Housing Complex

Battle of Babe’s Ends With Approval of Parking-Free Building

The Battle of Babe's is over, and the winner is the alliance between Douglas Development Corporation and smart-growth advocates who argued against the need for parking near the Tenleytown Metro station.

The fight began when Douglas, owner of the long-vacant Babe's Billiards site, put forward a proposal to build a mixed-use building on the site without any off-street parking. The local Advisory Neighborhood Commission gave its stamp of approval to include retail rather than parking, but some neighbors were not happy about the decision, to put it mildly. Worried about a potential parking crush on the street—despite Douglas' promise that residents would be barred from street parking—one accused the ANC commissioners of "not hav[ing] a brain"; another called them "condescending"; and a third yelled, "The emperor has no clothes!"

That was back in October. Last night, the Zoning Commission closed the book on this long neighborhood battle by unanimously approving the planned unit development application for the Bond at Tenley.

The building will remain parking-free, the neighborhood's growth will remain oriented around the Metro and bus lines, and the emperor will, alas, remain naked.

  • Tom M.

    My prediction is that this project will not ever be built. Douglas Development was facing a large increase in taxes on that site due to holding it without development for so long. They have done this around the city at many sites. Through this change, they will potentially increase the sale price if they flip it. But generally, DD doesn't sell and is very slow to develop sites while taking advantage of every trick in the book -- some legal and others that have led to legal and financial trouble for them -- to delay penalties.

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  • Tom M.

    My original comment has been "held in moderation" for almost four hours. My prediction is that this project will not be built -- either as proposed or by the current developer. The developer was facing a large increase in taxes on that site due to holding it without development for so long. They have done this around the city and at many sites. I also don't think the current owner will sell it. A number of owners like this one take advantage of every trick in the book to delay penalties.

  • DC Guy

    Great news for DC, for the neighborhood and for folks who believe change can be good.

  • Typical DC BS

    What a joke. Douglas "promises" that residents will be barred from street parking. Now, how would he enforce that? Put a clause in his lease that says the tenant agrees not to park on the street within 1/4 mile of the building? Wonder if that will pass legal muster is someone decides to ignore that.

    I think the residents are smarter than their ANC and the Zoning Commission. How stupid can Democrats be?

  • http://www.twitter.com/AdamLDC Adam L

    @Typical DC BS

    The residents of that building will not be eligible for residential parking permits. It's been done before.

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  • tntdc

    The city assuming provision of parking for new development residents is smart growth?

    Financial bonanza for developers.

  • kjb

    @Typical DC BS

    Why assume that all involved are Democrats?? In my short life I have noticed STUPID is not reserved for one group of people only. All groups of people have stupid ideas, even very smart people, of which i am not, have stupid ideas.

    I would assume, always a bad thing to do but i digress, that you would fall in to the not a Democrat group of people. Being divisive and name calling is the first thing those who have no real argument use.

    Please if you have an argument state it, don't resort to petty name calling, you are above that as an adult.


  • whydc

    I do not understand why DC hates cars so much. Have you ever tried to get anywhere on the weekends with wmata? It's a nightmare. Cars are necessary in this city whether the DC government likes it or not. They need to rethink their dream of making this a car free city. The fact that their transportation system is completely unreliable is what is stopping that dream from becoming a reality. So go back to planning things that will actually work in this city.

  • Typical DC BS

    @kjb: I use pejorative terms for Democrats because the vast majority of DC residents are DEMOCRATS and stupid.