June 3, 2004

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
(File Number 1476)

The Commission approved the concept site and building plans for access improvements, a plaza, and new buildings at the John F. Kennedy Center, but provided the Federal Highway Administration and the Kennedy Center with detailed guidance as the design proceeds. Some of the Commission’s suggestions include improving pedestrian connectivity; maximizing connections to the historic street grid; minimizing impacts to viewsheds; and ensuring bicycle trail connectivity.

The Commission provided more specific comments on the North, Center, and South Project Sectors. In the North Sector, the Commission’s comments include eliminating on and off ramps between 27th Street and the Potomac Freeway; maintaining the potential to reconnect the District street grid; and coordinating with the D.C. Department of Transportation to ensure design compatibility with changes to the Whitehurst Freeway.

In the Center Sector, the Commission’s comments include modifying the water feature and plaza design; exploring alternate design solutions for the Potomac River overlook and ramps; eliminating redundant roadways; modifying the building designs; considering issues of on-street parking and bus parking; and incorporating perimeter security. In the South Sector, the Commission’s suggests modifying the sector’s design to conform to the D.C. Department of Transportation’s proposed improvements to the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. The Commission also stated that the design should not preclude the development of a pedestrian connection between the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Mall.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Southeast Federal Center Master Plan
(File Number MP03)

The Commission reviewed the Forest City Washington Plan as the updated master plan for the Southeast Federal Center. The plan outlines a general vision for the Southeast Federal Center that includes information on land use, landscaping, site circulation, parking, and construction phasing. The land uses recommended for the center include office, residential, mixed-use residential and commercial, retail, cultural/community, and open space. Landscape plans for the site depict the location of street trees and water features; and the site circulation plan highlights sidewalks, alleyways, the bicycle network, and the Anacostia Riverwalk and Trail. More than 4,000 below-grade parking spaces will be provided at the Southeast Federal Center.

The project will be implemented in three phases: 1) residential and retail space within the interior of the site, and office space on the eastern side of the DOT headquarters on M Street; 2) waterfront park and remaining residential components; and 3) office, mixed-use, and residential space on the western boundary of the site.

Except for the design along Isaac Hull Avenue, the Commission accepted the Forest City Washington Plan and recommended including a commemorative work site that is consistent with the Memorials and Museums Master Plan.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Modification to the Watergate
(File Number Z.C. 03-16)

The D.C. Zoning Commission submitted a proposal to modify an existing Planned Unit Development that is located at 2650 Virginia Avenue in Northwest D.C. and is known as the Watergate. The overall Watergate complex includes the Watergate Hotel, three apartment buildings, two office buildings, and interior retail spaces. The zoning modification will allow the 250-room hotel to be converted into a cooperative apartment building with 133 units. As part of the conversion, most of the changes will be internal, resulting in the removal of certain hotel-related uses and converting guest rooms into apartments. Other changes include the provision of additional parking and a new restaurant. In reviewing the project, the Commission determined that the conversion is consistent with the Federal Elements of the Comprehensive Plan and would not adversely affect federal interests.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

D.C. Capital Improvements Plan
(File Number 0348)

Mayor Williams and the D.C. Council submitted the District’s Capital Improvements Plan, FYs 2005-2010, to the Commission for a federal interest review and comment. The plan contains 97 ongoing projects and 114 new projects for a proposed six-year cost of $1.96 billion. Most of the projects involve the rehabilitation of public buildings and spaces, such as schools, libraries, park facilities, and firehouses. In its comments, the Commission commended the inclusion of many projects that support federal interests; requested that the District further coordinate with federal agencies on projects of shared interest; noted the Commission’s review authority for several types of projects; and required the District to submit for the Commission’s review the Highway Trust Fund Program component of the Capital Improvements Plan.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation

Consent Calendar: The Commission voted on Consent Calendar items without staff presentations or public testimony.

Delegated Decisions: Projects for which the Commission delegated decision-making authority to the Chairman, Executive Committee, or Executive Director.