on the outdoor space by one hour – until midnight – on weekends, on the condition that it be enclosed in a similar manner as Cusbah’s patio at 1128 H Street, N.E.  The action provoked some grumbling from the audience after ANC6A Chair Phil Toomajian refused to allow discussion after the vote of approval about why he thought that extending hours of operation for Nomad did not set a precedent for other H Street venues to demand equal treatment.  Toomajian suggested an “off-line” discussion to a questioner, and declared the resident out of order when she persisted.

DC Murals

Murals DC has joined with the DC Commission on the Arts in an anti-graffiti program involving the creation of murals at various locations across the city on the walls of privately owned buildings. A mural is currently being proposed for a building at 700 H Street, N.E.  Residents are being solicited for ideas for murals and they should contact DC murals here. http://muralsdcproject.com/

Since the wall spaces on private buildings, owners must donate the space for art, so the owner has a great deal to say about whatever goes on the wall.

 

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Barracks Row: ANXO Craft Cider/Spanish Restaurant Bids to Open at Phase 1’s Former Location

525 8th Street, S.E., on Barracks Row – the former location of Phase 1.

Barracks Row:  ANXO Craft Cider/Spanish Restaurant Bids to Open at Phase 1’s Former Location

by Larry Janezich

Phase One – the oldest lesbian bar in the country until it closed last year – has been sold, ANC6B Chair Chander Jayaraman informed the Advisory Commission Tuesday night.  (The sale was first reported in The Washington Blade earlier this month.)  A potential temporary tenant for the building – the owner of ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar (locations in Truxton Circle and Brightwood Park) – will ask ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Committee for a change of hours of operation next month.

ANXO owner, Sam Fitz, is negotiating to rent the Phase 1 space from the new owner and wants earlier serving hours than the start time of 7:00pm which is a condition of the current Phase 1 license conveyed with the building.

Fitz’s plan is to team with local artists to create an art installation that will serve food and drink, with emphasis on a menu of Northern Spain (San Sebastian) dishes designed to cater to an evening dinner crowd.  Fitz wants to open what is essentially a five month pop up operation from June 1 through October to test the business concept and show it can work.  ANXO boasts the largest list of ciders “in the world”, in addition to its beer, wine, and cocktail beverage menu.  After the test period he hopes to become a long term tenant, in which case the location would be shut down for up to nine months for extensive building renovation.

Tax records show that the Phase 1 building sold on February 23, 2017, for $3.3 million.  The tavern, at 525 8th Street, SE, earned its title by being in continuous operation since 1970.

More information about ANXO including their craft ciders and the Spanish-themed menu is here:  http://www.anxodc.com/

CHC first reported the closure of Phase 1 last June, here:  http://bit.ly/299A2bh

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The Week Ahead…CM Elissa Silverman at ANC6C

7th Street Flea Market, Sunday morning, circa 9:30am.

The Week Ahead…CM Elissa Silverman at ANC6C

by Larry Janezich

Monday, April 10

  1. 6th District Citizens Advisory Council meets at 7:00pm, 6th District Police Station, 100 42nd Street, S.E.
  1. RFK Stadium Armory Stakeholder Meeting, 7:00pm, Events DC Administrative Offices, RFK Stadium, 2400 East Capitol Street, S.E., Media Room – 4th Floor, enter through Lot 5, Gate A.

Tuesday, April 11

  1. Kingman Park Civic Association meets at 7:00pm, St. Benedict the Moor Church, 21st Street, S.E.
  1. PSA 104 Community Safety Walk.  Meet at 7:00pm at the Loree Grand (3rd and K Street, NE).

Wednesday, April 12

  1. Note Change of Day – ANC6B meets at 7:00pm, Hill Center.

Among items on the agenda:

Presentation:  At-Large CM Elissa Silverman (Tentative).

Sushi Hachi, Inc., 735 8th Street, SE, New Retailer’s “C” Restaurant License.

ABC Committee update on action Items from March meeting.

602 E Street, SE; Permit for a rear addition.

913 E. Capitol Street, SE; Concept/three-story rear addition.

1 Library Court. S.E.; Application for special exceptions from the parking requirements, the penthouse setback requirements, the height requirement, the rear yard requirement, the side yard requirement, the rear addition extending more than ten feet past the rear wall of the adjacent building requirement, and variances from the nonconforming structure requirements, and the lot area and width requirements to construct a one-story rear addition to an existing one-family row dwelling in the RF-3 Zone at premises 1 Library Court, S.E.

202 9th  Street, SE; Application for special exceptions from the accessory building lot occupancy requirements, from the accessory building rear yard requirements, and from the lot occupancy requirements, to construct an accessory two-story carriage house for use as covered parking and an office in the RF-1 Zone at 202 9th Street, S.E.

Public Space (PSC); Application for 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., development.

