Washington D.C. Real Estate Development

Locals Oppose Shakespeare Theatre Company Development at Waterfront

A proposed development at 501 I Street SW in the Waterfront neighborhood is being strongly opposed by area residents. According to Popville, the development will be home to the Shakespear Theatre Company’s administrative offices and educational space, which has led to the development being nicknamed “The Bard.”

On Dec. 11, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6D/Waterfront unanimously voted to oppose the development in an effort to avoid the “set down” of the proposal. As it stands, Popville reported, the Office of Planning should now include ANC’s objection in its report. After that is reviewed, the Zoning Commission will either deny or “set down” (ie. schedule) a hearing for the proposal.

Among the complaints from ANC’s speakers was a boundary dispute with a local elementary school, parking issues, an inadequate loading dock, and an apparently lengthy list of broken promises on behalf of the developers, Popville reported. At the end of their speeches came a round of applause from supporters in attendance, as well as a compliment from Commissioner Gail Fast (District 01, where the site in question is located) who said the speakers did “a great job.”

According to Curbed DC, the current plan is for a U-shaped building rising four stories, with a five-story annex. The mixed-use project would include 110 residential units. Of those units, five will be reserved for Shakespeare Theatre Company actors, and two for Amidon Bowen and Jefferson Academy public school staff, which will be rented at 40 percent below the market rate. 

An additional 11,383 square feet will be reserved for those earning up to 60 percent area median income (AMI), and 987 square feet for those earning up to 50 percent AMI, Curbed DC reported.

As far as the Shakespeare Theatre Company space goes, 29,425 square feet will serve as administrative, rehearsal, and performance space. A below-grade garage will have 39 parking spaces for vehicles, and an additional 70 for bicycles.

If all goes according to plan, Curbed DC noted that groundbreaking is estimated for 2018, with the building being completed by 2020.

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