City Paper is not for tourists
A bit more information is coming out on the McMillan Sand Filtration Plant planning process—all the players seem to be in place now, and we have a rough picture of the project’s long term fiscal impact on the District.
First, the architects—there are five. I mentioned last week that Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects had been brought on as the master planner for the whole campus, and that the Lessard Group had been hired by EYA to design the townhouse residential component. For the multifamily units, Jair Lynch has picked WDG Architects, which has a number of big glassy office towers in the District that provide some insight into what the McMillan apartments will look like. Trammel Crow, which is doing 440,000 square feet worth of medical office buildings, selected D.C. favorite Shalom Baranes to design them. Finally, Nelson Byrd Woltz has been brought on to design the parks and open space—they’ve done interesting projects in places like St. Louis, Charlottesville, and Pasadena.
In the next few months, the developers will be finishing and presenting studies on traffic, historic preservation, fiscal impact, and stormwater management that will be presented in community planning meetings. The Department of Planning and Economic Development’s Project manager, Clint Jackson, says they’ll be setting up a wiki where residents can review studies and plans.
“Our primary goal now is to build consensus with the community around the site plan, and have that milestone achieved,” Jackson told Housing Complex. The target date for that would be this winter, with presentations to the Historic Preservation Review Board and the Zoning Commission in the first quarter of 2011.
The District will be picking up the tab for all those planning expenses. But according to Jackson, the District doesn’t expect to help the developers out with a bigger infusion of capital, as had been suggested earlier.
“How we’re leading the project now, we’re not assisting the developers,” Jackson says. “The District is just taking responsibility for these predevelopment expenses.”
Of course, there’s the very large “expenditure” of letting developers build on public land. But in the long term, a fiscal impact statement commissioned by the developers suggests that considerable benefit will redound to the District in the form of tax revenue. According to consultants Green Door Advisors, the offices, retail, hotel, and residences will generate $756.6 million before 2042. With $243.5 million in expenditures—$73 million of which are assumed to be created through a 20-year, 5 percent interest bond—that leaves the city with about $513 million over three decades.