16 Responses to “5th & I Public Meeting recap”


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  1. mediocre bad guy

    woops. you beat me to it.

  2. mediocre bad guy

    p.s. I had to leave in a rush because I had an appointment at 8:45. It’s a shame we didn’t run into each other!

  3. Dino

    I think you’re right that 555 residents will favor the PIP project, which is too bad. I own (and currently reside) in a 5th St.-facing unit there and prefer the Donohue development because it offers the most amenities and the most frontage to 5th St. PIP was my least favorite, due mostly to the fact that they were helping to secure 5th St. as an urban canyon that would essentially just be a big alley. I just had their presentations, though, as I was unable to go to the meeting.

  4. Madrigal Blogs

    Great write-up and many thanks. I had hoped to make it, but wasn’t able to get out of the office until 7:15.

    Was there any discussion about how the decision will be made, or the timelines for development?


  5. fourthandeye


    I think the PIP proposal is a better fit for a neighborhood like a Cleveland Park. That neighborhood has an identity and doesn’t need something iconic to step in. A small euro-esque hotel would fit better in that setting.
    However in an area like MVT along Mass it’s all max height buildings. And while Dumont and 555 Mass are nice places to live they don’t establish any identity for the neighborhood. I’d like to see the 5th and Eye spot be something to help establish that identity rather than blend in barely noticed.

  6. mediocre bad guy

    The PIP proposal was really quite lame and I agree with Dino when he says it seems like it would just add to the urban canyon effect. Architecturally speaking it was quite awful with a totally generic, less glassy facade than all the others. Like many others expressing their views on here I believe the Donohoe dvelopment would bring the greatest amount of community enhancing amenities with it… and Shalom Baranes Associates is an architecture firm with a proven portfolio of beautiful solid buildings.

    I’m very skeptical of JBG’s proposal for how vague it was and I’ll be honest most of JBG’s developments do not impress me due to their lack of quality architecture and community engagement. I think they’re after the BIGGEST bang for their buck (think 555 Mass, Radius @ logan circle, Sovereign Park Apartments)

    The Buccini presentation really turned me off as well. Very little engaging the ground floor and a whole building packed with two bleh hotels. Let’s face it…an aloft is a Hampton inn wrapped in a modern package.

    I left the meeting early, is there any way we can get our hands on the proposals to share more images and specs with our readers?

  7. fourthandeye

    Re: Presentations

    We we’re told they’d be on dcbiz.dc.gov. I don’t see them there yet. But when they do show up they may be on this page:


  8. fourthandeye

    I made an update entry at the bottom of the post. It links to PQLiving. They have the PDFs for the Developer presentations.

  9. Jad Donohoe

    Thanks very much for the reporting. Clint Jackson of the Deputy Mayor’s office kept the process focused and on track – not so easy to do.

    From our perspective, it was encouraging to see strong turnout and good questions. We want to build a project that MVT will be proud of – one that meets the needs of MVT residents. We’ve got more info on our ideas for 5th and I at our website (link above).

    And if anyone has additional questions, or wants more details, you’re welcome to email me directly at JadD [at] Donohoe.com.

    Thanks again. Comment cross-posted at PQLiving.

  10. A 555 Resident

    I totally agree with Dino… By the way, I’m also a 555 resident (facing 5th)…

  11. katie

    With a park on the south, a number of high density residential condos on the west (555 Mass), north (City Vista) and across Mass Ave. (Meridan, 400 Mass and others), I feel this 5th & I site development should consider a plan that seamlessly ease into the neighborhood surrounding. While JBG, Donohoe/Holland, Buccini/Pollin brining in excess human/car traffics, the Potomac/i5 appears to maintain a much better balance and interaction with MVT neighborhood fabric.


  12. mediocre bad guy

    I’m not sure I agree with that. The i5 development does relatively little to engage the neighborhood. During the presentation they spoke of enaging the park across the street which it does not do (A courtyard on the second floor still only benefits people in the building). Shalom Baranes brought up a good point, the site (for once) need a monumental building beacuse of the vast open space in front of it. It is a gateway into the Triangle and as such arhictecturally it needs to be a lot more than an uninspired precast concrete building.

    I also have to question how they plan on making the i5 project economically feasable with such a small amount of hotel units and so many affordable residential units… hmmm. Is there a possibility that maybe the were maybe low balling the numbers at the presentation? I wouldn’t doubt it considering how much of a used car salesman the guy that was pitching for them came off as.

    I vote for Donohoe/Holland again!

  13. fourthandeye

    I also have to question how they plan on making the i5 project economically feasible with such a small amount of hotel units and so many affordable residential units… hmmm. Is there a possibility that maybe the were maybe low balling the numbers at the presentation?

    I don’t think I5 was being less than truthful. They simply have much less units than the competing projects because they are not combining the RFP site with adjacent lots as the other 3 plan to do.

    Getting past the subjective architecture needs of a community my biggest issue with I5 is that it doesn’t have much retail to service the neighborhood and IMO it prevents the adjacent lots from reaching their potential as well. I will write a full blog post on this to flush out my thoughts within the next day.

  14. Anonymous

    Lately, I am getting excited to see and pass by the 5th and I lot every day. I must say that I just can’t wait to see something up soon after years of neglect. I like both i5 & Donohoe plans, just unsure about when the new development will be up. If time is a factor, I like i5 proposal because it doesn’t required additional land and doesn’t not depend on someone-else’s packaged deal. The other 3 plans all claim to have exclusive contract with adjacent land. At this point, I would vote for i5 because it is simple and can be starting soon.

  15. si

    ok ok i got off my rear & posted at lifein.mvsna.org

    btw any of you all can too, its a public blog :)

    sooo 2 words. meat blood!!

  16. Jeffrey

    After a few rounds of presentations (Community & ANC), I feel the remaining four developers on the short-list can be placed in two tiers. The top tier includes the i5 (Potomac) and Arts (Dononhoe/Holland) and the bottom tier has JBG and Buccini/Pollin. While we have two competitively matched proposals between i5 and Arts, we have to feel sorry for both the presenters and reviewers of both the JBG & BP teams. They appear to be off track when it comes to both program requirements and the real needs of stakeholders.

    Now, the challenge is choosing between the two good ones. The Arts have a flashy design with its glass building box filling more units and ME restaurants/bar/jazz venue. On the other hand, i5 has a more mature mix with a classic boutique hotel, Avolon, and the neighborhood dining/café of Open City with live-in Artists/gallery program. This selection almost resembles a close analogy of choosing a party companion or a life-long marriage partner. To me, the Arts’ flashiness and shining buildings with various venues may be good as a party companion for short exciting moments; but the i5 attracts me with its internal beauty containing appreciable sophistication wrapped in simplicity. We all appreciate the ultimate design in architecture and life: LESS IS MORE.

    For a person with a simple urban life, I live and work right by the 5th and I street neighborhood corner. An exciting, flashy party companion to attract attention is good – for a brief moment, but a life –long marriage partner is better. So, if I really have to choose, I go with the i5.