Letter to DGS on release of the Environmental Assessment for the Eastern Market Plaza.

Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee Report.

Hine Community Advisory Committee Report.

  1. ANC6C meets at 7:00pm, Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E.

Among items on the draft agenda:

Presentation:  Elissa Silverman, At-Large Council Member

Capitol Hill Montessori School at Logan, upcoming budget hearing(s)

Authorization to seek intervenor status in 1511 A Street, N.E. BZA appeal

Reservation 84

XO, 15 K street N.E., request for extended holiday hours

Uline Arena loading zone, 1140 3rd Street, N.E.

Four new Zipcar spaces, 263 8th Street N.E.; 1225 5th Street N.E.

LED streetlights.

NoMa streetscape guidelines.

NoMa Parks update.

Casey Trees, tree planting in the community.

5th and I Streets, N.E. update on park space.

Rock ‘N Roll Marathon, review of race and community complaints.

17 6th Street, N.E., application for rear, rooftop, and garage additions.

17 6th Street, N.E., BZA 19489, third story addition, roof deck, and expansion of accessory building for residential use.

618 3rd Street, N.E., concept approval, front basement entrance, rear addition, garage demolition.

622 D Street N.E., concept approval, rear and rooftop additions.

D.C. Comprehensive Plan amendment cycle.

Budget oversight hearings.

Incarceration to Incorporation Entrepreneurship Program

Thursday, April 12

  1. ANC 6A meets, 7:00pm, Miner Elementary School, 601 Fifteenth (15th) Street, N.E.

Among items on the agenda:

Presentation:  Sarah Fashbaugh, Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration

Presentation:  Avec H Street Update (901 H Street, N.E.)

Presentation:  MuralsDC program

Settlement Agreement with Dio, LLC t/a Dio Wine Bar (904 H Street, N.E.).

Settlement Agreement with Quara Ethiopian Fusion Restaurant (818 H Street, N.E.).

Settlement Agreement with Nomad Hookah Bar (1200 H Street, N.E.).

Letter of support to the Office of Planning for medium density designation of 1603-1625 Benning Road in the Benning Road Corridor

Redevelopment Framework Plan to be incorporated into the 2008 Comprehensive Plan update.

Letter of conditional support to the Office of Zoning for a land use designation change from the existing C-3-A to C-2-B and a map amendment change to develop the property at 1603-1625 Benning Road requiring the developers and architects to continue to update the ANC and work on the pending community benefits package.

Letter opposing the application to the Historic Preservation Review Board to create the Kingman Park Historic District if the two block portion of ANC6A that was included in the application remains included in the proposed historic district.

  1. CHRS Zoning Committee meets at 7:30 pm, Kirby House, 420 10th Street, S.E.

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New Sushi Place on Barracks Row Gets ANC Committee’s Nod on Liquor License

735 8th Street SE – formerly Zest Bistro – will become the new Sushi Hachi this summer

New Sushi Place on Barracks Row Gets ANC Committee’s Nod on Liquor License

by Larry Janezich

Thursday night ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Control committee, chaired by Chandler Jayaraman, voted unanimously to recommend that the full ANC grant a new class C restaurant liquor license to Sushi Hachi.

The 88 seat restaurant – plus 8 seats on a sidewalk patio – will take over the space formerly occupied by Zest Bistro 735 8th Street, S.E.  Owner Steve Yoon hopes to open in July, depending on the city’s permitting process.

Yoon, who also owns and has run Sushi Rock at on Clarendon Avenue in Arlington for the past six years, told the ANC committee that Sushi Hachi will feature 8 – 9 different popular fishes on its daily sushi menu.  The kitchen will also produce a seasonal menu that will change every few months.  In addition to the usual edamame, seaweed salad, and miso soup, the menu will feature special items like tuna tartare and yellowfin tuna ceviche, Thai style.

Before becoming a restaurateur, Yoon, worked in the kitchen at the DC Grand Hyatt Hotel.  He says he is striving for a different look for Sushi Hachi than that at Sushi Rock (see here:  http://sushirockva.com/) and will focus on achieving a clean and simple look utilizing wood and granite.

The committee’s agreement on the liquor license followed a prolonged discussion on how the restaurant would manage its trash. ANC 6B has been vigorous in using liquor license applications to exact best operating practices from restaurants on Capitol Hill’s commercial corridors, negotiating the line between regulations a restaurant can live with and those which they find too burdensome.  The neighbors of Barracks Row are both very active and well organized in support of the ANC’s efforts.

Update:  ANC6B has encouraged new restaurants with significant build-out or those undergoing major renovation to provide for indoor trash storage.  Neither of those apply to Sushi Hachi.  A number of trash management measures were discussed during the hearing, including inside storage of grease and daily trash pickups.  The details of what the ANC and the Yoon agree to will be available in the voluntary Settlement Agreement which must be signed before the full ANC approves the liquor license application.  

