A large crowd gathered last night at the ANC 6D meeting, including a large contingent from the Gangplank Slipholders Association, to hear the presentation given by Hoffman-Madison Waterfront about Phase One of The Wharf and voice their support for the liveaboards - the only people who currently live along the waterfront. Phase One will be roughly 1.5 million square feet of space and takes up about 2/3 of the development. Some newer renderings were shown (I hope to get a copy of the presentation). During the presentation, it was learned that the townhomes that were planned for Pier 4 in a future phase of development will no longer be built due to some opposition (including the Army Corps of Engineers). The pier will remain as a commercial pier with a two-story structure - the party boats will still leave from their current location, which has an impact on the proposed Waterfront Park that is planned adjacent to Pier 4 (I will attend a park charrette on Thursday where I will learn more about any changes that will be made to the park because of the change in use for Pier 4).
There was also an explanation of what kinds of events will take place at the Wharf Center, which will be able to hold between 3,500 people (seated) and 5,500 people (standing) depending on the configuration. The Wharf Center will be a marquee venue that can hold corporate events (like at a conference facility at a hotel), cultural programming (similar to what would be presented at the Synagogue at 6th & I and Busboys & Poets), and concerts (like at the Birchmere) with activity between 150 and 180 nights a year. One thing it will not be is a night club, according to Monty Hoffman from PN Hoffman. Some examples of events that could be held at the Wharf Center include: Artomatic, a fashion show, concert, or a film festival/movie premiere.
After the presentation, the ANC explained while they are generally supportive of The Wharf development and have had a good working relationship with the development team, there are a number of issues that need to be resolved before they can endorse the project, such as a tour bus management plan, pedestrian access study, and a traffic study (Here is a link to the motion that lists them all), but paramount among the issues is the transition plan for the liveaboards at Gangplank and how they will be integrated with the development. The management of Gangplank Marina would change with the transfer from the feds/District to Hoffman-Madison Waterfront and the proposed terms of the management agreement would not be economically viable for the liveaboards. The ANC voted 6-0-1 (Commissioner Craycraft abstained) to not endorse the PUD. They will work with the developers over the next few weeks to come to a resolution on the outstanding issues and may vote again at their July meeting. After the vote, Jason Kopp, President of the Gangplank Slipholders Association stated:
"We are grateful for the ANC and the community's support of the liveaboards as we try to resolve pending issues with the transition and future well-being of Gangplank Marina. Our hope is that we can work with the city and developers to come up with a solution that is mutually beneficial because ultimately we would like this development to be successful."
Rendering courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront