At last night’s ANC 6D monthly meeting, the commissioners unanimously passed a resolution strongly recommending that DMPED choose the PN Hoffman/AHC proposal for the District-owned NE parcel of Waterfront Station. It was one of three proposals presented during a community meeting on September 10. This proposal was also the one which received overwhelming support in an unscientific poll conducted of SWTLQTC readers over the past month with 83% of the votes cast. The other two proposals were from MRP Realty with Taylor Adams Associates, Blue Skye Development, McCullough Construction, Kettler and HOU; and Republic Properties with the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and Bozzuto Management.
PN Hoffman’s presentation was unique in that the amount of proposed retail space was more than double the amount proposed by the other teams and prospective retail tenants were announced. The development plan includes 443 rental apartment units, 22,500 SF of community-oriented retail, and a 10,000 SF, 200-seat black box theater, all in a LEED-Gold building designed by Torti Gallas. The 133 units of affordable housing includes 34 units at up to 30% of AMI and 99 units at up to 50% of AMI. Retail would be located on 4th Street, wrapping around to a new private drive on the north end of the site. A letter of intent has been signed by Constantine Stavropoulous, the owner of Tryst, Open City, The Diner, and The Coupe to open a diner at the corner of 4th Street and the private drive. Other retail uses such as a daycare center and artist space could be located on the north side of the development along the private drive, which serves as a connector between the Southwest Library branch and the SW Duck Pond. The private drive could be closed off at times for arts-focused events. Forum Theatre would make the return to the District from its current location in Silver Spring to operate the black box theater, which began 12 years ago on H Street NE. The theater would be located on the south side of the site below the courtyard, which would allow the theater space to be without columns. The PN Hoffman team would use the model they implemented to engage the community during The Wharf’s development process with a community benefits group and a construction issues group. During the question and answer period, it was mentioned that a hardware store was not considered by the development team for this project because they are in negotiations to bring one to The Wharf along Maine Avenue.
In the resolution, there were four principles which the ANC used to guide their recommendation. Those principles include:
- Broadening the amount of affordable housing in Southwest and deepening the number of affordable units at lower AMI levels.
- Meet or exceed the amount of retail space that was on the old Waterside Mall footprint.
- Create more neighborhood gathering spaces for Southwest residents.
- Establish Southwest as a cultural and creative destination.
Based on these four principles, the resolution stated the PN Hoffman proposal “most completely addressed the hierarchy of needs consistently articulated by ANC 6D over time and supported in the responses of the members of the Southwest Community through the Small Area Plan process.” In addition, the commissioners felt that PN Hoffman has demonstrated a commitment to long-term ownership and community participation through the development process of The Wharf.
DMPED is likely to make a final decision on which proposal to choose in November. The winning team will then need to take the proposed development through the second stage PUD process (with ANC support) and the DC Council will need to approve the terms of the proposal before any construction can begin.
Renderings courtesy of PN Hoffman