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xtra xtra!
Rooney Real Estate
Commonwealth Cooperative Bank
December 12, 2013
Development Along East Broadway
By Rick Winterson



The property in question, located on the northeast corner of Broadway’s intersection with P Street, is often referred to as the “white house” or the “Collins mansion”.  It is sited on about a half-acre of land (approximately 20,000 square feet).  The ground rises about ten feet off the sidewalk.  There is a building to the right rear of the main residence that is part of the existing property.  This will be partly demolished, but is not part of the proposed new construction.

Basically, the proposed new construction consists of two wings, which are to be added to each side and are each about the same size as the existing building.  Three 3-bedroom condominium residences will be built in each wing and in the existing center building – a total of nine units and 27 bedrooms.  Each of the three third floor units will have a rooftop penthouse and a roof deck.

Twelve parking places are planned for the basement of the proposed development, which will be underground and accessed from the rear.  Twelve cars are not expected to present any kind of traffic congestion problem.  Six parking spaces are to be placed in front for guests.  These will partly screened by grassed and landscaped embankments.

The Landmarks Commission has yet to issue its final verdict on what preservation of the Collins Mansion is required.  The developer (Rocco Scippa) seeks several zoning variances as well.  Included among these are a height exemption to 46 feet and permission to erect four-story structures.  Some of the areas and area ratios need zoning exemptions, too.  A December 17 morning hearing is scheduled at the Zoning Board of Appeals in City Hall.

During the community meeting, the proposed roof decks became an issue – late night parties could become a nuisance, especially for the abutting townhouses on P Street and East Broadway.  A suggestion was made to install windowed gazebos instead of any decks.  The front parking lot for guests was also questioned – although the lot will be partly screened by the slopes in front, one attendee asked for a high wall to completely hide this lot.  Exterior lighting and possible drainage problems from the higher levels of the property also raised questions, which the architect and developer answered in turn.  The rear building (930R) may possibly be developed in the future – potentially adding two more units – but will only be partly demolished for now.

The meeting was generally constructive and moderate in tone, even though the City Point neighborhood is being extensively developed.  Other developments that impact City Point include 945 East Broadway (the “red house”), 815 Fifth Street (extending over to Sixth Street), and the nearby proposed Conley Terminal expansion.

One key meeting participant attributed this to having a residents’ Advisory Committee, who can work with developers to ensure such parameters as good design, neighborhood-friendly construction, and use of quality materials.  



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