Around 25-30 residents attended last night’s ANC 6B Hill East Task Force meeting at St. Coletta of Greater Washington. The main topic of discussion was the status of the Request for Expressions of Interest for Parcels F1 & G1 on Reservation 13. Ketan Gada from the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development’s (DMPED) office provided the task force with an update on the RFEI and answered a number of great questions. Here are the highlights:
- Gada outlined key aspects of the RFEI – the response deadline (Jan. 7, 2013), response requirements and DMPED’s timeline. He noted that the RFEI requires developers to submit two proposals – one that complies with the full affordable housing requirements on the site (30 percent) and an alternative proposal with the number of affordable housing units the development team feels can be supported on the site without government subsidy (minimum of 13 percent). DMPED’s handout (pdf) and my Oct. 22 post provide additional details on the RFEI.
- DMPED plans to review all proposals received on Jan. 7, eliminate any non-responsive proposals from consideration and ask development teams to present their plans to ANC 6B and ANC 7F in February. After receiving ANC and community feedback, DMPED will either select a winning development team or narrow the list and ask finalists to submit Best and Final Offers. DMPED’s goal is to select a development team by spring 2013.
- Gada said that DMPED anticipates receiving 3-5 proposals from development teams. When evaluating proposals, DMPED will consider past experience with the development team, compliance with applicable laws, community feedback, green building requirements and any requests for government subsidy. Not surprisingly, DMPED prefers development proposals that do not seek District subsidy or funds.
- The District is offering Parcels F1 & G1 “as is,” which means that the winning development team will be responsible for infrastructure requirements, including partial street extensions of Massachusetts Ave. SE, Burke Street SE, C Street SE and the full build out of the “Village Square” around the Stadium-Armory Metro plaza. Gada said the street extensions would be public streets and that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) does not have funding to complete full extensions of the street at this time. I expect the District will have to fund some of the Massachusetts Avenue SE extension since it would be the main point of access to the DC Jail.
- Besides funding, Gada said the National Park Service’s ownership of the Anacostia waterfront land may also prevent construction of the full Mass Ave. extension in the near future. The “Monument Circle” envisioned as the termination point of Mass Ave would actually be located on NPS land, and NPS has been unwilling to sell or lease the land to DC. Monument Circle is the only portion of NPS land that is “touched” in the master plan – the rest would continue to be green space. However, DDOT has proposed constructing “Park Drive,” a roadway that would connect Independence Ave, the newly constructed Monument Circle and a newly reconstructed Barney Circle. This proposed roadway is a really bad idea, particularly since it would block Reservation 13 and the neighborhood from the waterfront. In any event, NPS still needs to be convinced that leasing or selling the their waterfront land to DC is a good idea.
- The task force and attendees raised concerns about the piecemeal nature of the development and whether DMPED or anyone in DC Government would provide appropriate oversight to ensure that the full vision of the master plan is realized. Gada said that compliance with master plan is required in the RFEI and that development teams would have to comply with the form-based zoning and design guidelines approved for the site. Ultimately, the ANC and the surrounding neighborhood will have to play an active role in ensuring that DC government, DMPED and the development teams are following the master plan.
- Once construction at F1 & G1 is underway, Gada said that DMPED plans to issue RFEIs for parcels along the proposed Mass Ave. extension and then move north towards Independence Avenue. Of course, further RFEIs would be contingent on DC government relocating a number of the shelters, services and clinics currently operating at DC General. Gada said that DMPED is talking with the Department of General Services and other relevant agencies about relocating their services. Gada could not provide a definitive timeline for future RFEIs.
- When asked about the status of the deteriorating Anne Archbold Hall, the only building on the site that is a historic landmark, Gada said that the Department of General Services recently sent out an inspection team to determine what needs to be done to stabilize the building and prevent further damage. DGS plans to use available funding to repair the building’s roof and replace damaged windows.
Please post your comments, questions or anything I missed below.