Sure enough, concurring with neighborhood objections, the federally-appointed board that reviews construction in Georgetown last week kiboshed plans for a four-story, seven-condo project on a little parking lot on Cecil Place just south of the canal. The Luddite, PDF-only Georgetown Current reports that the OGB “said the top story, rood access and projecting bays ought to be removed, and the design needs to better match southern Georgetown’s industrial character.”
Despite the fact that there’s an eight-story building at the other end of the block, the buildings next to it are four stories, and there hasn’t really been any industry in Georgetown for several decades.
The question now is: Can anything get built there?
Dave Steinbraker—-whose family has owned the empty lot since the 1940s—-tells me that the Capital City Real Estate team plans to resubmit a new design, so apparently they think it can work with fewer units. And it’s all the same to him, since the purchase price won’t change, no matter what the developer gets to build. “I don’t really have a dog in this fight,” he says. “I don’t want to see just any old thing thrown up there, so I’m sympathetic to the neighbors.”
Does it really matter, from the city’s perspective, whether four rich people or seven rich people get to live in whatever gets built on that site? Big picture, no. It’s just frustrating to see supply constrained by the arbitrary and personal whims of people who happen to live next door.