Hine Redevelopment

Not unexpected, a large crowd (of maybe 100 or so?) turned out at the ANC6B hosted Hine Redevelopment Meeting on Wed 2 Feb.  Stanton-East Banc, the developers of the site, made an hour long presentation.  A Q&A session followed.

[The redevelopment of the Hine Jr High site will have a major impact on Capitol Hill, situated as it does in the 700 block of Pennsylvania Ave SE.  The project has been in play since early 2009 when the city “surplused” the school.]

Much has changed with the plans for a mixed use (retail, office, and residential) development on the Hine Jr. High School site since the original August 2009 plans submitted for the RFP.  (Not surprising, since much has changed in the marketplace during that time.)  The total size the project has been reduced by 85,000 square feet.  Two previously announced occupants of the office space (Shakespeare Theater and IRD, as well as the Tiger Wood Foundation) have had to pull out of the project because of their inability to secure funding.

Overall, I liked what I saw.  Instead of one building facing Pennsylvania Avenue, there will now be two, breaking up the mass along that block.  The building along 7th Street SE will be the retail and office component.  This building will have either a residential section or a boutique hotel at the corner of (newly opened) C at 7th Streets.  A residential building will line 8th Street; unknown yet whether the units will be condos or rentals.  A linear courtyard will separate the two buildings on the interior of the block.  A second residential building with retail on the ground floor will face south and be situated between an existing alley and a newly opened C Street.  There are still plans to accommodate the Sat/Sun flea markets by closing the 7th Street side of “new” C Street on the weekends.  Missing from the plans presented on Wednesday night were the architectural details of the building facades.  These drawings will be done in time for the historic preservation review, scheduled for March.

The developers are also conducting a required multi-faceted study to understand the transportation impacts of the development.  The presentation last night was focused on only the traffic circulation and parking portions of the study.  It seemed to generate the most questions of the evening.  Many others in the audience seemed to be interested in the residential units, especially the opportunity to move out of multi-story Capitol Hill townhouses and into flats.

What’s Next?  The ANC anticipates that it will be doing its formal review of the historic preservation aspects of the project during its March meetings (Planning & Zoning Committee, Tue Mar 1, and Monthly meeting, Tue Mar 8).  Then, possibly in the Fall, the zoning reviews of the development will commence.  This Planned Unit Development (PUD) process is rather complicated.  (Commissioner Metzger has posted a “guide” to PUDs on his blog <www.ancnorm.org>)

When will the project become a reality?  Sometime in 2015.  Perhaps.

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