June: Hine Redevelopment Reviews Resume

Reviews of the historic preservation aspect of plans for redeveloping the Hine Jr High site on Capitol Hill resume in June.  On June 14th, the developers’ revised plans will be submitted to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) and will, thus, become public.  On June 21st, ANC6B will hold a special meeting to see a presentation of the revised plans, hear the community’s reactions, and vote on a second resolution. On June 30th HPRB will review the revised plans and, hopefully, this time provide substantive comments (see “recap” below).  [Meeting details under Events & Meetings]

Instead of reviewing the complete site development this time, there will apparently be a focus on the 8th Street SE apartment building and the office building situated at the corner of Pennsylvania Ave SE and 7th Street SE.  While much discussion to date has centered on the apartment building’s front facade, its south side faces Pennsylvania Avenue and is a companion to the office building.  Together these two buildings may be the most critical of the whole mixed use complex as they represent the development itself as viewed from the Eastern Market Metro plaza.

At this time, the review of these two buildings will focus on massing, scale, and height issues.  At a later date, the balance of the project will go through a similar historic preservation review.

To recap:  In April the Hine Redevelopment project was reviewed by ANC6B and the Historic Preservation Review Board.  ANC6B voted 6-3 in favor of a resolution detailing its sense of the community’s attitudes regarding the plans.  As many know, I voted against that resolution.  I did so because I felt it was overly negative and quite biased toward the views of a small minority of the Capitol Hill community.

The HPRB hearing on the plans on April 28th was inconclusive.  Most of the time was spent listening to community views.  In the end, the Board members had little time to react to the presentation and only voted to support the site plan.  This left the important massing, scale, and heights matters for another day.