2007-02-16, 10:58

New D.C. development on H Street, N.E.

By: Jonathan Groner
The interesting blog DCmud, http://dcmud.blogspot.com/, reported earlier this month:

"On February 6, the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment unanimously approved plans submitted by H Street Ventures LLC to build a mixed-use development at 601-645 H Street, NE.

H Street Ventures wants to turn this stretch of block into a 312,000-square-foot residential, retail and office complex valued at nearly $150 million. According to documents filed with the Board, the developer is hoping to build 240 residential units (no decision yet whether condos or rentals), with 13,000 square feet of retail space and 180,000 square feet of office space."

The blog points out that the project had faced much community opposition after it was proposed almost a year ago. The main issue concerned the nine-story building planned to be built in between two existing buildings. There was concern about the height and scale of the building compared with the rest of the block.

The developer subsequently worked with neighborhood associations and advisory neighborhood commissions to reach consensus on a reconfigured, more pleasing scale for the building, Throughout the negotiations, groups including the Stanton Park Neighborhood Association and the Near Northeast and Northeast Capitol Hill advisory neighborhood commissions emphasized the importance of adhering to the H Street Overlay, which provides master planning and development guidelines for the corridor. This is the first project under the newly adopted guidelines.

Construction is expected to start later in 2007, with completion in 2009. This is a good example of how a fairly large mixed-use project can address neighborhood activists' concerns and proceed on time.

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