Key Bridge Exxon Condo Design Jilted by Old Georgetown Board and EastBanc's Lanier
EastBanc presented its design for a high-end condo complex at 3601-3607 M Street (the gas station property next to the Exorcist stairs) to the Old Georgetown Board, April 7, and was sent back to the drawing board—and then again on May 5. The latest remarks included a stronger rebuff of the design by the local advisory neighborhood commission, which sent a new letter to the OGB. Even the lead spokesman on behalf of the project, EastBanc's boss Anthony Lanier, said he agreed that the design should go back to the drawing board.
Residents may be fuming about the height of the complex against their backyards, but it was the way the condo looked and worked on the street that garnered the rejections. While some OGB officials agreed with Georgetown architect Robert Bell's opinion that the condos as drawn had a look of "Marriott-hotel quality," others found the design unfriendly or uninviting to pedestrians. While not exactly a high traffic area in terms of walkers, the Key Bridge Exxon will close by the end of July 2012. (The property is owned by D.C.'s gas station king, Joe Mamo, who also owns Parker's Exxon on MacArthur Boulevard, Georgetown Exxon at Q Street and the Watergate Exxon.)
After neighbors' comments and citing the review process, according to the Georgetown Patch, Lanier said at the May 5 meeting: "The design that we are objecting to, including myself, in many aspects and perhaps including our esteemed architect, is a function of combination," adding that he is "happy to abandon that process" of accommodating through the current design.
A new design for the M Street condos will be considered at a future OGB meeting for the fourth time.