Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Zoning Commission Approves Hine School Redevelopment Project

Washington DC commercial real estate development newsObservers of the long-running saga that is the redevelopment of Capitol Hill’s Hine School can finally turn the page. Yesterday, DC’s zoning commission definitively approved the project’s PUD, which means developers Stanton-EastBanc can now move forward and focus on next steps: gathering financing and preparing for a groundbreaking next summer.

Hine School redevelopment by Stanton-Eastbanc, Capitol  Hill
Last night’s meeting was the project’s final action hearing. At a meeting last month, commissioners requested clarification on a number of mostly-small matters, like whether trucks would be limited to accessing the project’s loading docks by driving in rear-first. Stanton-EastBanc representatives submitted their responses—in the loading dock case, pointing out that the entire design would have to be altered in order to facilitate front-end loading—and the commissioners were satisfied.

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.

Washington DC commercial development - retail site for lease on Capitol Hill, Alex Golding
But the project’s community-engagement process has finally come to an end, and the developers are ready to move on. “We’re seeking financing for the project, and are starting that whole process of getting building permits,” explained Alex Golding, a senior associate with Stanton Development Company. He said that the partners started assembling construction documents and drawings some time ago in order to hit the ground running once the PUD was approved, and will be soliciting construction bids in early 2013. “We’re closing with the District [on the property] in July 2013 and hope to begin construction right after that,” he added.

Of course, not everything related to the project’s community aspects has been sewn up. Questions of where the Eastern Market flea market will be located are still unresolved. The market—which has been located on the Hine School site and is currently run by two different private entities—will temporarily operate on a closed 7th Street, but the city hasn’t yet approved that location as a permanent solution. To boot, questions of whether those private groups will continue to run the weekend markets, or whether the city should take them over, are still pending.

Washington, D.C., real estate development news


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