A key Adams Morgan community leader told Borderstan today he is “heartened” by a developer’s decision to revamp its plans for a controversial mixed-use building in the heart of the neighborhood.
PN Hoffman last week withdrew a zoning application for the redevelopment of the SunTrust property (1800 Columbia Road NW), which the Adams Morgan Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C said had problems with height and scale. The developer, which has released new renderings for the project, is taking a “step in the right direction,” said ANC 1C commissioner JonMarc Buffa, who leads the commission’s planning and zoning committee.
“This is a huge win for the neighbors,” said Buffa, who called the developer’s previous proposal illegal. “As I have always said, I will support a project on this site if it complies with the law and addresses community concerns.”
To address concerns about its former plans for the SunTrust site, PN Hoffman lowered sections of the building on 18th Street to five stories, reduced the development’s height by five feet and bulked up the front of the structure, cutting the size of its proposed plaza by five feet, according to the developer.
PN Hoffman CEO Monty Hoffman said in a statement that his company works to bring a “balanced mix of thoughtful design and sensitivity to the neighborhoods.”
“We have done our very best to listen to all parties and optimize this site for the neighborhood accordingly, within the limits of regulations and commercial viability,” he said. “We believe our plans are a substantial improvement over what exists there today. We are honored to continue to be part of this community’s future.”
Buffa declined to comment on the specifics of PN Hoffman’s changes. But the ANC commissioner said he intends to share his opinions on them at his panel’s public meeting Wednesday night. Representatives of the developer are expected to attend.
“We need more details to fully understand this new iteration of the plans,” Buffa said.
Image via ANC 1C/PN Hoffman