Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ecco Park developer aims to begin construction in June, adds PMI parking lot by Takoma Metro to the plan

This post has been updated.

Word from Sas Gharai, the developer of the long-stalled Ecco Park mixed-use development, is that he's now aiming to begin construction this June. Ecco Park is to be located at the corner of Carroll St. and Maple Ave. NW, in the vacant lot across the street from the Big Bad Woof and Trohv.

Gharai has also announced that he intends to develop the PMI parking lot, located on Carroll St. NW between the 7-11 and the Ecco Park site. A rendition of the plans can be seen on ANC commissioner Sara Green's website.

As both sites are located in the Takoma Historic District, the new design has to go before the Historic Preservation Review Board for approval. (EDIT: There are two separate buildings; looking at the above rendering made me think Gharai had overhauled the plan to build one big building, but it's just an illusion, apparently.) A public meeting, enabling community members to ask questions of the developer, will be held toward the end of May (I'll post details once they become available).


  1. Thanks for posting. One clarifying question: from Sara Green's post on the Takoma listserv today, my understanding was that Gharai already received approval for the Ecco Park development back in 2008 and just needs approval fro the PMI parking lot. Am I misunderstanding that?

  2. @Matt, I'm awaiting clarification on this.

  3. @Matt: Since this makes the Ecco Park site into a much larger development, I was under the impression that the new design would be subject to review by the Historic Preservation Board. But I just asked Sara Green for clarification and she said that only the PMI site will be subject to review (which sort of doesn't make sense to me...I would think that the HPRB would need to review the new -- and significantly larger -- building plans...)

  4. Interesting to hear. I like the design and don't think there's any reason for the developer not to move forward with the Ecco Park site. I'd like to see more details on the PMI development plans, but assuming that it's intended to integrate with Ecco Park, then they have my support. I'm hoping some of the units are affordable, but the limited height probably doesn't make that very profitable for the developer ...

    I think we've got a great neighborhood and look forward to new places for people to live that don't require car ownership. Of course, new residents will also help our local businesses.

  5. OK, I've got a better answer: there are actually two buildings, though you'd never know it from looking at the rendering above (?!?!). Gharai is keeping the Ecco Park design that's already been approved; it's the new building on the PMI site that's going to be up for review.

    I'm getting so many clarifications since I first posted this that I think I'm going to have to rewrite the whole post!