|From August 19 design committee meeting|
Details about the nature of the multiple zoning reliefs and other contentious issues are available here.
Efforts at outreach
Sia Madani of Madison Investments made one last appearance before ANC1B to outline his efforts to get community sign-on to the project. Efforts included community outreach to, and soliciting letters of support from, "almost every single Wallach Place resident" and two neighborhood associations. Flyers about the project were also delivered to every house within a four-block radius of the project site.
Parking was a prime concern. As a result, future residents of the building will be restricted from getting residential parking permits. There will also be 36 spaces of bike parking.
Wallach Street residents also were eager to see commercial operations other than restaurants and bars on the first floor retail space. To that end, discounted rent for retail stores will be offered. There have been expressions of interest from two pet stores, a yoga studio, and a pilates studio. Members of the community urged Madani to encourage a hardware store to open.
Madani repeated the intention to own the building and rent out units, as opposed to selling it as condos.
"We're going to own this as an apartment building," he said.
Other locals on the project
Several attendees spoke up in favor of the proposed development. In addition, Commissioner Zahra Jilani (district 12), in whose district the development will be, read statements of support from other members of the community and ANC Commissioner Emily Washington (08), who was unable to attend the meeting.
Jilani also read a statement from the U Street Neighborhood Association. It does not support the proposal for a variety of reasons. They include the negative impact of the building's design and height on community space.
A member of the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance asked that the developers be extra vigilant in connecting with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) on the issue of denying resident parking permits to building residents.
Of the twelve members of the ANC1B, seven were present to vote unanimously for the project. They were: Chair Tony Norman (10), Jeremy Leffler (02), Sedrick Muhammad (03), Ricardo A. Reinoso (05), Dyana Forester (06), James Turner (09), and Jilani.