The development team behind The Bard, a mixed-use arts/residential project planned for the former Southeastern University campus site at 501 I Street, will be submitting a Planned Unit Development (PUD) application within the next month and has sent notice to surrounding neighbors. The Bard, as planned would include a costume design shop, administrative, educational, and rehearsal space for Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC), with actor and fellow housing and market-rate apartments to be developed above STC's operations by Erkiletian. A description of the previous plan can be found here. Southeastern University was demolished last summer and the site cleared in anticipation for development.
Some neighbors of 501 I Street have mobilized their efforts to try and stop the development, which would replace a two-story building under R-3 zoning with a much denser project (under SP-2 zoning) and has the potential to block sunlight to surrounding residential properties and Amidon-Bowen Elementary School. Yard signs can be found along 6th Street deriding the project and a blog has been developed in opposition to The Bard. Earlier this week, several neighbors signed a letter sent to the attorneys representing the development team asking for a delay in submitting the PUD application.
A series of meetings will be held in February to reveal revised plans for the project to the community, which includes the following: the reduction in size by two stories to a maximum height of seven stories; a reconfigured unit mix to include more larger units and less studio apartments; reducing the number of planned units from 177 to 136 units; and moving some of the massing from the south side of the project northward along 6th Street. The two meetings will be held on February 1 and February 16 at Blind Whino Arts Club, located at 700 Delaware Avenue (the former Friendship Baptist Church) on the second floor. Both meetings will be from 6:30 to 8:30pm.
Rendering courtesy of The Bard