Tag Archives: EastBanc

The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by K_Delaquilla.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • Remember when GM said that during last week’s ANC meeting some neighbors warned of a new Cady’s Alley north of M St.? Turns out their suspicious were justified: East Banc looks to redevelop alley behind Coach store.
  • Another review of the new Paul restaurant.

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The Morning Metropolitan

Fishin’ at the Waterfront by M.V. Jantzen.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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ANC Round Up: Disconnect Edition

Last night the ANC met for its May session. And to the extent it had an overriding theme, it would be one of a disconnect between neighbors.

EastBanc

The first case that had this disconnect was the EastBanc project at the Exxon station. This has been discussed here before. Essentially, EastBanc wants to build a five story building where the Key Bridge Exxon now stands.

This would cut off a part of the currently magnificent view enjoyed by the homes on Prospect St. When the ANC first reviewed this project, it took the neighbors’ side, but not aggressively so. It asked that OGB to seriously consider the effect on the Prospect St. neighbors’ views, but they didn’t really come that hard against it, at least not in the resolution.

So last night, EastBanc was back with some modest tweaks to the design. Primarily it reconfigured the facade to be less modern and to “read more” (i.e. kinda look) like a set of rowhouses. Apparently they made a few modest changes to the building’s positioning, but they were all pretty minor.

The neighbors were back again. The criticisms seem to fall into two buckets: the effect the building’s height has on the views of the Prospect St. neighbors and the impact the building would have on the “gateway” of Georgetown.

In GM’s opinion, the “gateway” argument is really just a tarted up way to complain about the height. Right now there’s a gas station, and GM suspects a lot of the people complaining about the height would be perfectly fine if the gas station stayed. Besides, as EastBanc argued last night, the building would be on your periphery as you come across the Key Bridge. Your eyes are directed straight at Dixie Liquors, not the Exxon: Continue reading

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ANC Preview: EastBanc Back Again

Tonight, the ANC meets for its May session. It looks like a relatively uneventful agenda, but that’s never stopped the ANC from going long before!

EastBanc

EastBanc returns again tonight to discuss one of their proposed large scale projects. This time its the Verizon building project on Wisconsin just south of the canal. The project has gone through several revisions. The first major change was to shift away from an all-stone project to a mixture of brick on the Wisconsin Ave. side and stone facing the canal. Last month, however, the Old Georgetown Board still objected to the design. The objections focused on the imposing nature of the stone wall facing the canal, and the confusing facade facing Wisconsin (GM’s seen it, and it is a bit jumbled).

We’ll see tonight how they respond.

Capital Bikeshare

Despite efforts to identify locations in the neighborhood for new Capital Bikeshare stations, DDOT proposed two other locations, neither of which make a ton of sense (one is at the east end of Rose Park, the other is in the Long and Foster parking lot on Wisconsin Ave.)

Tonight the ANC is taking the first steps to politely request that DDOT consider the locations that the ANC first identified. There is a bit of a fear that if the ANC complains too much about the proposed stations, DDOT will simply take them away. The ANC has to strike the right tone by saying that Georgetown definitely wants these two stations, they just need to be relocated to more desirable spots.

One spot that was not previously considered, but which might make a ton of sense, is at that triangle park between Pennsylvania Ave. and M St. next to the gas station. The park itself is owned by the federal government, and DDOT hasn’t worked out an arrangement with the feds yet to locate stations on federal land. But the sidewalk next to the park is city owned. And with the park next to the sidewalk, a station could go on the city-owned sidewalk without blocking the way (pedestrians would just walk around the station onto the federally owned part). While this still wouldn’t get a station into the residential blocks, it would provide a better option for lower East Village residents than currently exists. Continue reading

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ANC Round Up: Right to a Room With a View?

Photo by BoopBoopBoopBoop.

Last night, ANC 2E met for its spring session. And like last month, a couple of major EastBanc projects dominated the conversation. This time it was just the Exxon and Verizon projects, but two was enough to stimulate some rather interesting conversation.

EastBanc Projects

As described last month, EastBanc is proposing constructing two new condo buildings: one where the Key Bridge Exxon now stands and one on the parking lot next to the Verizon switching building (between the canal and Grace Episcopal). The ANC and the OGB objected to the design of both the buildings, so EastBanc came back with new designs for both.

Dealing with the easier one first: the new design for the Verizon property changed from a stone-clad building to a brick-clad building (stone still clads the base and canal side). Here is what it looks like now (sorry for the bad cell phone camera):

The ANC generally liked the new design and approved the concept. GM asked about the Bikeshare station that is immediately in front of the proposed building. The EastBanc reps said it would have to be moved. The ANC insisted that they be consulted on any change to the station (it would have to go through DDOT anyway, but it’s worth knowing that EastBanc intends on getting it moved, hopefully to a very close new location).

The new building would have a little retail on the first floor. Last month it was proposed to contain 9 units. EastBanc didn’t mention any change to that with the new design.

The far more controversial project was the Exxon project. EastBanc made some cosmetic changes to the project, but it essentially looks the same as last month:

Design-wise, the ANC seemed inclined to approve the building. For one thing, they aren’t even asking for final design approval yet. This is still just the size review. And that’s what was the thrust of the conversation. Continue reading

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GM, For One, Welcomes Our New EastBanc Overlords

At last month’s ANC meeting, one developer had three significant projects up for review. It would come as no surprise to anyone watching the Georgetown real estate market that that developer was EastBanc. Started in 1996, EastBanc has built a real estate empire centered squarely in Georgetown. And with every passing year and every approved project, the future of EastBanc and Georgetown have become more and more entwined.

Even for EastBanc, last month’s ANC agenda was significant. They are proposing to build a condo building where the Key Bridge Exxon stands, build a massive stone building on the parking lot of the Verizon building, and build condos behind the post office. While there are other developers working in Georgetown (for instance Argos Group is converting the Hurt Home into condos) none is having an impact on the neighborhood as noticeable as EastBanc.

Yesterday, the Washington Post took note of this. Columnist Thomas Heath wrote:

Washington developer, technology entrepreneur, restaurateur and nightclub owner Anthony Lanier prompted me to look at real estate differently when he explained the business discipline that built a Georgetown barony that occupies 60 buildings and enough square footage to fill eight football fields.

“We built a conveyor belt for renovation,” said Lanier (pronounced lon-YAY), 59, explaining the methodology that turned dilapidated townhouses into profitable stores and offices.

Lanier’s assembly line was made up of engineers, architects, historical preservation specialists, zoning lawyers and construction firms that could pump out renovated buildings one after another.

Heath then described the early investments of Lanier, including its first purchase at 3060 M St. (which is actually the now empty Ritz Camera store). From there, they slowly worked their way down M St. (and beyond) buying up distressed or run-down properties, fixing them up, and bringing in higher-end tenants. Fifty-eight buildings later, EastBanc has left its impression on the neighborhood. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Afraidofducks.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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