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Shakespeare Theatre Co. renews plans for Southwest Waterfront HQ

“It [is] really the same old story”

The Bard.
Rendering via Shalom Baranes Associates

In July 2016, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) withdrew their plans for a 136-unit mixed-use high-rise at 501 I Street SW. At the time, locals criticized the project, known as “The Bard,” for potentially negatively impacting traffic as well as undermining the Southwest Neighborhood Plan.

Now, HillRag.com reports that the STC and Erkiletian Development are trying once more to get their project approved by the D.C. Zoning Commission. This new proposal has reduced the density of the original proposal by a third, while also lowering the height to a four-story building. The number of residential units has been reduced to 112 with 27 for the STC’s actors and fellows.

HillRag.com further reports that the ground floor of the building will offer administrative offices, seven actors’ housing units, an amenity space, and the lobby for the apartment building. The upper floors will house the residential units as well as 10 penthouses, each with its own private terrace.

To get this project approved, the STC and the developer will have to have a zoning change approved. This has been a major issue for some neighbors, one of whom created a website and Twitter account that delve into what concerns residents have with the project.

In a blog post published in February 2016, D.C. resident and blogger Andrea Pawley described the Shakespeare Theatre as "tone-deaf" and further accused the organization of misrepresenting neighborhood opposition in a narrative portion of a Planned Unit Development (PUD) document. According to Pawley, the project will affect "nearly every household within 200 feet of the proposed rezoning."

Despite the new proposal’s drop in density, Pawley recently wrote that “it [is] really the same old story ... [and] the community is not going to let that happen.”

Bard Development Plan Resurrected [HillRag.com]

Out, Damned Developer! Out! [Official Website]