Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Ecco Park plans moving right along
The plans for the new Ecco Park development, at Carroll and Maple Streets NW, were shown at a public meeting last night. The architect, Sas Gharai, presented the plans along with Jeffrey Blum of Level2, the developer responsible for several other similar projects in the District, including View 14.
Although the plans for Ecco Park have been in place for years, Gharai only recently announced that he also intends to develop 231 Carroll Street, which is adjacent to the Ecco Park site and is currently occupied by a PMI public parking lot. The basic plans show the buildings to essentially be mirror images of each other, though some community members who attended the meeting encouraged Gharai to vary the facades. Both buildings combined will have between 9,000 and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, and between 60 and 70 rental apartments. Retail tenants have not yet been identified, and Gharai is asking for community input on the types of retailers that are most needed in the neighborhood.
Zoning requires the sidewalk by the building to be at least 15 feet wide, but ANC commissioner Faith Wheeler encouraged Gharai to make them even wider in order to accommodate outdoor seating for the restaurants and coffee shops that are likely to occupy some of the retail spaces. Other community members asked him to reduce the height of the building (zoning limits the height to 55 feet, with an additional 18 feet for penthouse space).
As previously reported, Gharai intends to break ground on Ecco Park in June. He is aiming to work on constructing both Ecco Park and 231 Carroll Street at the same time.
Gharai will make changes to the design based on the comments he received last night. He'll present the changes at another public meeting, to be held in June.
"We want to build the right building, but we want to do it expeditiously," said Blum.