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Plans for a Georgetown Sandlot Are on Hold

by Nena Perry-Brown

Aerial view of Sandlot Northwest screenshot from flyover video. Click to enlarge.

Plans were unveiled last year for an outdoor bar at a Georgetown site known as a gateway to the neighborhood — but it seems those plans are temporarily on hold.

Suite Nation is looking to bring its Sandlot brand ("Sandlot Northwest") to the Eastbanc-owned site at 2715 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (map), complete with outdoor seating, food truck-hosting, and a bar and restrooms retrofit out of two shipping containers. A review by the Old Georgetown Board (OGB) earlier this month indicated some reservations about the project -- some having to do with the particulars of the project, and others, not so much.

The general sentiment of the Board seemed to be that shipping containers were incompatible with the Historic District, but there also seemed to be division over whether that lack of compatibility was still acceptable for a temporary use, or whether a different material altogether should be used to erect the temporary bar and restroom structures. There is also the matter that the containers were already installed at the site last month.

Boardmembers also noted that the signage seen in previous renderings and schematics of the plans would be unacceptable, and complained about the lack of a final site plan and specifications for lighting, plantings, etc. 

However, there also seemed to be some hand-wringing about the future of the site in general.

Current site conditions after installation of the containers, courtesy of the application documents. Click to enlarge.

Eastbanc previously received approval to construct a five-story boutique development on the site, delivering seven residential units above a restaurant. While the gas station that was on the site was demolished in 2018 to make way for the project, construction has not begun and a timeline for development remains elusive to OGB and the public.

"Currently, the lot is not being maintained well and a chain-link fence encircles the property," OGB staff reported. "Though [the shipping containers] are supposedly temporary, there are never guarantees about future construction of a building, and we have to work under the assumption that construction will not happen." 

OGB recommended that the applicants put the application on hold and return with more fleshed-out documentation and a proposed removal date within the calendar year for the installation, citing a willingness to consider an extension based on the status of the pandemic. Easbanc and Suite Nation hope to return to the Board next month.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/plans-for-outdoor-bar-on-hold-at-georgetown-gateway-site/17908

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