Posted tagged ‘Central Union Mission’

Area Development Tid Bits

December 14, 2010

Newton Variety Market, photo by flickr user rockcreek

It’s been a while since area residents have heard the words Central Union Mission … but at the end of last night’s Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force out-going ANC 1A05 Commissioner William Jordan mentioned them in connection with the property at Newton Place and Georgia Avenue.

According to Jordan, the tax relief that Central Union Mission was seeking for their property at 3512 Georgia Avenue was turned down. How this will impact the development of the first phase of Park Morton, if at all, has yet to be determined.

For those seeking more information on the Blue Banana — which could very well be open before I have an opportunity to post about it again — the beer line-up has been settled.

According to Ted Trabue the initial beer line up looks like this: Sam Adams seasonal, Hennepin, Abita, Sierra Nevada, Chimay, Brooklyn Lager, Allagash, Dogfish head, Victory Golden Monkey, Peroni, Coors Light, and Blue Moon. I’m sure the selection will change over time, especially with the seasonal selections.


More Central Union Mission News

September 29, 2009

DCMud has a good overview of the the Central Union Mission issue to date, including the rendering to the right of the Georgia Avenue and Newton  Place site.

DCMud relates that at last Tuesday’s BZA meeting:

ANC-1A08 Commissioner Cliff Valenti appeared at the BZA meeting to reiterate that the ANC’s approval was conditioned on removal of the homeless shelter from the Mission plans.

The BZA approved the plans for the mixed-use project with the condition that the Mission not modify its use.


ANC 1A Votes in Support of Central Union Mission Special Exception

September 16, 2009

The Special ANC 1A Meeting held tonight at the Park View Rec Center ended in a unanimous vote by the commissioners in support of the special exception that the Central Union Mission was seeking. The next step will be for the Mission to go before the Zoning board on September 22nd.

The exception allows the Mission to develop a building over 12,000 sq. ft. on their property at the corner of Newton Place and Georgia  Ave.

The meeting did have its moments. The initial concerns raised by residents centered around property values and crime. It was made clear that affordable housing was NOT the same thing as subsidized housing. Several ANC commissioners also cautioned the room that it was dangerous and inaccurate to generalize that low income equals higher crime. That wasn’t to say that there was no relationship.

The housing this project is supposed to serve is for people that can’t afford to live where they work, such as policemen, firemen, government workers, etc. One misconception was that this meant that if a family of four had a household income of $40,000, then a single person would only have to earn $10,000 to qualify. This is incorrect. It doesn’t matter if its one person, a couple, or a family, the household income remains the same since its the total of all the income sources of the household.

All in all, everyone was engaged and many good questions were asked. Representatives from the Mission and DDOT OOP (Office of Planning) were there to answer questions, and even Council Member Jim Graham attended and addressed the assembly.

In short, the outcome of the meeting is:

  • The Mission will not build subsidized housing, but can not build anything better than affordable or work-force housing without bringing their non-profit status into question.
  • The Mission agreed, and included as part of the application, that they will not seek to ever have a shelter on this site.
  • The building they propose to build is 11 ft. shorter than currently allowed by the zoning laws and only includes 60% of the property they are allowed to develop.
  • As long as the mission owns the property, it will always be affordable housing. If they are able to find a developing partner, they would only be required to have 8% affordable in perpetuity, but would likely have more. Finding a developer would allow them to include market-rate units.
  • The timetable is somewhat nebulous — but within a quick parameter. If the Mission does not get all its ducks in a row by June 2010, it could lose the property through a tax sale. That’s incentive for them to move quickly. The BZA also gives them 2 years to finish, with the possibility to extend for another 2 years if there is significant progress but they are behind schedule. In order to meet these deadlines, a lot has to get off the ground soon.

A last thing to keep in mind is that it is hoped that this development, which would develop several currently vacant lots, may help jump start development on Georgia Ave. The Senior Wellness Center across the street has already broken ground and Ted Trabue’s project, The Green Room, has also been given the green light from the ANC. It is also significant to mention that since this building is entirely planned to be affordable housing, the next project proposed “could be” entirely market rate to balance out the mix of the area.


