Yesterday, GM linked to the report that Eastbanc had a contract to buy the property under the gas station at M and Pennsylvania Ave. The report was short on details of what exactly the developer planned for the site. However it mentioned that
“I can’t tell you much more because I don’t know much more at this point,” said Lanier, who estimates the property could accommodate between 15,000 and 18,000 square feet of new development. He said a likely use would be residential.
So GM will have to do the speculating instead.
It’s an oddly shaped and placed property. In some ways the absence of direct neighbors increases the likelihood that they could build up high. But due to the gateway nature of the property, GM could envision the Old Georgetown Board insisting on a more restrained and less vista-denying property.
GM tried to mock up above how a medium sized building would impact the view as you come across the bridge into Georgetown. It would limit your view coming into the neighborhood, no doubt, but if done well it could create a more of a formal threshold.
As for design, given the prominence of the location, GM suspects the OGB will insist on the same sort of quasi-historical pastiche that it has demanded out of other large scale projects, most recently Eastbanc’s own 1055 High. Just for kicks, GM cut-and-pasted that building onto the site:
Doesn’t look half bad, actually.
The question remains as to whether the gas station will stay or go. Eastbanc is getting rid of the Exxon at the other end of M St., so it obviously doesn’t mind dealing with the environmental gamble that is removing a gas station. On the other hand, Eastbanc is the same developer that build extremely pricey condos on top of a gas station just down the street in the West End:
The only thing GM is disappointed about the news that Eastbanc is buying another gas station in Georgetown is that it isn’t one of the two gas stations around the corner from GM. But with Eastbanc buying out two of the four gas stations so far, it shouldn’t take too long for them to come up GM’s way. (Yes, it’s probably good to have a gas station around, but GM doesn’t see the need for two directly across the street from one another.)