March Madness it isn't, but the teams may be competing every bit as hard, and now its down to the final four. The District has narrowed its list of developers for its project at 5th and I Streets down to four: JBG, Buccini/Pollin, Potomac Investment Properties, and a group comprised of Holland Development, Donohoe Development, Spectrum Management, and Harris Development. 463 I Street, the half-acre site in Mt. Vernon Triangle, had attracted seven bids by the March 7 deadline, but three got voted off the island.
Since we now only had to research four proposals, instead of seven, we thought we would show you a preview of what to expect:
The Arts at 5th and I (Holland-Donohoe): A Shalom Baranes-designed creation (rendering below) that would reach 120 feet in height, with a swanky ME by Melia, a Spanish hotel chain opening their first venue in the States. Sitting on top of the 174-unit hotel would be a 96 unit residence, and underground (alleviating noise issues) would sport Boisdale, a London-based live jazz club.
Buccini/Pollin: With master Architect Sorg & Associates, BPG is planning a 130-foot, 12-story building that would house not just one but two hotels: A 186-room Aloft hotel and 128-bed Element hotel, sitting on top of a two-story, 30,000-s.f. entertainment venue called World Cafe Live.
JBG: No catchy name yet, but with design by New York-based FXFOWLE (we're not being obnoxious, they spell it in all caps), the project would include a 230-bed hotel, 187 market rate residences, 34 subsidized residential units, and 44,000 s.f. of retail/commercial space "appropriately scaled to serve the community" with "priority to local retailers." In addition to the subject parcel, JBG will add its contract negotiations with the sellers of adjacent parcels, upping the space that could be developed.
i5 (Potomac Investment Properties): And since it looks like a hotel is destined to occupy the site, PIP is proposing a 79-room Avalon hotel - an independent four-star hotel now in Portland and, it claims, only the 7th LEED certified hotel on the planet. Capping the hotel would be 84 units of mixed income apartments, some of which would be dedicated to artists who would live, work, and just plain be creative on site. Designed by Martinez & Johnson Architecture, the whole building would be designed to achieve a LEED Gold rating. But forget environmentalism, Constantine Stavropolous - owner of Tryst, Open City, and the Diner - would open a fourth retail venue on site (we don't want to bias the decision makers, but they make the only good cappuccino in the city). The scrupulous reader has already realized that PIP has a far smaller total unit count, an intentional decision that building the project as Matter of Right, rather than seeking zoning changes, would allow it to start the project 'within a year' of gaining control of the site.