Since January, 2003
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May 19, 2006
May 26, 2013
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On Monday night, the city's Zoning Commission had its first crack at the new request for modifications to the existing Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the Florida Rock site across the street from Nationals Park, as the commissioners deliberated on whether to "set down" the request for a hearing. As mentioned previously, the developers want to change the site's first phase from office to residential, and also have done some reworking of the rest of the design for the six-acre site that the Zoning Commission approved after much deliberation and tweaking back in 2008.
Commissioner Michael Turnbull was first out of the gate with comments about the new designs, and he was not at all happy, calling it a "major gut" to the original PUD, saying that he felt the applicant should start the PUD process all over again. Describing the new plans as "bastardized," "stick architecture from the suburbs," "boxy," "10 steps backward," and "an affront to the Zoning Commission" and city residents, Turnbull pledged to be "so damn critical" if the new design moves forward. (If you've got a few minutes, you can watch his remarks for yourself.)
Commissioner Peter May, on the other hand, said that he is actually more comfortable with the new design, given that there were features he "really questioned" in the 2008 design, but that the latest filing is "pretty simplistic" in terms of the drawings, and did say that the architecture is "kind of boring," especially from the waterside view. (The image at right is the Phase 1 residential building, as seen from the river.) He also wanted to see more comparisons to the previously approved design so that they could understand more what they may be giving up with the new design, but that he found the overall plan "more appealing than before."
Vice-chair Konrad Schlater's biggest concern was over the scaling back of the retail component, which has gone from 80,000 square feet of "retail and service uses" in the 2008 PUD to about 23,400 square feet in the new filing, with 7,000 sf of that being turned over to residential amenities "until a retail market is established." "It seems like a missed opportunity to have space on the boardwalk that is not retail," Schlater said, adding that the city does not have a lot of projects right on a waterfront like this, and that the entire development really should be a retail destination. (He also caught that, while the 2008 PUD called for LEED certification for each phase, the new filing says that the project "will be LEED certifiable for each phase." Semantics, or...?)
With commission chair Anthony Hood not in attendance, the four commissioners decided to defer a decision on the set-down request until Hood can weigh in with his thoughts; this would also give the developers time to file additional information, such as comparing the new designs with the 2008 plans. This could come up at the next public hearing, on Feb. 13.
So, what are the differences?
With the entire filing available online (if you search), I was able to go through and cull out some of the most representative drawings from this new design, which I've put on my Florida Rock project page. At the bottom of that page you can also see some images of the designs that were approved in 2008. The first image at left, from 2008 (click to enlarge), shows the four buildings and the public spaces with a lot of curves and glass and "articulation."
Compare that to the latest design. While this is clearly a very early drawing, it does show four much more boxy structures, as commissioner Turnbull said. You can also see the curves-versus-corners differences in the site-plan comparison graphic I created, which also shows the differing layouts of the public spaces, again going from a lot of flowing, rounded paths and open areas to straighter-edged movements, with the total amount of "lot occupancy" going down to 44 percent in the new design from 58 percent in the old. The phase 1 apartment building is the most fleshed out in the renderings, but there are additional drawings giving a general sense of the site layout.
The Office of Planning's setdown report goes through the changes requested in a fair amount of detail.
It will be interesting to see how this the Zoning Commission handles this, as well as ANC 6D, which has always been very supportive of this project during its long gestation but has not yet had an opportunity to weigh in/vote on the new design. (And of course, we here at JDLand want to know what YOU think!) The developers are hoping to begin construction on the first phase apartment building in Spring 2013, but it would appear that this zoning process, like everything else tied to this project up to now, may not be as speedy as they might want.
If you want more background on how the commission reached its approvals in 2008, my many (MANY!) posts on the project are worth browsing, including the one I wrote in December detailing the changes in the new request. And do check out the latest drawings (and scroll down for the old ones).
Comments (10)
 
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Comments

btz says: (2/2/12 6:00 PM)
This design is not a revolution in urban planning and seems to be a quick and cheap way to cash in on a hot rental market in DC. Which is what this whole "redesignation of Phase 1" seems like on the part of Florida Rock. Nothing wrong with that if you're the developer but holistically speaking DC and the residents of Near SE can and should do better. we shouldn't let them cash in on a hot market when so much has been promised by the way of urban planning and waterfront planning. I would attempt to stop this design in its current conception any way possible.


btz says: (2/2/12 6:01 PM)
it looks like L'enfant plaza buildings.


lefabe says: (2/2/12 6:40 PM)
it looks like more bullshit like the JPI apartments.


