HPA No. 93-466 (In re. Victor Building)

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HPA No. 93-466 (In re. Victor Building)

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  • HPA Number: 93-466
  • Case Name: In Re the Victor Building
  • Location of Property: 724 9th Street NW
  • Date of Decision: October 25, 1993

Summary:

Applicant sought to demolish portions of the landmark Victor Building. Pursuant to a Compromise with the D.C. Preservation League, the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, and Art Deco, Applicant had scaled back the scope of demolition from the building's entire 1925 addition to retention and restoration of all 9th Street facades including those of the 1925 addition, a 40-foot section of the alley, and the floor plates. The Mayor's Agent ordered issuance of the permits for partial demolition and new construction, concluding that the project was consistent with the purposes of the Act since it would retain, enhance, and adapt the site for current use. The Mayor's Agent conditioned his approval on the requirement that no demolition proceed until the building plans were approved by all parties to the Compromise as well as the Historic Preservation Review Board.

Note: See Modification of HPA 93-466.

Consistent with the Purposes of the Act:

The Mayor's Agent concluded that Applicant's proposed demolition of portions of the landmark Victor Building was consistent with the purposes of the Act and thus necessary in the public interest since the approved plan included preservation and restoration of all street facades and the building's historic lobby, and thus would retain, enhance, and adapt the building for current use. The Mayor's Agent also found that without renovations, the building would incur net losses of $307,000 annually (or $250,000 at maximum occupancy), and thus found that the only way to ensure the landmark's survival was to incorporate it into a new redevelopment project.

Demolition - Partial:

The Mayor's Agent concluded that Applicant's proposed demolition of portions of the landmark Victor Building was consistent with the purposes of the Act since the approved plan included preservation and restoration of all street facades and the building's historic lobby, and thus would retain, enhance, and adapt the building for current use.

Historic Landmark:

In concluding that Applicant's proposed partial demolition and new construction of the landmark Victor Building was consistent with the purposes of the Act, the Mayor's Agent noted that the building's interior was not designated a landmark and that the current state of the building (it had been completed in three phases—an original building and two additions) reflected its whole history "by reflecting the trends in the development of Washington."

Prior History:

See HPA No. 92-535, 92-538, order of March 31, 1993 for prior history.

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  • HPA Number: 93-466
  • Case Name: In Re the Victor Building
  • Location of Property: 724 9th Street NW
  • Date of Decision: December 17, 1997
  • Type of Case/Permit Sought: Motion for modification of previous order granting partial demolition permit
  • Disposition: Granted
  • Date of Case Summary: August 1, 2006

Summary:

John Akridge Companies (the "Applicant") sought to modify a previous order granted October 25, 1993 (the "Prior Order") that allowed for the partial demolition of a locally-designated landmark, the Victor Building, in connection with the development of a new office building that would incorporate the retained portions of Victor Building. Specifically, Applicant sought permission to demolish additional interior floor slabs and a portion of the roof, arguing that this was necessary to construct the project "in the most structurally-sound and straightforward manner." Under the Prior Order, the Applicant was required to retain most of the street and alley facades, which were deemed to be part of the "preservation component" of the structure, and the proposed additional demolition would not alter such preservation component, nor the appearance of the completed project. In this proceeding, Applicant also made several procedural requests, including (a) relief from a requirement that demolition permits and construction permits be issued simultaneously, (b) permission that review of the final plans be delegated to the staff of the Historic Preservation Review Board (the "HPRB"), and (c) permission that final resolution of issues with respect to the building lobby be delegated to HPRB's staff. Finding that the Applicant's requested modifications were consistent with the requirements of the Act and standard practice of HPRB, the Mayor's Agent granted all of Applicant's requests, without elaboration.

Mayor's Agent - Procedural:

Applicant requested that the modification of the Prior Order be done "on an administrative level without a public hearing." The Mayor's Agent specifically granted the entire motion of Applicant, which included this request, but did not address why it would be consistent with applicable law to so grant the motion without a public hearing.

Consistent with the Purposes of the Act:

The Mayor's agent found that granting the requested additional demolition would not diminish the preservation component of the approved project, namely because "the building's appearance from the street will not change." Similarly, the procedural requests were found to not alter the "preservation aspects" of the project and were therefore approved.

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Title: HPA No. 93-466 (In re. Victor Building)
Author: Government of the District of Columbia. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Office of Adjudication
Abstract: Decision and order concerning partial demolition of the Victor Building.
Permanent Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10822/761237
Date Created: 1993
Subject: Demolition


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