For what its worth, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development announced today that three teams have been selected to submit "final offers" for the right to redevelop the former Hine Junior High School on Capitol Hill. That would be newsy, but for the fact that on June 9th the District of Columbia narrowed the list from 6 developers to 4. The upshot: the team of National Development Campus / Western Development has been eliminated.
No word yet on why Western Development got the boot, nor why the elimination of one of the four remaining teams was significant. The Deputy Mayor's office issued a press release on Thursday inviting all developers (all except Western, that is) to submit "final" bids in "early August," stating that "the three proposals were the closest in line with the Capitol Hill community's preference...because they all called for a mix of neighborhood-serving retail, new housing and great public spaces." Presumably, Western failed to meet those needs. The Western team, led by local Ben Miller, who helped develop Chinatown and owns Georgetown Park, was recently heralded by the Citypaper for its concept of a nonprofit incubator which, unlike the other contestants, obviously failed to make the appropriate to-do about retail and housing around the Eastern Market site, leaving it well-funded but too fuzzy for local tastes.
The school was closed in 2007, in part to free up funds for the DCPS headquaters. Responses to the District’s request for final offers will be due in early August and a selection could be made as soon as the end of August.