David Garber says: (2/2/12 7:03 PM)
MRP Realty, who had planned to re-present plans at our February ANC meeting, has now decided to take another month to work on design modifications based on Zoning Commission comments and a *substantial* set of comments submitted on behalf of the Citizens Development Advisory Committee (made up of residents of this neighborhood who have expressed interest in giving input on new development that comes through the ANC).

Seeing as this is a hugely visible and precedent-setting direct waterfront/parkfront building, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how these plans progress based on the input they've been given up to this point.

If any neighborhood residents want to join the Development Advisory Committee, please send me an email: dggarber at gmail.


JD says: (2/2/12 7:07 PM)
David--Is there a web site or mailing list or somewhere that residents who aren't on your advisory committee can find out exactly what the committee's feedback is and what projects they are working on? Seems like something that would be of interest to people, to know what their fellow residents are giving as feedback on behalf of the neighborhood as a whole.



David Garber says: (2/2/12 7:43 PM)
JD--As a clarification, the committee is not claiming to speak for the neighborhood as a whole, although the more input I get the better I'm able to respond when they present to us at the ANC meetings.

I originally publicized the advisory committee on the neighborhood email list (www.groups.google.com/group/navy-yard-neighbors), my ANC Facebook page (www.facebook.com/voteGarber), and on Twitter (www.twitter.com/GarberDC) --but if there are others still interested in joining, please don't hesitate to be in touch! More voices=better.


swdckp says: (2/3/12 10:33 AM)
Fight the power, Mr. Turnbull! The renderings look really awful-- they remind me of Tiber Island in SW.


G ST SE says: (2/3/12 10:57 AM)
Hold the line. There is only one chance to get this right. Demand more creative architecture and put the pressure on developers to absorb the costs. Tiber Island in SW is a gross example of a waterfront done poorl y and it has mucked up the vision for nearly 50 years. Reject the boxy cheap designs and require more attractive options which embrace the waterfront concepts and access to the Anacostia for all.

Everything else will follow this lead - good or bad. Don't believe the developer hype - require them to make commitments to excellence in design and usage!


ttassa says: (2/3/12 11:11 AM)
I'm not expert, but just a frequenter of this site. The new plans and latest designs seem like a big disappointment. Why try and screw this one up? What's the point of building something that isn't a destination. Step up.


MalS says: (2/3/12 1:02 PM)
The original approved drawings look far better; they have a flowing quality very appropriate to the site. That quality is completely lacking in the new drawings. I hope the Commission fights hard on this; bad design in this great location would be a real shame.

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1300 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
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70 B/O I ST SE   THEFT
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100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 03/01/15
1000 B/O 5TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
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400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
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 02/28/15
100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
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 02/27/15
1000 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
 02/27/15
100 B/O CANAL ST SE   THEFT
2nd Degree
 02/24/15
1300 B/O 4TH ST SE   THEFT
Theft 1 (Theft F/Building)
 02/19/15
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100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT F/AUTO
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1000 5TH ST SE   
02/24/15 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HOUSING AUTHORITY / KIM MITCHELL CDKM CONSULTING LLC
B1412422 / CONSTRUCTION
NEW BUILDING PERMIT FOR NEW COMMUNITY CENTER INCLUDING STEEL STRUCTURE BRICK AND MASONRY BACKUP
1240 12TH ST SE   
02/19/15 
WASHINGTON GAS LIGHT CO / CARLTON W ROBINSON
E1503465 / SUPPLEMENTAL
909 HALF ST SE   
02/25/15 
23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES / DAVID MILLER
SB1500157 / CONSTRUCTION
INSTALLATION AND MONITORING OF 8 INCLINOMETER MONITORING SYSTEMS. THREE INCLINOMETER CASINGS TO BE INSTALLED ALONG THE K STREET BORDER OF THE PROJECT. THREE CASINGS TO BE INSTALLED ALONG THE I STREET BORDER OF THE PROJECT. TWO CASINGS TO BE INSTALLED ALONG THE HALF STREET BORDER OF THE PROJECT.
   
