At Monday night's ANC 6D meeting, Monument Realty
presented its request for the ANC's support in closing a 2,417-square-foot alley that runs between South Capitol and Van streets not far north of N Street. This alley is north of the now-closed BP Amoco and south of what is now a WMATA employee parking lot on land owned by Monument (there used to be a neon yellow bungalow
there, until late 2006). Christy Shiker of Holland & Knight told the commissioners that the Amoco property--which faces the ballpark
's western parking garage--is too small to develop on its own, but with the alley closed and the lots combined, Monument would build a 130-foot-high residential building
with approximately 150 to 200 units plus 14,000 square feet of ground-floor (or perhaps two-story) retail. Monument is not committing at this time to pursuing LEED certification for this building.
Shiker then described the community benefits package that Monument was offering to the ANC in return for the loss of this public space, including a $50,000 contribution to the community fund, the retail, First Source
employment preferences, and an affordable housing component that would match whatever is called for whenever the city's Inclusionary Zoning mandates are finally hammered out. Monument would also work toward agreements on ANC6D resident preferences, to be determined with the ANC at a later date.
This became a sticking point, with Commissioner David Sobelsohn concerned about giving the ANC's support for this project merely on promises to make agreements later. Shiker pointed out that Monument has made these agreements before for their other Ballpark District projects
, and also that the ANC will have another crack at the project when down the road it undergoes its mandatory Capitol Gateway Overlay Review
. But Sobelsohn still felt that the ANC was being handed a "take it or leave it" proposition.
An audience member asked if Monument would be planning to build a temporary parking lot if the alley closing is approved, but Shiker said that Monument's goal is to develop the land, that they "want a building, not a parking lot." (Though one must admit that that is some pretty plum stadium-parking territory.) There were also questions about the Public Space Storage building just to the north (echoing my WTDW entry from last week
), but Monument's representatives said that they didn't think the storage company would be moving.
Commissioner Bob Siegel moved to support the alley closing with further negotiations on the proposed benefits package as the project proceeds, but the ANC voted 2-2-1 and so the resolution did not pass.
The alley closing bill is B17-0552
, and Shiker told the ANC that she expected a public hearing in late February, with perhaps council action in March or April. No date for actual construction of the project was mentioned.
Coming tomorrow--a recap of the Florida Rock
portion of the ANC meeting, though you don't have to wait until then to see the latest project renderings
that were presented. But my long-winded summary of what was said during the meeting will have to wait a bit longer.