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Closed School Site to Be Reborn as Apartments, Shops

Hine Junior High School, shuttered last year by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's school closure plan, will be transformed into 150 apartments, restaurants, shops and office space for the Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Fenty (D) announced Tuesday that the city has picked Stanton-Eastbanc, a District-based team of architects and developers, to redevelop the 3.5-acre site. The team could break ground as early as 2011.

The school is adjacent to Eastern Market, a signature of Capitol Hill.

There were 11 bidders. But Capitol Hill Restoration Society gave the nod to Stanton-Eastbanc, which includes well-respected firm Weinstein Escocoff Architects, in July. The stamp of the society and others, as well as the financing, influenced the decision of city officials.

"This team has deep ties to the neighborhood, a proven track record for delivering first-rate projects and a tremendous vision for a project that will make a great neighborhood even greater."

Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) said he was pleased that the Shakespeare Theatre Company, underground parking and the promise to reopen C Street were included in Stanton-Eastbanc's proposal. "I'm excited about the plans for this site, located in the heart of Capitol Hill, to preserve the character of the historic Eastern Market, yet also create new family housing and retail that supports the community."

Arlington-based International Relief & Development will also move its headquarters to the site.

-- Nikita Stewart

By Washington Post Editors  |  September 15, 2009; 11:41 AM ET
Categories:  City Life , Economic Development , Mayor Fenty , Nikita Stewart  | Tags: Adrian M. Fenty, Hine Junior High School, Stanton-Eastbanc, Tommy Wells, Weinstein Escocoff Architects  
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The Stanton mafia gets the opportunity to ruin another great property. Wonder who they paid off this time.

Other developers were much better prepared, had better plans, etc. Fenty screwed the pooch on this one.

Posted by: notsurprised3 | September 15, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

It always amazes me about Tommy Wells assertion about the "heart" of Capitol Hill and how easily he is pleased. I am just wondering if it is not time to have a bypass or some sorts when it comes to Tommy "Heart" Wells

Posted by: PowerandPride | September 15, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

At least it's not the group that planned to put a Trader Joe's across the street from Eastern Market as well as other chain stores intended to drive local shops out of businesses. And Stanton knows how to make new architecture fit in with the old.

Posted by: willowj | September 15, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully affordable housing, even provisions made for the homeless. I rarely throw a rag away it can used for something.

Posted by: alwaysAlabama | September 15, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Gawd, not more blight from Phillip Escocoff. Didn't he do enough damage defiling Massachusetts Avenue. Architecture by committee and political access, talent not necessary. If I never see more of that baby sh't yellow brick he puts everywhere it will be too much.
So much talent around and this drech keeps getting built.

Posted by: SoCali | September 15, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

alwaysAlabama: new family housing does not mean affordable housing. That's not in the plan. You can bank on that.

Posted by: candycane1 | September 15, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Vive le Status Quo!

In my opionion the Streetsense proposal was superior for for several reasons but in the end, we hope for grand vision and uniqueness but instead we get the status-quo. But, it gives us another reason to find an alternative to Mayor Fenty and Tommy Wells

First, a small, attractive hotel, such as a Kimpton Hotel, would have been an amenity for local residents, as well as out of town visitors. Having visited many European and American cities, I believe that Capitol Hill offers a unique tourist destination with its historic covered market, weekend outdoor market and non-chain retail and restaurants. The location offers proximity to the city’s other attractions along the Mall and easy access to existing public transport. With hotel guests patronizing our local businesses and local residents meeting at a new Kimpton bar and restaurant, the net effect would have been a steady flow of pedestrian traffic between Eastern Market, the Metro, and Barracks Row, improving pedestrian safety throughout Capitol Hill. I found this scenario vastly superior to Stanton proposal

Second, Fenty and Wells have contributed to the monopoly of a single idea. While I think that Stanton has brought many fine projects to the neighborhood, I believe that the group should not have a monopoly on all new development on Capitol Hill. I believe that the Streetsense proposal is creative and well-conceived. It brought fresh ideas that both respected the nature of the neighborhood and would have added to its vibrancy as a place to live.

Third, I felt that the StreetSense proposal was more in keeping with the scale of the neighborhood with its lower density and lower overall elevation.

But in the end, in spite of overwhelming local support for the StreetSense proposal, our elected agents for creating a vibrant community erred on the side of business and design as usual.

Vive le Status Quo!

Posted by: ElectronicArtifacts | September 15, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Break ground in 2011 my butt. That projects (and all of the other bidders except for the nonprofit) requires a zoning change ... and there are grumpy neighbors who don't like the density or the commercial design work of the architectural team. Its going to take a little longer than 2011 to get beyond those hurdles.

Posted by: dcsween | September 15, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I am absolutely amazed by the lack of knowledge displayed by some of the prior posters. First off, lets look at Street Sense's prior contributions to the DC community. Negligible, iron ugliness and big box stuff in the SUBURBS! Where may I ask is proof of their discrete neighborhood-freindly work. Why would they listen to the community if they have no presence here? Smoke and mirrors folks. Secondly, and more importantly, there is NOT widespread community disapproval of Stanton/Eastbanc.In fact, this group is very small and vocal. Anyone who attended a community meeting would be painfully aware of this. Remember, Stanton won more community endorsments. Thirdly, height differnces between the two projects is a matter of 5 feet. Please people- lets talk about reality!!!!

Posted by: DCyoungprof | September 16, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

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