Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Parcel 5 Plan Receives Unanimous ANC Support


At last night's monthly ANC 6D meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved plans by The JBG Companies for an Element and aloft hotel planned for Parcel 5 at The Wharf. However, the approval is conditional on JBG providing the ANC with a bus management plan for the hotels well before the Zoning Commission hearing on February 28, which was the main concern expressed by several commissioners about the project since the illegal idling of buses as they load and unload passengers has been a big issue along the waterfront for years. Many of the commissioners lauded the design by SmithGroup JJR; the building materials to be used will primarily be glass and metal panels with a hint of wood and brick used at the retail level. The building was designed to not have a "backside" and the side facing 7th Street Park was designed to resemble the sails of tall ships. Most of the undesirable functions, such as loading, are located along the service drive in the middle of the building. A description of the stage 2 PUD submission can be found here, but some more details about the buildings were revealed at the meeting, such as:

Entrance to Element hotel off of 7th Street Park.

The main entrance to the Element extended-stay hotel will be off of 7th Street Park while the aloft entrance will be on Wharf Street. A secondary entrance to the aloft will be off of a service drive that runs through the property - this will be available in cases when Wharf Street is closed to traffic for special events. A taxi stand will be on Maine Avenue. Just to the north of the Element entrance will be a monumental staircase, which leads from 7th Street Park to the shared plaza area on the second level. This plaza will have a pool and bars that will be open to the public in addition to hotel guests. Both hotel lobbies and the second level will be open to the public - key card access is only required to reach the guest rooms above.

Monumental staircase.

There will be a Zoning Commission hearing on February 28th at 441 4th Street, NW, Room 220 South at 6:30pm.

Renderings courtesy of SmithGroup JJR

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