Housing Complex

NIMBY Press Release of the Year

Swear to god, I'm ready to call it for the panicked e-mail that just landed in my inbox, sounding the alarm against the rapacious monstrosity proposed for the old Hine Jr. High School at Eastern Market. On Monday, the Zoning Commission set down Stanton-Eastbanc's planned unit development for a final hearing, which seems to have set off a last-ditch protest on Saturday. One of the latest renderings is above, and the full package is here.



Eastern Market will be the backdrop for a grass-roots protest to be staged, this Saturday (18th) against the controversial proposed redevelopment plans for the defunct Hine Junior High School.

Starting at 1:00 pm, members of EMMCA (Eastern Market Metro Community Association) will gather outside the Market (at 7th and C Street, SE) to start distributing leaflets (door-to-door and to visitors enjoying the famed attractions of the Market area) to draw attention to the fact that the charm and history of the neighborhood is in grave danger of being ravaged.

The problem is that the plans, as proposed, will blight the very features that make the Eastern Market community such a wonderful place to live – and visit – with a building that is: too high, too dense, too ugly and lacking open space.

The leaflet campaign is being organized by EMMCA in its battle to get the city government powers-that-be to "Right Size" the plans - in favor of the original plans, which were accepted by both the city government and the Eastern Market community.

Inexplicably the plans were changed – and the fight began.

The leaflet will urge people to contact Council Member Tommy Wells, and tell him to speak up, use his influence, to back the "Right-Size" demands of the community he serves.

This is what the leaflets will say:



At half a million square feet, the proposed development of the Hine Jr. High site is the largest ever forced on a historic district in Washington, D.C.

The hulking behemoth proposed by developers Stanton/Eastbanc looks nothing like the development that was promised to us when the city decided to close the school.

At every stage in the process until now, the development has grown.  As it currently stands, the proposed project threatens to tower over our residential community and Eastern Market and change its historic character forever.

The project threatens to turn 7th Street into a lightless canyon, push retail into areas that are now residential, and drive out the small retail that characterizes Eastern Market and our neighborhood.


The next several months will tell the tale:  Will Hine overwhelm and change our neighborhood for the worse, or be one of its crowning features?  Starting with the opening of the PUD (Planned Unit Development) process on February 13, the neighborhood finally has a formal opportunity before the Zoning Commission to shrink the project back down to a size compatible with the Eastern Market community.

TAKE ACTION NOW: The Zoning Commission has the power to shrink Hine back to a reasonable size.


Cut Back the Size of the Development

Don’t Let Retail Overtake Residential Areas

Fight Loss of Open Space, Preserve Space for the Flea Market


Phone:  202-724-8072

Email:  twells@dccouncil.us

Address:  1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 408,  Washington, DC  20004

FYI: EMMCA has a website/blog that documents the fight: http://emmcablog.org

For more information contact:

Roger Strauss

tel: 202-669-5892

e-mail: rtauss@earthlink.net

This e-mail has been sent by Maggie Hall of 'C' Street, SE, an EMMCA member.

  • http://tsarchitect.nsflanagan.net цarьchitect

    "Right-sizing" is a classic NIMBY phrase for zoning down to as small as imaginable".

  • DC Preservation Watch

    I don't have the slightest problem with the size but the design...the design! This is the worst kind of generic office architecture. Where the hell is the Restoration Society when they could actually do some good? Terrible terrible design. The architect should be ashamed of herself.

  • http://www.congressheightsontherise.com The Advoc8te

    And over here in Ward 8 we are just trying to put the breaks on the oversaturation of methadone clinics, homeless shelters, and group homes in our community. These folks would probably slit their throats if they saw what we have to battle on the regular basis.

    If someone where to bring 1/4 of this much retail to Ward 8 we would probably dance in the streets with excitement.

    I guess one man's monstrosity is another man's economic development.


  • DC Guy

    The design is awful, but the scale is ok. Probably, the middle of the road opponents wouldn't have a problem with it if the design and aesthetic were better.

    That said, in this economy, people are fighting investment like this? I agree with The Advoc8te on this one.

  • Whoa_now

    Dude, they never liked the design. The design they got is because they argued over every little thing. Eastbanc I believe has changed the design multiple times to appease the EMMCA. You should see their website: http://emmcablog.org/

    They faught tooth and nail over the community center too...and are still upset. Many are well meaning and want the best for the neighborhood. I'm a neighbor and I do too, but I think the moment they started arguing size for the location they missed the boat. They should have argued style. These massive constructions aren't feasible unless they are a certain size, better to make them attractive than lose both battles.

    Some don't want anything new in the neighborhood, especially restaurants. I have a feeling most are shortsighted and don't understand it will happen no matter what they say..better to argue for what you can win, than argue for what you will eventually lose anyway.

