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The next step in the process to redevelop the Metro "chiller site" on the southwest corner of Half and L streets, SE, is expected later this week, with the WMATA board set to vote on the term sheet for the sale of the site to MRP Realty and CAS Riegler.
It was announced back in June that WMATA had chosen MRP/CAS's plan to redevelop the site with a 126-unit condo building with 6,000 square feet of retail.
The term sheet lays out the requirements of the sale, which include the preservation of the existing chiller plant operations at or below grade level, chiller plant cooling towers on the building roof, and 500 square feet of office space for ten years for Metro staff. In addition, Metro will have five parking spaces at the building, which is currently designed to have 55 parking spaces for the 126 units.
The documents prepared for Thursday's vote include the above drawing, showing the new building as seen from the northeast corner of Half and L. (That's 20 M at left and 1015 Half at far right.)
However, because nothing ever moves swiftly with this site, this vote just means that WMATA and MRP/CAS can then negotiate the full Joint Development Agreement, setting the terms for the purchase of the site, construction of the project, and continued WMATA operations on the site. It's not expected that agreement will come back to the WMATA board until spring--and then the closing of the sale of the site would be 24 months after that approval, which pushes the timeline into 2017.
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JES says: (9/9/14 3:25 PM)
24 months just to close a sale? That seems insane.


JD says: (9/9/14 3:36 PM)
Agreed. I tried to read the tea leaves to figure out if there's some chance of construction starting before the sale, which I would doubt and could find no evidence of, but still just seems weird. However, the stories back in June of the MRP/CAS choice did say that construction wasn't expected to start until 2016, and perhaps now the timeline is lengthening, as they do.


202_cyclist says: (9/10/14 7:05 AM)
Five dedicated parking spaces for employees who work at a transit agency at a building that will be a two minute walk from the metro station? That is ridiculous. I will remember this the next time WMATA wants to raise fares.


JD says: (9/10/14 8:02 AM)
To be fair, the chiller machinery will need visits from mechanics, who probably wouldn't be lugging all manner of equipment through the subway. If you look at the site currently, you see Metro work trucks parked there.


202_cyclist says: (9/10/14 1:10 PM)
I posted this in great haste this morning. You're right, perhaps the parking is for WMATA police vehicles or as you note, for maintenance. I just hope that WMATA isn't giving free parking as a perk to employees working a two minute walk from the station.

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