ANC6E supports Akridge and CSG for 5th and Eye RFP

At the February ANC6E meeting the finalists for the 5th and Eye RFP attended and presented their Best and Final Offers (BAFOs) to the community. The 5 minute presentations by the developers focused on what aspects of the team’s proposals had changed since the Dec 19th presentations to address the community feedback. Rather than bury the lead at the end of the article I will say that the ANC vote resulted in a tie for the Akridge/JAG residential project and the Trammell Crow/CSG office building. Commissioner Marge Maceda, who represents the impacted single member district, favored Akridge/JAG. The Office of the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) will ultimately make the final selection for the awarding the RFP.

The full rank order of the finalists by the ANC is in the chart below.

ANC6E endorses both Akridge/JAG (right) and TC/CSG (left)

ANC6E endorses both Akridge/JAG (right) and TC/CSG (left)

5th & I Development site with Seaton and Milian Parks

In their January meeting the ANC requested that each developer enhance their proposals to put $2.5 million in escrow for improvements to Seaton and Milian parks. The ANC also extended more tailored suggestions to the individual projects. The development teams had time at last night’s meeting to highlight changes they made to their proposals to address the feedback. I’ll present those highlighted changes below.

Akridge/Jefferson Apartment Group: Mixed use residential project with affordable housing units on site. Reduced 1 level of parking to push down to 90 spaces. Reduced setback of top floors to add more market rate rental units. These changes afford them to increase their community benefits contribution from $500,000 to $2,000,000 for the parks improvement. Increase total retail space from 8,000 SF to 10,400 SF. Included in that retail space is 1,500SF of community meeting space (and increase of 500SF). They also incorporated changes to put more retail frontage on the Eye street side of the building.

JBG/Moddie Turay Company: Mixed use residential project with affordable housing units on site. I did not detect any meaningful changes to their proposal in their BAFO. They just took the approach of stating the 30 affordable units represent a $4,500,000 benefit to the community and that if more was desired than their current $400,000 parks contribution it could be reallocated from the affordable housing side of the ledger.

CSG/Trammell Crow: Spec Office/Retail project. Increased their previously pledged $2,000,000 contribution to the parks to $2,500,000 in escrow. Emphasized they would begin planning and design for parks immediately after a Land Disposition Agreement is signed if RFP is awarded to their bid. Stated their contribution to the affordable housing unit fund would be equivalent to 40 units. Upgraded their project to LEED platinum status. Offered to have art in lobby of the office building be commissioned by ANC-led process.

Peebles Corporation: Standard Hotel branded luxury boutique hotel with ground floor retail and 59 condos. Peebles mostly restated all the components of his December 19th proposal. The major differences I noted was that he pledged to put $2,000,000 in escrow for the parks. He also stated that his off-site affordable housing units would be between 40% and 60% AMI. The other residential finalists affordable housing units were stated to be in the 50-80% range.

Akridge/JAG clearly took the ANC feedback most seriously as they made the most modifications. JBG did the least in my estimation to improve their offer.

After consideration my personal endorsement would be CSG/Trammell Crow and I would urge them to sign BicycleSPACE as one of their retailers. I would rank Peebles second. I have concerns about taxis and a valet station dominating that already congested corner and a very narrow I Street. And the last time Mount Vernon Triangle attempted to go for uber luxury sizzle, Buddha Bar, it resulted in the only failed business we’ve had. That said, I will support the Peebles project if it is awarded the site. Akridge would rank 3rd for me and JBG would place 4th.

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  1. 1

    FourthandEye says

    I’ve learned this morning that while Trammell Crow/CSG claims their affordable housing contribution is equivalent to 40 units that may possibly be misleading. It was suggested to me their financial contribution would be $1,000,000 dollars. That would only be $25,000/affordable unit for their quoted 40 units. The residential bids from Akridge/JBG appear to be committing closer to $150,000/affordable unit.

    I’d like to get to the bottom of that. I don’t necessarily think 30 or 40 affordable units is a mandate. But $1 million may only equate to 7 or 8 units. That would be a monumental gap.

    I reserve the right to change my endorsement to Peebles if the TC/CSG is proved to be playing funny math on the affordable units.

  2. 2

    FourthandEye says

    Regarding the above question about $$ for affordable housing I received the following response from CSG:

    Thank you very much for your email and support of our proposed mixed-use trophy office development project for the 5th & I Streets parcel. In response to your inquiry regarding our contribution toward affordable residential units, we are happy to provide you with some additional clarity on our equivalent unit calculation.

    As the TCC/CSG team presented at both the December 19th and February 4th community meetings, we will make a voluntary $1,000,000 donation to the District’s Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). However, this voluntary donation to the HPTF included in our overall offer is just one component of our total affordable housing contribution to the city. Our total affordable housing contribution to the District actually exceeds $4,000,000. This total amount includes both our voluntary contribution and density rights payments required by District of Columbia Zoning regulations because this site is located in a Housing Priority Area. Non-residential projects can be built by-right on this site, but require the purchase of density rights by making payments to other developers who create affordable housing off-site.

    Our equivalent 40 unit calculation was done using ‘contribution-to-units’ conversion factors and metrics appropriate to each contribution source. For the required density payments we used a factor of $200,000 per 50% AMI unit and $150,000 per 80% AMI unit. For the HPTF contribution, we used a factor of $46,800 per unit which is the maximum HPTF grant amount per unit awarded to affordable housing developers as indicated by the HPTF in their most recent Annual Report.

    We hope this clears up any questions or confusion regarding this community benefit, and thank you again for your much valued support of our proposed development.

    CSG/TCC Team

    Basically the CSG bid would be contributing over $4 million to the affordable housing fund. Part of it is voluntary, part of it is a by-law requirement for developing office in a housing priority area.

    Given that, my endorsement still is cast towards CSG/TCC.

  3. 3

    Concerned neighbor says

    Is it possible to know the reasons why the ANC6E commissioners cast their votes as they did? I would like to know how they envision the development of the neighborhood.

  4. 4

    George says

    Park improvement in DC can only be achieved by adding fences and instituting closing times like every other real city. Otherwise they will continue to be backyards to DC’s vagrant population. DC has the worst park system I have ever seen.