*HPA Number: 2014-460, 2014-461
*Case Name: In the Matter of QC 369 LLC
*Location of Property: 911 and 913 L Street NW
*Type of Case/Type of Permit Sought: Demolition
*Date of Order : Jan. 16, 2015
*Date of Decision: Jan. 27, 2015
*Subject Matter(s): Demolition; Special Merit – Special Features
*Summary of Decision:*
The Applicant sought to develop a mixed-use parcel adjacent to the Washington Convention Center that contained nine contributing buildings in the Shaw Historic District. The Applicant's plans called for the demolition of 913 L St NW and the partial demolition and relocation of 911 L St. NW. A new twelve-story residential and hotel complex would incorporate significant portions of the remaining contributing buildings. The contributing buildings were all in deteriorated condition but nonetheless retained enough integrity to contribute to the character of the district.
The Mayor's Agent found that the Applicant's proposal included substantial restoration of the remaining contributing buildings and that the Applicant had worked closely with the Historic Preservation Office. After a series of design changes to respond to Historic Preservation Review Board ("HPRB") concerns, the HPRB unanimously voted that the concept was "compatible with the character of the historic district."
*Special Merit – Special Features:*
In assessing the demolition permit, the Mayor's Agent evaluated whether the project constituted a project of special merit. The Mayor's Agent found that the project would advance several important goals of the Comprehensive Plan, most notably the construction of more hotel rooms for multiple price points near the Convention Center (10A DCMR § 1608.11). The Mayor's Agent also found that the public benefits from the hotels, resulting economic activity, and the restoration of seven contributing buildings that otherwise would remain in dilapidated condition outweighed the loss of some historic resources. In determining whether the demolition was necessary to construct a project of special merit, the Mayor's Agent determined that the constraints of internal configuration and the need for a minimum street frontage to allow for lobbies and vehicle pick-up and drop-off precluded economical alternatives resulting in fewer impacts to historic resources.
*Consistent with the Purposes of the Act:*
The Mayor's Agent declined to decide whether the demolition of a contributing building and the restoration of seven other deteriorated buildings were consistent with the purposes of the Act because the permit was granted on the basis of special merit.