02/23/15 
23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES / 23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES; ANDREW DANCE
SB1500132 / CONSTRUCTION
A HOLLOW STEM AUGER WILL INSTALL UP TO 30 TEMPORARY DEWATERING WELLS BY ADVANCING A 12 OD / 8 1 / 4 ID BOREHOLE TO A DEPTH OF 65 FEET. AT DEPTH A 4 INCH PVC FLUSH JOINT THREADED WELL ASSEMBLY WILL BE SET AND SELECT FILTER PLACED. INTO EACH WELL WILL BE INSTALLED A 1 HP TURBINE SUBMERSIBLE PUMP. EFFLUENT WILL BE DIRECTED THROUGH A COMMON MANIFOLD TO A BAFFLED SETTLING TANK AND DISCHARGED TO THE LO...
   
03/03/15 
23 I LLC C/O RELATED COMPANIES / JOHN DIEHL ECC INC.
UT1500019 / CONSTRUCTION
REMOVAL OF THREE UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANKS ENCOUNTERED DURING EXCAVATION FOR REDEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES. ONE 1 000-GALLON HEATING OIL TANK ONE 1 000-GALLON KEROSENE TANK AND ONE 500-GALLON OIL / WATER SEPARATOR.
1015 HALF ST SE   
02/18/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / STEPHEN R. HOLMAN
P1503532 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/02/15 
HALF ST SE LLC / MATT LOSIGNOR
P1503861 / SUPPLEMENTAL
50 M ST SE   
02/18/15 
ENGLEWOOD LLC / FVI2020
FD1500010 / CONSTRUCTION
FOUNDATION OF GRADE RELATED TO CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW HOTEL
55 M ST SE   
02/24/15 
HINES GLOBAL REIT 55 M STREET LLC / ANDREW P CARAYIANNIS
M1501184 / SUPPLEMENTAL
100 M ST SE   
02/13/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / RONNIE E WRIGHT
E1503331 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/13/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / DAVID FLEMING
P1503495 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/19/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / DAVID FLEMING
P1503597 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/20/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / GREGORY E LIGON
E1503498 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/23/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / ANTHONY G SAMBURG
E1503518 / SUPPLEMENTAL
901 M ST SE   
02/19/15 
US GOVERNMENT NAVY PWC / SUMMIT CONSTRUCTION AND ES
B1504570 / CONSTRUCTION
REQUEST AND E&S PERMIT FOR WORK ON FEDERAL INSTALLATION. INSTALLING FOOTINGS AND SLAB WITH PORTCH SUPPORTS. MINOR GRADING AND SEEDING. BUILDING FOOTPRINT IS UNDER 700SF. LAND DISTURBANCE INCLUDING GRADING AND SEEDING IS UNDER 2 500SF.
100 M ST SE   
02/19/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / JOHN H THOMSON
E1503464 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/20/15 
SQUARE 743 INC / DAVID RAINE; SQUARE 743 INC; DAVID RAINE
P38575591 / SUPPLEMENTAL
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/24/15 
NEW JERSEY AT H LLC / JOHN H THOMSON
E1503556 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
02/13/15 
BAKER DC / CHRISTINE LONG
AH1500246 / CONSTRUCTION
AN AFTER HOURS PERMIT IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED FROM 7:00PM THRU 7:00AM
909 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/26/15 
909 NEW JERSEY AVENUE ACQUISITION LLC / DAVID L. HAHN
P1503815 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1000 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
02/23/15 
CAPITOL HILL TOWER HOUSING COOPERATIVE INCF / SHAWN ALEX HELLER
HO1500118 / HOME OCCUPATION
HOME OFFICE (LAW OFFICE).
25 POTOMAC AVE SE   
03/03/15 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC /
P1503907 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1500 SOUTH CAPITOL ST SE   
03/02/15 
WASHINGTON NATIONALS STADIUM LLC / MATT LOSIGNOR
P1503862 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/03/15 
NATIONALS PARK / KEVIN HOOVER; NATIONALS PARK; KEVIN HOOVER
E21362502 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 TINGEY ST SE   
02/13/15 
RICHARD CERVERA / NATHANIEL GILL
B1504014 / CONSTRUCTION
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