D.C.'s proposed McMillan redevelopment winning over planners
Michael Neibauer, Staff Reporter- Washington Business Journal
Oct 28, 2013, 5:46pm EDT
The team behind D.C.`s 25-acre McMillan redevelopment is finally winning over the District`s Historic Preservation Office.
``For the first time, it looks like a destination you would want to seek out to experience its distinct sense of place; one that includes equally interesting historic and new features balanced and blended compatibly together,`` HPO staff wrote of the latest plan from Vision McMillan Partners, in advance of the Historic Preservation Review Board`s Oct. 31 meeting.
The proposed McMillan redevelopment includes a community center and park, the resurrection of the looping Olmstead Walk, 161 rowhouses from EYA, a grocery store-anchored mixed-use building from Jair Lynch Development Partners and two medical office buildings from Trammell Crow Co. The decommissioned water treatment plant, bounded by Michigan Avenue, North Capitol, Channing and First Streets, was designated a historic landmark in the early 1990s.
The design revisions are a ``significant improvement over previous versions and now retains the significant above-grade topographical, architectural and engineering features that were identified by the Board as the most important,`` staff wrote in the report.
Those would include sand bins, regulator houses, sand washers, some service court walls and two below-grade cells that will be retained and reused in the new development. The revised master plan, staff writes, ``would retain significant character-defining features of the landmark sufficient to convey its historic character.``
More good news for Vision McMillan from the report:. The revised development plan concept is ``dramatically improved, reflecting the high level of quality, cohesiveness and distinctiveness that have been sought by the Board`` and represent an ``architecturally cohesive, high-quality and site specific series of projects that relate to the character of the landmark.``
Opponents of the McMillan project, of which there are many, will no doubt disagree.