Monday, September 9, 2013

ANC 6D Offers Conditional Support to Town Center East PUD

At tonight's ANC 6D meeting, the commissioners voted 4-0-1 to give conditional support to the Town Center East PUD. Several changes have been made to the project by The Bernstein Companies as a result of the ANC's last vote back in May to not support the PUD.  Also since the last vote, the original I.M. Pei buildings and open space on the site have been designated historic by the Historic Preservation Review Board.  As a result, the project now needs approval from the HPRB in addition to the Zoning Commission.

The proposed center building has been removed from the project.

One big change to the project is the removal of the center building, which is a result of the historic designation of the open space between the Pei buildings. That, along with design changes to the new north & south buildings (all four corners of each building have been pushed in), have resulted in the reduction of 45 units from the project.  Other changes include:
  • The metal fence on top of the wall along 3rd Street has been removed. 
  • One foot of sidewalk along 3rd Street will be removed to add green space.
  • Usable balconies have been removed from the new buildings and replaced with juliet balconies. 
  • The balconies will have frosted glass panels three feet, six inches tall to provide some privacy.
  • The motor courts on the west side of the new buildings have been reduced a bit in size.
  • More fenestration will occur on the 3rd Street edge of the new buildings, which uses more glass and more closely matches the window style of the Pei buildings.
  • A more simple brick will be used since the increased fenestration results in less brick on the buildings on 3rd Street.
  • The courtyard will have more green space.
  • Some ideas have been presented for improved accessibility for Waterfront Tower residents with mobility issues.
  • Discussions are underway for signage for Waterfront Tower, including pylons and numbers on the building.
  • A lighting plan has been developed with a variety of options, including overhead lights, lower bollard lights, uplighting of trees, etc. 
Older rendering from M Street.
Revised rendering from M Street.

The Waterfront Tower Home Owners Association is still not satisfied with the changes made and the lack of meetings between the developer and the HOA. Several homeowners were present at the meeting to express their concerns. Representatives from SWNA were also at the meeting and stated that the revised design is not worthy of being next to the historic I.M. Pei buildings. The ANC's conditional approval of the PUD is contingent on the developers addressing a variety of concerns to the satisfaction of the ANC before the October 7 Zoning Commission meeting.

Renderings courtesy of Maurice Walters Architects  

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