Reminder: Special ANC 1A Meeting Tonight

September 16, 2009
My thanks to M.V. Jantzen for the use of the Mission image

Image by M.V. Jantzen

As a reminder, there is a special ANC 1A meeting tonight at the Park View Rec Center (693 Otis Place, NW — Corner of Otis and Warder Street). The meeting will be at 7:00 pm.

The purpose of this meeting is to consider the position the ANC will take on the proposed special exception the mission has requested from the Zoning Board to construct a building over 12,000 sq. ft. on their property at Newton Place and Georgia Avenue.

Central Union Mission Issue Causes Flurry of Emails

September 13, 2009

Central Union Mission property on Georgia Ave.What started out as a simple statement on the listservs that the proposal before ANC 1A regarding the Central Union Mission had been rescheduled to Wednesday, Sept. 16, took an unexpected turn late last week. The need to reschedule the meeting was due to the short period of time that the commissioners had to review the proposal for a special exception that the Central Union Mission needs in order to begin development of their property at the southwest corner of Newton Place and Georgia Avenue. The ANC 1A commissioners needed time to examine the proposal so that they could have an informed vote.

Central Union Mission property on Georgia Ave.From the regular ANC 1A meeting, the Central Union Mission had made it clear that they do not intend to build a shelter at this location. Their stated goal at this time is to build a mixed use facility that contains retail and 100% affordable housing.

The first email sent out by the ANC 1A to announce the special meeting didn’t have all the details yet, indicating that there would be more information to follow since the place of the meeting had not been announced. The Prince of Petworth picked up on this email (from a reader submission), and posted it on his blog. From the comments it was clear that the intent of the ANC 1A communication was not entirely clear (The follow up email from the ANC 1A re: the meeting can be found here).

Due to the nature of the comments to the Prince of Petworth’s post, ANC 1A commissioner Cliff Valenti sent a rather public email to PoP containing a brief history and details about this complicated issue on Friday (9/11) and requesting that he post an update ASAP. You can read commissioner Valenti’s email here>> (The email was later distributed on the Georgia Avenue listserv).

AND … if that wasn’t enough, Valenti’s and subsequent emails caused Council Member Jim Graham to join the fray adding yet another very public email adding even more clarification. Graham’s email can be found here>>

PoP has not posted any follow ups to his initial post but has promised to do so on Monday (9/14) to give the Central Union Mission a chance to respond. To date, there has been no public comment from the Mission, their representatives, or their lawyer.

[Follow up: PoP posts attorney responses on Sunday evening]


ANC1A Announces Special Meeting to Examine Central Union Mission Proposal

September 11, 2009

At Wednesday’s montly ANC 1A meeting, the special exception requested by the Central Union Mission could not be voted on because the ANC  did not have enough time to examine the proposal. They have scheduled a special meeting next Wednesday, September 16, to continue the discussion, and seek community involvment. The following announcement was posted on the Georgia Avenue Listserv:

ANC1A Special Public Meeting
BZA Application of Central Union Mission
Wednesday, September 16th
Location: Park View RecreationCenter
Warder St NW & Otis Pl NW
Washington, DC 20010


Official Business
Official Business is limited to 5 minutes of presentation (unless extended by the commission) followed by questions from the commission and audience until a motion to close discussion is passed, followed by an official ANC vote.

ANC1A will consider the BZA Application for the Central Union Mission’s(CU) affordable housing project on Georgia Avenue. CU is proposing to build a mixed use project on Georgia Ave. with ground floor retail and apartments on the upper floors. Apartments would be affordable to residents with incomes of 50% – 80% AMI.(about $45 – $80K) with no shelter component. Previously, ANC1A filed a petition with the BZA based on the Georgia Overlay against the CU project when it was to be primarily a men’s shelter and design did not fit the development goals for Georgia Ave. CU is asking ANC1A to withdraw its concerns and support the project given the change in use and design. (more…)

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