Capitol Hill residents heard from four development teams June 10, each vying for a lucrative property on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue SE, down the street from Eastern Market: Hine Jr. High School.
The 131,300-square-foot school, between Seventh and Eighth Streets Southeast, is one of 11 Mayor Adrian Fenty is looking to leverage for economic development. Hine drew 10 bidders, more than any other school, and Fenty’s economic development team twice narrowed the field, eventually inviting four to offer community presentations.
According to presentation materials provided by the city, three of the teams proposed housing, retail and underground parking, as well as a reopening of C Street SE into an active shopping area for pedestrians. Councilman Tommy Wells, D-Ward 6, previously held two meetings about the property’s future, giving developers an idea of the community’s interests.
Seven Penn Partners, a team of companies led by the Bozzuto Group, pitched itself as “building on the spirit of Eastern Market.” Led by Bozzuto CEO Thomas Bozzuto, the team includes an array of developers doing other work for the city, including Elinor Bacon, the former head of the National Capital Revitalization Corp., Geoffrey Griffis, the Adams Morgan developer who is part of the team developing a new Southwest office building and fire station, and Scottie Irving, whose Blue Skye Development is working on a number of city projects. Other partners are Scallan Properties and Lehr Jackson Associates.
A team led by DSF Group and Bo Menkiti’s Menkiti Group, along with partner StreetSense, said their plan best connected Eastern Market to Barracks Row. They proposed 235 residential units, 40,000 square-feet of retail, 30,000 square-feet of open space (half of it private) and an 80-room hotel run by Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, LLC. They dropped the names of Robert Wiedmaier, newly christened restaurateur of the year according to the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, as well as Yes! Organic Market and Busboys & Poets as possible retailers.