Zest Bistro closed on October 5, 2015 and the owners concentrated their efforts on Agua in The Yards featuring contemporary Mexican cuisine.

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Southeast Boulevard Update: DC Department of Transportation Launches Environmental Impact Study

Southeast Boulevard Update: DC Department of Transportation Launches Environmental Impact Study

by Larry Janezich

Wednesday night, DDOT planner Jonathan D. Rogers told ANC6B’s Transportation Committee, that DDOT has embarked on the required Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed Southeast Boulevard.  The project is a joint effort of DDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).  The EA will consider the impact of the project on air and water quality and historic preservation, and produce a concept design based upon community’s preferred alternative.

For the three concepts put forward by DC’s Office of Planning, see here:  http://bit.ly/2nhJsrN

The contract for the assessment has been let and the process will take some 18 months.  Rogers said, “The key will be community engagement” – in addition to the nearby neighbors, some of the community organization stakeholders include ANC6B, ANC7B, the Capitol Riverfront BID, and the Capitol Hill Restoration Society.

DDOT is still coming up with a schedule, but Rogers envisions two public meetings and a final public hearing – required every time federal funds or lands are used for a development project.  The first public meeting will likely occur this summer or fall.  The result of the EA will be a final report which DDOT hopes will conclude with a “FONSI” – a finding of no significance regarding environmental impact.  The report will also include a concept design for the preferred alternative.  The EA then goes to FHA for consideration, and can’t move forward without a favorable response.  Rogers said that will be followed by the funding piece – which he termed “a heavy lift.”

The cost of the project is estimated at $120 – $190 million – more than the annual budget of DDOT. ( See CHC post here:   http://bit.ly/2o26hN6 )  Sources for funds include DDOT, the federal government, and local funds.   Given the cost, Rogers pointed to the need to find a way to monetize the project – i.e., repurposing public lands in the 200-to-250 foot right of way not used for the boulevard itself.    Rogers said that the EA will “gauge the temperature of the ANC regarding land use,” since concept design necessarily takes future land disposition into consideration.

He said land use issues are potentially controversial, citing the possible declaring of the associated public lands excess and opening them up for development or a bus storage, parking, and maintenance facility.  Public lands will be disposed of in a process separate from the EA process.

Some ANC commissioners were more than skeptical that a bus terminal would be in the best interests of the nearby neighbors.  Rogers said that any such use would depend on the ability to design an entrance and exit for such a facility which “is not at the neighborhood level.”  He noted the city’s severe need for bus storage and maintenance saying more buses are coming to the area and the needs are greater than the city thought.   In any event, the EA will not design the future project beyond the conceptual.

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High End Eyewear Coming to Eastern Market

660 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, the new outlet for Georgetown Optician – click to enlarge

High End Eyewear Coming to Eastern Market

by Larry Janezich

In what may be a bellwether for Eastern Market retail – high end eyewear retailer Georgetown Optician is taking over the space at 660 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, formerly occupied by Sappore, the artisan olive oil and balsamic vinegar outlet that moved to the internet as of December 31, 2016.  The property is owned by Stanton Development, who is also leasing the 16 retail spaces in the north and south buildings of the Hine development, and is known to be seeking boutique retailers.  Georgetown Opticians has outlets in Georgetown, 14th Street, and Tysons Corner.  See here:  http://bit.ly/2nI9jFs

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Developer on Verge of Announcing Hine North Building Retail

The ground floor retail space of the Hine Project north building will be divided into 5 retails spaces

This schematic shows the four retail spaces of the Hine north building (on left) which will accommodate 5 tenants. On the right, are 4 retail spaces on the north end of the south building

This image shows 6 retail spaces on 7th Street and the south end of the south building, plus the location of Trader Joe’s and the day care center in the upper right corner

Developer on Verge of Announcing Hine North Building Retail

by Larry Janezich

Eastbanc partner Stanton Development is expected to announce the retail leases for the north building of the Hine Project in mid-April.  There are four street level retail spaces in the north building plus one large lower level retail space below grade.  One of the street level spaces will be reserved for two “incubator” retail tenants – local businesses who have not graduated to independent brick and mortar status – which means a total of six retail tenants for the project.  Stanton characterized the tenants as a mix of food and non-food retail.

Stanton is still working on leasing the retail space for the south building which will accommodate as many at ten street level retail tenants, plus a day care center at the corner of 8th and Pennsylvania and a Trader Joe’s.  Trader Joe’s has begun to modify their space in accordance with their needs; the company is looking to open this fall.

Stanton’s partner Eastbanc advises that the target for beginning to lease the residential units in the south building is late summer.  The 128 apartments average 1,250 square feet.  Stanton says that they have had 2,000 expressions of interest in the units.  Leasing of the residential units will be handled by Eastbanc partner Bozzuto property management.

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