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One of D.C.’s most controversial projects clears final regulatory hurdle

Critics against the Adams Morgan project are now preparing a lawsuit

Rendering via Eric Colbert & Associates

SunTrust Plaza in Adams Morgan will soon be redeveloped with a six-story, 52-unit condo project with 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The project, led by PN Hoffman and Potomac Investment Properties, has dealt with criticisms from residents in the community. Despite that, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) recently decided to approve the project.

Bisnow reported that opponents of the $30 million project are now preparing to file a lawsuit in order to preserve the outdoor plaza on the site. Construction is expected to begin in the next 18 months.

In October 2016, ANC 1C unanimously voted against PN Hoffman's project, located at 1800 Columbia Road NW, describing it as too big and too high. Prior to the meeting, the developer had lowered sections of the project by five feet.

Despite ANC 1C’s disapproval of the project, the HPRB voted to approve the project in October 2016. One criticism that the HPRB had was that the design was “lackluster.”

Part of the reason why residents are so protective of the land that the planned project stands on is because of its historicity. 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 site where Jimi Hendrix once played in a theater that occupied the space.

In an October 2016 meeting, ANC 1C commissioner Billy Simpson said, “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.”

In an interview with Bisnow, PN Hoffman said that it is aware of the planned lawsuit.

PN Hoffman moving forward on SunTrust Plaza while NIMBY-ers plan lawsuit [Bisnow]