(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) A property developer’s proposal to construct a seven-story building on land occupied by a large outdoor plaza in Adams Morgan is getting a mixed reaction in the neighborhood.
PN Hoffman’s plan to build on the SunTrust plaza at 1800 Columbia Road NW has picked up backers and detractors after community leaders revealed the proposal last week.
Billy Simpson, an Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C member, on Wednesday said PN Hoffman didn’t present a “reasonable development” when it created renderings that showed only a small section of the current plaza open to pedestrians. Rather, Simpson has said he wants PN Hoffman to renovate and beautify the plaza, not make it smaller.
But not everyone had a problem with the developer’s plan.
A Borderstan commenter who goes by “scooterj2003” was among several people who voiced support online for PN Hoffman’s proposal. The individual called the plaza “a blight.”
“It does occasionally hold a farmers market that can and should be located across the street,” the commenter wrote. “However most of the time it is empty.”
PN Hoffman representatives initially were scheduled to attend an ANC meeting on March 16 to discuss their plans. But they backed out, saying they will reconsider their plaza proposal, Simpson told locals in an email over the weekend.
“To PN Hoffman’s credit, upon hearing strong negative reactions to the plan, they have agreed to cancel coming to ANC1C’s Planning, Zoning, and Transportation Committee in March while they assess alternatives,” Simpson said. “They have indicated that they will connect with Commissioners later in March.”
Monty Hoffman, chief executive officer of PN Hoffman, said in a statement:
“PN Hoffman has a longstanding track record of working with the community, and a vested interest in the neighborhoods where we build homes and retail options. Our approach will be the same for this site in Adams Morgan. We should also recognize that the plaza area is privately owned and taxed land with no deed restrictions. That said, at the request of the ANC Commissioners, we have postponed our presentation to the ANC’s PZT Committee to further study implications of their concerns. There are also many in the community who are unhappy with the corner’s current barren condition and would prefer improvements and activation. There is much to consider, and we look forward to working with stakeholders and community members to reach a suitable outcome.”
Do you think PN Hoffman should construct a building that takes up much of the SunTrust plaza? You can weigh in through the poll and in the comments.
Images via ANC 1C/PN Hoffman, Google Maps