Monday, July 30, 2012

ANC Reconsiders Vote, Decides to Support Wharf

ANC 6D held a special meeting this evening to reconsider their opposition to the Stage 2 PUD for Phase 1  of development at The Wharf. Representatives from Hoffman-Madison Waterfront gave a presentation that explained some changes that were made to the PUD in response to comments from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. Some changes include the simplification of design and increased use of wood in construction of the District Pier and Transit Pier building. Roof structures on some buildings and light pole coverings will be made of fabric or a similar material. Vines and other climbing plants will be incorporated on walls and other surfaces where there is sufficient light exposure. On District Pier, poles that will be used to house infrastructure will be 40 feet tall and less ornate than originally planned. Masonry construction will be used on the buildings planned for Parcel 2. Small balconies have been added to approximately one third of the rental apartment units in Parcel 2. In Parcel 3B, the clock tower has been removed from the Intercontinental Hotel, the height of the building has been reduced, and the large lettering originally planned for near the top of the hotel has been removed. On the Parcel 11B condo building, the dark colored brick that was going to be used has been changed to a lighter colored brick that will make the building blend in better with Tiber Island across the street. Changes have also been made to Waterfront Park, which are detailed here.
At the end of a meeting that was at times contentious, the Commissioners voted 4-3 to support the PUD after the developers answered concerns listed in the ANC's previous resolution in opposition.  I'll provide a link to the 7/30 resolution once it is posted on the ANC's website. Commissioners Litsky, Garber, Craycraft, and Shockley voted in support while Commissioners McBee, Moffatt, and Hamilton voted against. One of the major outstanding issues that caused the ANC to vote against the PUD back in June was the status of the liveaboard community at the Gangplank Marina during the transition period and management of the community after completion of the development. GPSA President Jason Kopp spoke before tonight's vote expressing his support for the project "in good faith" since negotiations between the slipholders and Hoffman-Madison Waterfront were going well and a resolution to their major concerns was near.

Tomorrow evening, the Hoffman-Madison Waterfront team will meet with the Zoning Commission for the fifth time where the ANC's approval is given "great weight" toward whether the Commission gives its approval.  A decision on whether to approve the PUD will likely be made in the fall. The developers are investing $53 million of their own funds, but they are looking for additional capital investment. If all goes as planned, the land transfer between the District and Hoffman-Madison Waterfront would occur by the end of this year. Construction would begin on the project around the end of the first quarter of 2013 with demolition of Zanzibar and other structures along the waterfront and the relocation of utilities from Water Street to Maine Avenue. Completion of Phase 1 would be in 2016. 

Rendering courtesy of Hoffman-Madison Waterfront

Update: Here are some new renderings of components of The Wharf that have changed.

District Pier

Aerial View of District Pier

Transit Pier

Wharf Hall