Audi Field Parcel B Moves Forward

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The current situation at The Wharf 2. Photo: PH Hoffman & Associates

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D met on Nov. 8 over Zoom. Commissioners Jared Weiss (6D02, secretary), Ronald Collins (6D03, treasurer), Andy Litsky (6D04), Fredrica (Rikki) Kramer (6D05, vice chair), Rhonda Hamilton (6D06) and Edward Daniels (6D07, chair) were in attendance. 6D01 is vacant.

Parcel B is located on the vacant field just to the east of Audi Field and north of the Superior Concrete Plant. It is part of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) that includes Audi Field. PN Hoffman & Associates plans a 508,298 sq. ft., development on the lot. The PUD subjects the project to a design review by the DC Zoning Commission, which is scheduled for mid-December. The project also requires a slight adjustment to the PUD’s boundaries and two curb cuts, which must be approved by the DC Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Committee on Public Space.

For the Parcel B site, Hoffman plans 10,780 sq. ft. of retail, 39,661 sq. ft. of entertainment, 41,043 sq. ft. of office and 416,804 sq. ft. of residential uses. A total of 455 rental residences are planned, 110 of which will be 100% affordable senior housing. The remainder will be market rate except for 8% reserved as affordable dwellings. 305 parking spaces are planned. The offices will house the headquarters of Volunteers of America, which will also be the administrator of the senior component of the project.

Hoffman as arranged with DDOT to create a pocket park on the parcel’s northeastern side on top of a section of the two-level parking garage. The remainder of the park is on public space next to Potomac Avenue SW with DDOT’s permission, whose maintenance will be subject to a special covenant with DDOT.

“We got more green space,” Commissioner Kramer stated in her positive assessment of the project. Commissioner Litsky, however, expressed his dissatisfaction with the level of detail Vice President of Construction for Hoffman & Associates Tony Albanese afforded related to the park. “I would like a much better articulation of the green space,” he stated, several of his colleagues concurring.

The current situation at The Wharf 2. Photo: PH Hoffman & Associates

Aside from the issue of the pocket park, Litsky questioned the developer sharply about the project’s affordability and transportation plan. Affordability for the senior apartments is guaranteed for 50 years, thereafter it is limited to the 8% required under inclusionary zoning along with the market rate units. Given the project’s distance to the Navy Yard Metro, Litsky urged Hoffman to include car sharing, bike parking and electric vehicle charging onsite. Chair Daniels expressed his concern that stadium visitors would occupy all available parking during game days reducing that available to residents.

Given the long history of the parcel as an industrial site, Commissioners Collins and Hamilton raised concerns about the Hoffman’s plans for its remediation. “This is the most contaminated parcel in Buzzard Point. We would like to have extensive community meetings with the remediation firm you select,” said Hamilton. Hoffman is developing a plan for the entire parcel in conjunction with DDOT and The DC Department of Energy and The Environment (DOEE). Remediation efforts will include the entire parcel. Hamilton emphasized the need for air quality monitors throughout the remediation and construction process.

The public space north of the north property line will be a subject of a covenant to maintain the special materials in the northern park. Hamilton wants air quality monitors and programming and services for seniors. Citing lack of details in Hoffman’s plans for both the new green space and transportation, Commissioners tabled any vote on the project until their December meeting.

Other Development News

PN Hoffman & Associates, the developer of 1000 Fourth St. SW, the parcel next to the CVS, stated its plans for pouring the project’s foundation. Concrete service is also needed on both sides of the building, stated Vice President of Construction Tony Albanese. This will entail routing truck traffic out of the parcel’s Fourth Street SW curb cut.

Albanese also discussed the need for a road closure on Maine Avenue SW for the second phase of The Wharf. No date has been set as yet. The Atlantic Magazine has signed a lease for the office building on Parcel 10. Oct. 12, 2022 is the target date for the phase’s competition. The condos may take another month to open. Litsky requested Hoffman return to give a comprehensive update at the commission’s December meeting.

The plan for the new pocket park at Parcel B. Rendering: PN Hoffman & Associates.

Commissioner Kramer informed the commission that DDOT’s Committee on Public Space had approved the curb cuts for the development planned on the site of the Superior Concrete Plant at 700 Half St. SW. This is critical for developer MRP’s plans to solicit a grocery tenant.

The DC Preservation League, Kramer also reported, has filed an application to landmark the Buzzard Point Pepco Plant with the backing of the utility. The commission voted to send a letter adding their support unanimously with Hamilton abstaining.

Kramer than reported that the commission’s FOIA for documents related to the solicitation for the redevelopment of Greenleaf Gardens had been rejected by the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) “This is a stonewall by DCHA, plain and simple. We might have expected this, but I did not think they would be so brazen,” observed Commissioner Litsky.

Other Matters

MPD First District Commander Ralph Mclean briefed the commission on public safety. Crime down from last year during the same time period, he stated. Commander Mclean cautioned citizens about walking with phones out and leaving cars running unattended. Commissioner Kramer reported that a Buzzard Point resident was unable to return by Uber to her apartment during a game day due to public safety officers. Kramer termed it unacceptable. Mclean promised to look into the matter.

The commissioners complained about the proliferation of unlocked, for-hire scooters abandoned on streets, sidewalks and private property. An expected representative from DDOT representative did not show up.

Commissioners unanimously approved a letter in support of the Prevent Health Cancer 5k, the appointment of Travis Johnson as Chair of ANC 6D ABC Committee, as well as the Treasurer’s reports for the third and fourth quarters of FY 2020.

ANC 6D meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of every month. The next meeting is Dec. 13 via Zoom. For more information and links to join ANC meetings, visit www.anc6d.org.