Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hine School Project: Planning Not Quite Done



Sometimes ‘final’ doesn’t mean final. Exhibit A: the DC Zoning Commission’s meeting on Monday night to take final action on Capitol Hill’s Hine School development.

Developers Stanton/EastBanc may have arrived at the meeting expecting a resolution of zoning issues, but it turned out that the commissioners weren’t quite done. A host of questions arose that the developers will need to respond to by October 29th, and the topic will be taken up again by the Commission, probably on November 19th.

The commissioners spent almost an hour going over details of the project and materials that the developers had turned in following the most recent zoning meeting on September 10, and came up with new questions. Many of the issues were quite technical, covering topics like the District’s First Source hiring policy and the construction management agreement; others, such as whether trucks would have adequate space to unload, were slightly broader. But the result is a slowed down process for Stanton/EastBanc, which may have to re-open discussions with the local ANC in order to resolve the questions that the committee posed.

“We were obviously disappointed that the final vote didn’t happen last night, since we’re on a tight timeframe; we need to move forward to close on land and start construction,” explained Mary Mottershead, EastBanc’s head of development. “Some of the items won’t be ready for completion when we need the [permits] for building,” she worried.

The Hine School project—which will include residential units and ground floor retail in Capitol Hill’s busy Eastern Market area—has moved slowly since it was awarded to the developers September 2009. Intense community engagement has necessitated a bevy of meetings and consultations, and numerous revisions, and these final zoning commission meetings are the result of roughly 15 hours of hearings that occurred over the summer.

Still, even as the development team responds to the questions that arose, they are focused on the future, said Mottershead. “We’re still moving forward,” she said. “We’re working on construction drawings and permit plans, and we’re hopeful the next meeting will be the last one.”

Washington D.C. real estate development news

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Three years and the process is not done yet. Wow!

One reason supply is constrained and the "rents are too damned high!"

 

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