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POLL: Do You Back Developer’s Latest Plan for Adams Morgan Site?

by Andrew Ramonas October 7, 2016 at 10:30 am 48 Comments

(Updated at 8:40 a.m. Oct. 14) Elected officials representing Adams Morgan this week unanimously approved a non-binding resolution that opposes the most recent attempt by a developer to construct a mixed-use building in the heart of the neighborhood.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C’s 6-0 vote on the measure Wednesday night came after a meeting in which almost all the locals in attendance criticized PN Hoffman’s plan to build on the SunTrust plaza and the rest of 1800 Columbia Road NW. D.C. agencies reviewing the developer’s proposal are mandated to give “great weight” to the resolution.

In an effort to address previous concerns from ANC 1C, the developer’s representatives at the meeting showed off new renderings that 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.

“It’s just too damn big for 18th Street,” ANC 1C chairman Ted Guthrie said.

A Borderstan story about the vote drew several comments that were supportive of PN Hoffman.

“[T]his is a very divided issue and at worst, the NIMBYS against this are an actual minority,” one commenter wrote under the alias “A.”

“AW” noted in a comment that ANC 1C’s opposition will turn into “another instance of an ANC demanding far too much and getting nothing.”

“The commissioners and their supporters have taken an unreasonable position and do not seem interested in anything other than a small cottage and a large public plaza on the site paid for by someone else,” AW wrote.

So, do you back PN Hoffman’s latest plan for the SunTrust property?

You can share your thoughts with ANC 1C’s commissioners and the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board, which is expected to consider PN Hoffman’s proposal this month. HPRB must approve the developer’s plans in order for construction to begin.

You also can weigh in through the poll and in the comments.

On Oct. 11, a PN Hoffman representative released the following statement:

We appreciate the feedback regarding the proposed redevelopment of 1800 Columbia Road.

PN Hoffman invites those who want to comment on the project to attend the HPRB Hearing on Thursday, October 27th, time TBD. If one cannot attend this hearing, letters may be shared directly with the Historic Preservation Office – at [email protected], copying your ANC representative (addresses may be found here for your specific Commissioner) as well as the PN Hoffman team at [email protected], with reference to case number 16-388.

As always, we continue to invite direct feedback by reaching out to our development team at [email protected].

On Oct. 13, ANC 1C commissioner JonMarc Buffa issued this statement:

I really appreciate Borderstan covering this important issue. It is great to see our community engaged on issues of such significance. Every voice is important and deserves to be heard.

I wanted to briefly note that online reader surveys are fundamentally unscientific. The results rely on a self-selecting group of respondents who are not necessarily representative of the Adams Morgan community as a whole. Professional polls take important steps to ensure a representative sample. Online polls are purely for entertainment. Readers should not mistake an online survey for the scientific surveys done by professional pollsters.

As a Commissioner in Adams Morgan, I should also emphasize that the Borderstan results are not consistent with the views of the many residents who have emailed or spoken with me. I respect those who post to Borderstan but the results are not representative of the Adams Morgan community. I’ve always been open to dialogue with neighbors on this issue. I hope neighbors will keep sharing their views.

Finally, the PN Hoffman project is subject to the legal constraints of the Historic Preservation Guidelines as applied to the Washington Heights Historic District. Any proposed development on the site must successfully resolve these issues.

Renderings via ANC 1C/PN Hoffman

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