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'We Hate This Project': Constant Struggle for Chinatown Project

This Chinatown mixed-use project is not having an easy time getting approval, it's not getting any easier, and honestly, it makes a lot of sense why. There are plans to renovate and alter nine mixed-use buildings and construct an 11-story retail/residential building as well as a pedestrian bridge. To build more space, there are plans to demolish a historic five-story alley warehouse. The project totals to roughly 80,000-square-feet of office space and up to 19,000-square-feet of retail space. With the possibility of a cluster of lots in Downtown Historic District to be affected by the project, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) has caused the architects to make several revisions, including the elimination of plans for an east-west pedestrian alley bridge.

When the concept design was first presented to the HPRB last May, Vice President for Douglas Development Corporation Paul Millstein didn't hold back by saying, "We hate this project." It was deemed "too aggressive" with concerns raised about the height, massing, and impact of the new buildings on the existing alley structures. For now, the developer is expected to return to the HPRB in November to address any remaining concerns and to finalize the concept plan for approval. No application has been made just yet for the demolition of the historic warehouse. The lots affected by the project are 610-624 I Street, NW and 609-619 H Street, NW.
· Chinatown mixed-use project passes historic preservation hurdle [Elevation]
· Monument's Chinatown Project Pilloried at Historic [District Source]