David Garber Hine School Testimony | Business

RE: Z.C. Case No.

11-24 Stanton-EastBanc, LLC – Consolidated PUD & Related Map Amendment My name is David Garber and I am here to support the Stanton-EastBanc development team’s Hine School redevelopment project. Although I serve as the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for the Navy Yard neighborhood and as the Vice Chair of ANC 6D, my comments here are not meant to represent the opinions of my entire ANC. I am here as a resident of greater Capitol Hill and of Ward 6, and as someone who cares deeply about our neighborhoods and the developments that happen within them. I’ve been a regular visitor to Eastern Market my entire life, and currently live one mile southwest of the Hine School site. I engage with the site almost daily – whether shopping or dining nearby, swimming at the Rumsey Aquatic Center, working from the neighboring coffee shops, or visiting with friends and family in the adjoining neighborhood, and can confirm that as much as the Eastern Market area is an amenity and point of interest for those immediately adjacent to it, it is also an extremely important place for people from all sides of Capitol Hill. I support Stanton-EastBanc’s current proposal because it goes a long way to accomplish many of the diverse hopes for the site. Their proposal communicates architecturally with the surrounding neighborhood without taking a historicist design approach, it adds a significant amount of affordable housing in an area that increasingly needs it, it reopens C Street SE across the site, and it respects the scale of the existing neighborhood while adding appropriate new density to a transit-accessible location. I do, however, remain concerned about the use of first floor retail space for a child care facility. This creates a retail space in the evenings and on the weekends that is completely dead. Building in groundfloor space that won’t be used in the evenings or on weekends goes against one of the primary goals for the site – to bring activity to a Metro-accessible vacant property and tie together the existing business communities of Barracks Row, Eastern Market, and Pennsylvania Avenue. That said, if the child care facility does locate on the Hine site, I ask that it not be located at any of the retail corners, or in space currently allocated to affordable housing. Additionally, a new problem has emerged from the removal of the penthouse level of the office building at the corner of 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE: what was a tiered structure has been left looking much boxier. I know that more could be done to gracefully break up or distinguish elements of the massing while retaining or sensitively adding to the building’s existing square footage. Again, I support Stanton-EastBanc’s plans for the redevelopment of the Hine School. I know they are working hard to plan a project that will be a benefit to the neighborhood and the city. The inclusion of affordable housing and the reopening of C Street SE exemplify the kinds of community benefits expected from a Planned Unit Development and public land disposition. I am confident that their proposal will only bolster our affection for the site, and will finally bring a sense of completion to a space that has been an economic and visual hole for too long.

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