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It’s a common complaint when following urban infill projects: The neighbors say developers never listen to their concerns. I’ve usually found this generalization to be less than truthful; most projects go through extensive revision before reaching their final form, for better or for worse (just recently, see 1905-1917 14th Street, the Hine School project, Eastbanc’s Exxon project, H Street Connection…the list goes on and on). The most recent new project to pop onto D.C.’s real estate radar screen, a 55-unit apartment building on 14th Street, reacted so quickly to neighborhood grumbling about the glassy facade that architect Sarah Alexander politely declined to send over building renderings, saying they would be changing so drastically that it wouldn’t be worth the trouble.
That’s not to say all architects are so responsive. But many are, whether they need to be or not.