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Adams Morgan’s SunTrust Plaza redevelopment wins HPRB approval

Finally, a win for PN Hoffman

It’s been a long and bumpy ride for PN Hoffman’s planned redevelopment of Adams Morgan’s SunTrust Plaza. Finally, the developer has received a win in the form of approval by the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB).

UrbanTurf reported that the HPRB voted to approve the project at 1800 Columbia Road NW, despite opposition vocalized by Adams Morgan residents and ANC 1C. Even with the approval, the HPRB did have some criticisms. UrbanTurf further reported that boardmembers described the design as "lackluster" and "so compatible, it almost disappears." Another opinion was that certain elements should be simplified.

Earlier this month, members of ANC 1C unanimously voted against PN Hoffman's project, describing it as too big and too high despite the developer already lowering sections of the proposed building to five stories and reducing the height by five feet.

The Washington Post described the area as "Adams Morgan's gateway," the focal point for the annual Adams Morgan Day festival, a farmers market, and a reminder of its history as a site where Jimi Hendrix once played in a theater that occupied the space. In last month's meeting, ANC 1C commissioner Billy Simpson further described the location as "very challenging."

Simpson further stated, “If the exact same building would have been proposed for any number of other locations in Adams Morgan, I probably would have supported it right off the bat.”

Last month, PN Hoffman withdrew their project’s application to the Board of Zoning Adjustment in response to criticisms vocalized by neighborhood organizations. The plans for the project are to construct approximately 60 residential units in a six-story apartment complex topped by a penthouse.