Hill ANC Agrees to Public Benefits for Waterfront Development

by George Altshuler November 20, 2014 at 3:05 pm 1 Comment

ANC 6B and a developer have agreed on public benefits for the first component of a project that will create four waterfront buildings east of Southeast Freeway.

ANC 6B commissioners voted unanimously yesterday evening (Wednesday) to back plans for the first of four residential and retail buildings at 1333 M St. SE, near Barney Circle.

Cohen Siegel Investors LLC agreed to create a dog park, install a public lawn and “wildflower meadow” on the waterfront, and make 17 of its 218 units affordable. The agreement with ANC 6B limited construction hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Some residents fear that developers are not planning enough parking for residents of the 10-story building, and that newcomers will clog already-crowded streets. The total complex will have 221 parking spaces for 673 units.

Commissioner Nichole Opkins told residents concerned about parking that she didn’t think people who move into the complex will park far from home, outside the complex’s dedicated parking.

“I’m not going to take that. These are fair questions for me to ask, Commissioner Opkins,” local Karen Harris replied. “There are 400 more spaces than units.”

A spokesman for the developers pointed out that they are providing 176 more spaces than zoning code requires.

Commission Chair Brian Flahaven said the cost of parking in the complex would filter out some potential residents.

“If people can’t pay for a spot, they’re probably not going to go to that building. That’s just the way the market works,” he said. “If we built a 600-car garage, we would just attract more people and more cars.”

The commissioners voiced dismay at the building’s final color, saying the D.C. Zoning Commission forced the developer to change the color from red to neutral. Cohen Siegel was forced to use “Soviet” colors, Commissioner Brian Pate joked.

“We’re tired of the dissolution of projects that offer bold new architecture for our city,” he said.

The project will now go before the Zoning Commission.

Photos via Cohen Siegel Investors


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