Swear to God, if I were trying to build things in this city, I’d propose the biggest possible project at the outset of a public negotiation, anticipating that it would shrink by at least 10 percent during the process. Above is the difference between the proposed office building at the Eastern Market Metro stop—-after developer Stanton/Eastbanc had already taken off a story to appease the Historic Preservation Review Board—-and the latest version arrived at after a tug-of-war with the Advisory Neighborhood Commission.
Although it now looks squatter and less interesting, the building hasn’t actually lost that much mass. By shuffling around the setbacks, architect Amy Weinstein was able to retain all but 4,700 square feet from the first version, and the project overall has grown 4.2 percent from the proposal that was submitted in response to the city’s request for proposals in 2010, to a total of 461,000 square feet.
That was only the most major of the concessions that the ANC has wrung out of the developers, though. After submitting a list of 83 community requests, they hammered out a 37-point document that will serve as the basis for a formal community benefits agreement. Among the other promises:
- Stanton/Eastbanc will provide no fewer than one parking space per condo in the market rate residential building, and request that the condo owners not be eligible for residential parking permits, while taking no position on whether residents of the affordable units get them (the ANC will oppose the poorer folks getting free city parking as well).
- There will be no nightclubs on C and D Street, no restaurants on the east half of the South building, and no commercial uses at all on 8th Street.
- Stanton/Eastbanc will provide $50 per square foot for the buildout of a 2,400-square-foot child development center for 24 lucky kids.
The most unhappy folks at this point are the ones who run the weekend flea market, which is losing more than half the spaces it has now. It’s unclear that will get resolved when the proposal hits the Zoning Commission on June 14.