As previewed here yesterday, significant changes were announced to the proposed Hurt Home development at a community meeting last night. While some reservations over the details remain, all in all the community appears to now support the project.
Unlike the disastrous meeting at Jellef last month, this meeting was much better planned. Attendees included Jack Evans, and representatives from the Argos Group, the ANC, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development. The meeting began with some introductory remarks from Jack Evans, Ron Lewis, and Freddie Peaco (who has a personal history with the Hurt home for the Blind and gave an emotional speech in favor of increasing the number of units set aside for blind residents). The point that Evans tried to get across was essentially that he got the message from the community and that he won’t let this project move forward until the neighbors are more comfortable with it.
Here are the details (GM should emphasize that these are by no means final):
- There will be 15 units built
- They will be large units (1400-1900 square feet)
- Three of the units will be affordable housing (Gilbertos Cardenas of Argos discussed setting one or two of these units aside for a policeman)
- One of the units will be specially designed for a blind resident
- There will be 30 surface parking spots built
- The historic structure (as well as a contributing historic addition) will be restored. The non-historic additions to the back will be removed.
- No new additions will be built, all the units will be in the historic building
- The alleyway will be widened to handle the additional traffic and a traffic study will be performed before the project moves forward
- Construction will take one year
- The same architect that worked on such stellar projects as Cady’s Alley and the Phillips School would design this project
- The property would be sold by the city to Argos for around $450-500k
While a few residents remained anxious about this project, by the time the details were fully laid out, the audience was decidedly in favor of the project. Jack Evans gave the impression that he was happy with the community’s reaction and would not attempt to stop this project. In fact, given the change in neighbor attitude, he indicated that he would now like to see the surplus motion voted on by the Council before the summer recess so that the process can continue to move forward.
As a side note, a lot of the audience complained about not being informed about the project. GM agrees that both the ANC and the District government did not do a very good job reaching out to the neighbors and keeping them informed. But there’s one entity that has been writing ad naseum about this project from the very, very beginning and you’re reading it right now. While GM looks forward to moving on to a new topic, he will continue to report all the details about this project as it moves forward, so keep the dial tuned here!