Old Georgetown Board Doesn’t Support Design for Exxon Condo Project

by Lark Turner

Old Georgetown Board Doesn't Support Design for Exxon Condo Project: Figure 1
Rendering for Georgetown Hillside.

Another design for the condos planned for the Key Bridge Exxon site in Georgetown has been panned by both the neighborhood ANC and the Old Georgetown Board.

Developer EastBanc has long been planning a residential project on the site of the Key Bridge Exxon station at 3607 M Street NW (map). The latest proposal calls for about 27 units adjacent to the famed Exorcist stairs.

But both ANC 2E and the Old Georgetown Board issued strong opinions this week suggesting the project doesn’t fit with the neighborhood’s character. The ANC chose not to endorse the project, its resolution said, because “the industrial/modern design is not in keeping with the use of brick on commercial and residential structures in this part of Georgetown.”

On Thursday, the Old Georgetown Board (OGB) also passed on the latest design. ANC 2E Commissioner Tom Birch, who attended last night’s meeting, said the OGB largely agreed that the design he called “kind of somber” wouldn’t work in Georgetown.

“It’s back to the drawing board,” Birch told UrbanTurf on Friday. He was quick to add that while the organizations aren’t opposed to modern structures in the neighborhood, the site needs a more nuanced and set-back facade than the one presented — which he called largely similar to previous iterations.

The ANC and OGB consider the site an important one in part because it sits near a primary entry point into the neighborhood. Birch advised the developer “to look at the kind of materials that are used up and down M Street” for the next design.

EastBanc didn’t respond to a request for comment on the ANC’s resolution.

See other articles related to: georgetown hillside, georgetown exxon, georgetown, dclofts

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/georgetown_organizations_pan_design_for_exxon_site/8213


  1. Greg Hudgins said at 2:04 am on Saturday March 8, 2014:
    This is very disappointing - this is a beautiful design and would be stunning in that location. The subdued color - black - is a nice addition at that end of Georgetown and brings it into the 21st Century. It compliments the Ritz project as a contemporary building in the area, plus some of the newer projects on M. Enough of the old, in with the new already.
  1. Adam L said at 2:45 am on Saturday March 8, 2014:
    Can someone explain what about an Exxon station is "in keeping with the use of brick on commercial and residential structures in this part of Georgetown"?
  1. Delempicka said at 6:53 am on Saturday March 8, 2014:
    How disappointing. I think we need a New Georgetown Board.
  1. James said at 1:03 pm on Saturday March 8, 2014:
    "Old" Georgetown Board says it all. Time to change them out, methinks. Typical "Bored" of Neighborhood Directors.
  1. Boris said at 5:27 pm on Saturday March 8, 2014:
    It is a beautiful design. The ANC's decision makes it a loss for Georgetown and Washington, not that the "decision makers" will understand it. Handel Architects does not need Washington. It's the other way around. Note to the writer: when writing about architecture, is it really hard to mention the architect's name?
  1. tim said at 4:46 am on Sunday March 9, 2014:
    Not surprising at all. This knee jerk anti-anything slightly different is par for the course in Georgetown unfortunately. Georgetown has been in gradual decline for several years now as 14th street and Downtown rise. Attitudes like this will only hasten the decline.
  1. h st ll said at 2:05 pm on Sunday March 9, 2014:
    Yeah, the rendering is beautiful. Hopefully it is not changed much!
  1. John said at 4:20 pm on Sunday March 9, 2014:
    Wonder if the people "loving" this design were hired by the developer and architect. This is a terrible typical unimaginative box design. It does not fit the Georgetown historical architecture.
  1. Boris said at 6:05 pm on Sunday March 9, 2014:
    Is it too much to ask to keep the discussion substantive? a) I am not working for EastBank or Handel; b) I am not wondering who "John" is working for; c) what is "imaginative" design? I'd like to learn, no BS;
  1. Nimby4Life said at 9:10 pm on Sunday March 9, 2014:
    @John, right on. This is Georgetown, not NoMa or the Navy Yard. Goodness people, Georgetown is historic. It will be fine without new development. Try building that ugly crap on Capitol Hill or Crestwood. Georgetown is not on the decline and the suggestion that it is is absurd. Georgetown's biggest challenge is trying to accommodate the ever increasing commercial (pedestrian) traffic. It may not be as hot as Columbia Heights, but people aren't fleeing the neighborhood. Property values are not on the decline.
  1. Bernardo said at 3:32 pm on Monday March 10, 2014:
    Baffled by the decision. This bureaucratic system is in place in large part to protect the property values of current owners. If you reduce supply you inflate prices. The design was great and its a shame this project is getting delayed.
  1. Jay said at 5:13 pm on Monday March 10, 2014:
    Good for the board! While it is a nice design and appeals to those who like its trendy, modern appeal or those want something new and cutting edge. One need to look no farther than the Georgetown waterfront or even the campus itself to buildings put up in the 70's, 80's, and 90's that already show their age and are ugly eyesores. Georgetown demands a certain aesthetic and this certainly does not meet that requirement. Back to the drawing board!!
  1. SW, DC said at 6:26 pm on Monday March 10, 2014:
    who cares. I live in SW, minutes from G-town and haven't been in ages. It's stale and overpriced. It's for a certain kind of people and frankly they can have it. I do like the design though...
  1. Alex said at 9:24 pm on Monday March 10, 2014:
    Have to say I'm a little disappointed in the OGB's decision. This building is refined and doesn't draw attention to itself, while advancing Georgetown into the 21st century. Georgetown is a historic district, not a museum dedicated to colonial architecture. We should take note of comparable neighborhoods in other cities: Tribeca, Chelsea, Soho- these iconic NYC neighborhoods manage to introduce modern architecture while still being respectful of what exists. Above all, this is about creating a building that speaks to the past, both in materials and in scale. To me, this does both.
  1. Howard R. said at 12:31 pm on Wednesday June 25, 2014:
    Seriously!?! This is a stunning design in a town where that compliment is not heard often. Have no connection to anyone around this. Just believe the developer has done a great job of creating an iconic design for what can be an iconic location. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth. Wait, let's create a cutesy Georgetownesque. facade to really spark the imagination and grow the brand and mystique. Really sad and disappointing for the greater city. The comment about other cities introducing counterpoint design to celebrate and enhance the original historic architecture is spot on. What a shame.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »