April 7, 2011

Read the meeting transcript

General Services Administration Headquarters – Building Modernization (Ground Floor Retail)
(File number 6558)

The National Capital Planning Commission approved preliminary and final site and building plans to add ground floor retail to the E Street side of the General Services Administration’s (GSA) headquarters building. A total of four retail bays, two on either side of a new central entrance, will be added. The retail additions and new entrance are part of the building’s modernization.

Other components of the modernization include restoration of the building’s interior and exterior, replacement of the physical plant and other mechanical systems, changes to access and egress, and the addition of 120,000 square-feet of space in the building’s courtyards through infill construction. No additional perimeter security is proposed. The GSA headquarters is located at 1800 F Street, NW. It was originally constructed in 1917, with an addition in 1934.

See the Commission Action, Staff Recommendation, and FONSI


National Museum of African American History and Culture
(File number 6331)

The Commission provided favorable comments on revised concept designs for the National Museum of African American History and Culture as submitted by the Smithsonian Institution. NCPC commended the Smithsonian for addressing concerns raised by the Commission at its September 2010 meeting, resulting in smaller knolls on the museum’s Constitution Avenue side and improvements to the 14th Street service access. NCPC also had several recommendations including minimizing the building’s mass while maintaining its overall design integrity, reducing the size of the west skylight, and improving the 14th Street service access and east courtyard. The Smithsonian will come back before the Commission for preliminary and final reviews of the project, likely this fall.

The 372,000 square-foot facility will be located on a five-acre tract of land near Constitution Avenue and 14th Street, NW. The museum will house state-of-the-art galleries, program and administrative offices, a café, and support spaces. The proposed building features two distinct design elements: the “Porch,” the entry portico for the main museum entrance on Madison Drive, NW; and the “Corona,” the main portion of the building that would rise above the “Porch” and be the museum’s most visible and character-defining feature.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Fort Belvoir Post Exchange Shopping Center
(File number 7096)

The Commission disapproved preliminary site and building plans for a new, one-story 263,438 square-foot Post Exchange shopping center on the North Post. This proposed facility would consolidate three existing stores into one and contain Army and Air Force post exchanges, a restaurant, and a military clothing store. The Army will need to return to the Commission for final site and building review. The Commission also stated that NCPC would find it difficult to approve any future Fort Belvoir projects until the Army submitted an updated Fort Belvoir master plan. In an informational briefing, Fort Belvoir staff identified 22 additional projects for near-term development, none of which are included in the adopted master plan, last updated in 1993. They also provided a proposed schedule for completing an updated master plan in 2012.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Fort Belvoir United Services Organization Family Center
(File number 7208)

The Commission approved preliminary and final site and building plans for a two-story 26,870 square-foot United Services Organization (USO) Family Center that would serve the base’s Warrior in Transition Campus. This campus provides housing and services for soldiers recuperating from injuries. In its approval the Commission reiterated that it would find it difficult to approve any future Fort Belvoir projects until the Army submitted an updated Fort Belvoir master plan.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


U.S. Marine Corps Quantico – Child Development Center
(File number 7186)

Following preliminary approval given last month, NCPC approved final site and building plans for a Child Development Center at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Quantico with no more than 42 parking spaces to ensure compliance with parking ratios in the Comprehensive Plan for the National Capital. The 32,700 square-foot building that would accommodate up to 290 children and 62 staff members.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Text and Map Amendments to the District of Columbia Zoning Regulations – Union Station North (Burnham Place)
(File number Z.C. 09-21)

The Commission provided comments to the District of Columbia Zoning Commission on its proposed action to approve map and text amendments to the DC Zoning Regulations to create the Union Station North zoning district. This new district would apply to the proposed 14-acre “Burnham Place” development that would be constructed above the tracks behind Union Station. The development would be built on new platforms on either side of the H Street, NE Bridge (also known as the Hopscotch Bridge). The new zoning would provide specific regulations for building height and bulk.

While NCPC supports both the District’s efforts to create a mixed-use development over the tracks and plans to “step down” building heights towards Union Station, it also found that the map and text amendments’ option for allowing additional height for buildings’ of exemplary architecture could have a negative impact on both Union Station and historically significant views towards the station from adjacent streets. The Commission also requested that NCPC be given the opportunity to review and comment on the Union Station North Stage 1 and Master Plan submissions on the south side of H Street, NE for potential impacts to federal interests including Union Station and the Washington skyline.

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.