Plans for two hotels in the Wharf development were presented to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D at their last meeting. These will be just northwest of 7th Street, on the waterfront, in Parcel 5 of the development. The ANC commissioners will meet with the developers over the next month to further study the plans before they vote on endorsing them at their January 14 meeting. The meeting will be at 1100 4th St. SW, on the second floor, at 7 PM. The plans will be presented to the Zoning Commission in the middle of February.
The hotels are proposed to be 110 feet high, 20 feet lower than the adjoining buildings. Neither of these hotels will have conference centers or ballrooms. One is a 245-room minimal-service nine-story hotel. The other is a 160-room, ten-story extended-stay hotel. Thirty thousand square feet of retail space are proposed on the first floor of the complex. This might include a bookstore, an antique shop, a stationary store, a bakery, dry cleaner, restaurants or bars. Two levels of parking below the hotels will be reserved for hotel guests.
Although the retail space goes almost to the next thoroughfare to the north, Jazz Alley, the upper levels of the hotel is set back from the alley creating an elevated plaza, opening the alley to light and air and allowing some view of the Washington Channel from existing buildings.
The developers will request two zoning variances for these hotels. The loading docks they propose will only accommodate 30-foot trucks, not the larger 55-foot long ones. They will also be requesting a variance on the penthouse setbacks. The normal requirement is that the penthouse be set back a distance equal to its height. Because of the design of the hotels, the penthouses, which will be on the parts of the hotels by a central plaza, will not be set back from the main building. They are also requesting that these penthouses not be set back at their ends for design reasons.
In answer to a question about the completion date of the hotels, the developers said they are hoping for some time in 2016 or 2017.
The renderings of the design of the hotels will be available in the Southwest DC Library for the public to study.
Kael Anderson, president of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly, introduced Madeline Clites to ask the commissioners for an endorsement of Historic Designation for Capitol Park Towers, 301 G St. SW, and their pool house and parking structure. Capitol Park Towers was the first building in DC to have open occupancy. This was before anti-discrimination laws. Satterlee and Smith Architects designed it. Chloethiel Woodard Smith was a woman architect who brought modern architecture to Southwest DC in the early 1960’s. Dan Kiley was the landscape architect. The commissioners voted unanimously to support the designation.
Ron McBee introduced a resolution to call on our DC Council member, Tommy Wells, to hold a working meeting early in 2013 to develop a Traffic Operations and Parking Plan for the baseball park. The average attendance at ball games in 2012 was 30,010. This was a 21% increase from 2011, and more people are expected this year. The Nationals had the best record in major league baseball this year. The resolution was unanimously approved.
The commissioners also unanimously approved a resolution against “free” internet gambling for DC. The Office of the Chief Financial Officer had released a competitive bid which, on page 88, requests “option pricing for free, web based games.” This ANC commission has been against this since September 12, 2011.
The commissioners endorsed the Washington Area Bicyclist Association Tour de Fat Bicycle Parade as part of their festival on June 1, 2013. This is a tour of bicycles with fat tires. About 300 bicycles will participate in the tour, as part of the 5000 people who are expected to attend the festival. It will be centered at Yards Park.
Cara Shockley was appointed to be chair of the local Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
She and Bob Craycraft, who are leaving the ANC, were thanked for their work, especially on development, employment and environmental issues.
At the November meeting, The ANC congratulated the Jefferson Academy Middle School for winning the DC Interscholastic Athletic Association city title in football. The team was undefeated this year. This is the first time the school has won this title. It had won titles in every other sport, but this is the first time for football. Mr. Ronald E. Hines is the coach.
The apartment and retail project proposed for 1111 New Jersey Ave. SE was again not supported by the ANC. This time the vote was three to three. The architects for the developers, Frederick Hammann and Siti Abul-Rahman of WDG, had improved the project, but the commissioners did not think they met the needs of the neighborhood. This was presented to the Zoning Commission on December 10.
A proposal for paddle sports rentals, such as canoes, kayaks and paddleboards at Diamond Teague Park at the pier on 1st St. SE was unanimously supported. The pier is available for launching private boats, but it is woefully underutilized. The commission urged that a vendor would be in place by next spring.
The commissioners voted unanimously to support a request to the DC Parks and Recreation and the Department of Health to fund $14,000 for a sand filter for the SW Duck pond. This should reduce the mosquito population and the possibility of West Nile Virus. The waterfoul population has tripled over what it was four years ago, at the beginning of the duck pond renovations.
The Hostel, proposed for 127 Q St., was given a two-year time extension.
The development of the Ball Park Hotel, otherwise known as the Capitol Riverfront Hotel at 1st and N St. SE was supported unanimously.
The ANC voted to support a change in the voluntary agreement of Ziegfield’s/Secrets at 1824 half St. SW, so they could serve on Mondays. New Year’s Eve is on a Monday this year.
Diane Schulz gave a very uplifting review of how Sandy had treated a Manhattan development, Battery Park City, designed by the same group working on our Wharf development. The Manhattan development did not fare badly. Their mechanical systems are on the roofs, the project is a little higher than the surrounding areas, and they had a vegetative barrier from the water.
By B.K. Lunde