On June 10th, four developers presented their plans for the now-closed Hine Junionr High School site in Capitol Hill to a packed room of neighborhood residents and business owners. Three of the four proposals were refreshingly urban in their look, focused on place-making oriented toward people friendly, human scaled buildings. The other one had no hard plans, making it difficult to judge. All four of the presentations are online here.
The concept is a non-profit leadership campus, a place where non-profits can get low cost office space, housing, training, conference facilities and leadership development programs. Retail and restaurant space would partly subsidize the nonprofits. The site would include community and open space, a green low-density walkable campus, the possibility of reopening C Street, and as many as 500 parking spaces.
This one probably has the longest odds, since it's harder to sell people on a concept. If the other proposals had been weak it might have won by default, but that wasn't the case. Furthermore, with so many parking spaces and an emphasis on low-density development it may be the least appropriate. The idea is good, but the design and site isn't.
The other three resemble each other more closely. They all envision reopening C Street, with some type of open space along it and placing cafes along 7th. The all treat the site as one with four fronts and build below ground parking where Eastern Market trucks could park. All would have retail along 7th, C and Pennsylvania and residential along 8th. None included a second entrance to the Metro.