    I'll say I don't love the design, but it's better than what is there now and will add character to the neighborhood. What the architects should have done is gone to other major cities with large closed/open markets and gathered inspiration from buildings from the same era that surround those markets. I could google some from nyc or boston and have a better idea of what the hines project should look like.

    All in all this project has been held back and made worse because of the EMMCA, not better IMO.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    WE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!

  • Rob

    I understand the local neighbors' opposition to the size, but I think their efforts have been too selfish and shortsighted. Eastern Market is a great area, but the market is not enough to be neighborhood anchor in today's DC. While it offers everything that a community wants, it is only a small market. This development could bring in some much needed business and will fill the TERRIBLE remnants of the Hine school. Ultimately, its the space on the street that matters and if you look closely, I think this building offers some great street level design and opportunity.

  • Crispin

    I live a block from this project. I support it wholeheartedly. Development near Metro stations should be dense. It's good for the neighborhood, for the city and for the environment. If anything this project is too small.

  • Dot

    There's a concept called overscaling. Does anyone know what it is?

  • Jack Johnson

    I agree that the design is boring. I wish we would allow a little more creativity in architecture in D.C., so every building didn't look like big cubes. That being said, at the end of the day, I want to get the development of the site done. It would do a lot of good for the neighborhood.

  • K Kimball

    Lydia- I understand that this issue may seem trivial to you. More importantly, I appreciate the Advoc8te's points and if I were in that situation, my concerns would be different too. I'm in this situation and I love this neighborhood. From the first time I saw it: the bones of these old homes and corner store fronts, the alleys and carriage houses, the charm, the character, the detail and the quirks-- it's gorgeous to me and I feel lucky to be able to live here.
    I do not oppose developing the Hine space. The space is ripe for development but that doesn't mean that what goes there should overpower the area. What is developed can be smart, attractive, revenue generating, convenient. It can blend rather than dominate.

  • Remote

    K Kimball, you have some sense and you've got it right.

    There is a lack of such people, at least in my neighborhood. Maybe on Capitol Hill you have them.

  • the haudi aristocrat

    money and tax revenues and onward and upward out with the old and don't lie down in front of a moving steamroller.

    time for some authentic experience! mixed use! urban village! live where you work, play where you eat!

    it's big.

    then again, look at the macomb street giant et al.

    got juice?

  • cc

    What DC Preservation Watch said.

    If the building looked more like the Old Naval Hospital and the actual Eastern Market building, it would be fine, no matter the height. Right now it looks like Jenkins Row, blah, so no wonder everyone's against it.

    Architects, redesign the building so that it fits with the neighborhood, then you can get your height and retail space.

  • Whoa_now

    I posted earlier, and here are a few buildings that would match the Eastern Market style. I'm no architect, but I think these pics is what the architect should try and replicate. The view from Penn/once getting off the metro is the ugliest. Its actually terrible. the view from 8th is eh...and the view from the mkt isn't that bad...but not great either. I have no problem with the height in any area..or the suggested parking. Myself and neighbors are going to have to realize that parking will forever be a nightmare on weekends..thats what makes living here great. I don't touch my car on the weekends, I walk everwhere. anyhow pics below. picture them in red brick.




    stagger hieghts, make it look like multiple buildings and I think it would go better. Honestly the Penn side of the Hines project is terrible.

  • H Street Landlord

    I would love to see more density and height here. Prime location across from a metro stop, great neighborhood.

  • Rosina

    Well, I guess I am a NIMBY and proud of it.
    I can see why people are freaking out if this is the type of reporting done on their issues. I mean, Lydia did start off calling names. Sounds a little biased to me.

    Without arguing how ugly the building is (which actually sounds like we all agree on THAT lol) or the size, let's agree to disagree on that, because it is a bit big with a giant lack of public space.

    How about we talk about JUST the numbers. From the math I did it looks like the land WAS worth around $44.7 million BEFORE the zoning commission upsized it to double the height. And it looks like the developer is paying around $21.8 Mil.

    AND DC is footing the bill for destruction of Hine and some of the construction of the new buildings. Wow.

    I WISH I got sweet deals like this. Oh dear NIMBY haters is it OK with you for me to be upset about this deal?

    Too bad you didn't bother to research the issue and add any facts to it. For shame.

  • Former Hine Student

    All of DC residents who bleed DC and not just them #$%^&* who live on capitol hill should be ashamed of ourselves.... We let people decide what we need in DC instead of us telling what we need.... They closed almost every school down in DC and u all didnt say anything.... I hope like hell that the bldg is so tall, and so ugly that it makes yall sick to your stomaches and i hope the bldg is high enough for us to see it south east lol.... Oh yeah no matter how much yall dont want to associate yourselves with SE, It will forever be on your addresses and not capitol hill lmao....