ANC 6E Report - January 2016

Zoning Project for K Street Hotel and Condo

Representatives of the DC firm PGN Architects LLC spoke before the members of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6E during the January meeting to discuss plans for developing a property located at the corner of Fourth and K streets NW into a mixed-use building of condos and hotel rooms. The plans call for 200 hotel units, 30 residential units, and a small amenity space that will be used as a bar and lounge area. PGN representatives showed detailed plans of the project and noted that they had previously met with the DC Office of Zoning in October and November to discuss having the ability to provide valet parking service. In conjunction with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) they are proposing to locate the two valet parking spaces on the Fourth Street side. The group also requested support from the ANC for variance relief for 72 parking spaces that they will not be able to provide onsite. The representatives said that they have reached out to nearby parking facilities to cover the extra spaces and have recently received four letters of intent from interested facilities that have offered a combined 140 to 150 spaces, which will more than secure the 72 spaces needed. After the commissioners raised parking concerns the project representatives pointed out that most of the occupants will be on business and pleasure travel and unlikely to arrive in a car and take up a space. Representatives also noted that there will be no large ballroom or function space on the property to make it a destination spot that would accommodate events such as weddings. It is estimated that construction of the project could take two to three years. The commissioners voted in favor of supporting the group’s zoning relief request for parking, rear yard, and loading relief.

Ambar Receives Support for ABRA License

A representative of Ambar, a new bar and restaurant located at 1547 Seventh St. NW, requested support for a Class C, CR license from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). The representative told the commissioners that Ambar will provide no entertainment on the premises and is strictly a restaurant. There are plans for an enclosed sidewalk cafe on the property. If approved, cafe hours will end at 11 p.m. and midnight, consistent with the operating hours of the interior. The commissioners motioned to communicate support for the license request to ABRA subject to the approval of a settlement agreement between the commission and the restaurant owners.

Rooftop Zoning Request for Fifth Street Hotel

Representatives of a hotel located at 901 Fifth St. NW requested support for structure relief for a rooftop bar and restaurant. They assured the commissioners that the space would not be used as a nightclub but rather a cocktail lounge. Other uses for the rooftop will include residential recreation space. The commissioners passed a motion to communicate support for the structure relief request to the Board of Zoning Adjustment contingent on the space not being used as a nightclub.

Supports Change of Class Application

Variety Store, located at 1618 Eighth St. NW, requested support to change from an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board Class B license to a Class A license. The establishment is a convenience store that sells beer and wine, and the license change will provide the ability to sell liquor. Subject to the signing of a settlement agreement between ANC 6E and Variety Store’s owner, the commissioners supported the application change and will communicate that support to ABC and ABRA.

Large-Tract Review for DC Bar

The DC Bar Association leases office space at 1101 K St. NW and is making an effort to purchase property located at 901 Fourth St. NW. Other than an existing three story building on the property, the site is a parking lot. Project plans call for a multi-building complex featuring three new buildings that will house office space. Ground-floor retail use will be a part of the new complex, and suggestions have been made to have part of it serve as a daycare center and restaurant. Development plans call for a service alley between the buildings for loading purposes; the parking entrance will be located on the I Street side of the property. It is a DC regulation that buildings with over 50,000 square feet of space must go through a large-tract review process, a multilayer review by the Office of Planning. A DC Bar representative explained that the bar association had come to the ANC meeting to seek support. The commissioners motioned to support development of the site and noted that the building’s designs sustained the architectural style of the neighborhood.

2016 Elections

To begin the meeting, the commissioners held an election of officers that was presided over by former ANC 6E Chair Lydia Goring. Marge Maceda (6E05) was reelected as chair for the second straight year; Alexander Padro (6E01) was elected vice-chair; Antonia Barnes (6E06) will serve as the secretary for 2016; and Kevin Chapple (6E02) will remain as the treasurer.

Next Meeting

ANC 6E will meet again at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 1 at the Northwest One Library on 155 L St. NW. Visit www.anc6e.orgto view the newsletter; follow on Twitter @ANC6E and on Facebook by searching ANC6E.

Steve Holton can be contacted at ssholton@gmail.com and followed on twitter @ssholton.