Demolition and Disappointment

IMG_5945The real razing of the Southeastern University building started today as a portion near the south side of H Street was torn apart and left as rubble. Work commenced around 7:15am and ended around 4:30pm.

For the last few weeks, neighbors have been trying to set up a community-wide meeting with Shakespeare Theatre to see revised building proposals for the site. Shakespeare Theatre has been unable to commit to a date to meet with neighbors. The last meeting on the subject (on November 19, 2014) ended poorly after Shakespeare Theatre proposed a 9-story building at the site, neighbors strenuously objected, and Shakespeare Theatre rejected neighborhood concerns.

Since then, Shakespeare Theatre has lobbied the Office of Planning to recommend a zoning change so the Theatre can building its 9-story structure and others at the site. The Office of Planning, via the Southwest Small Area Plan, rejected that request. Recently, the City Council took up consideration of the Southwest Small Area Plan. Shakespeare Theatre has been lobbying the City Council directly for the high-density, 9-story zoning at the site that it desires. The site is surrounded on two sides by 3-story townhouses, on one side by a 2-story elementary school, and on the remaining side by a much-loved neighborhood park, the Southwest Duck Pond.

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