Sally Gresham, one of the ANC 3F commissioners who is dealing with the BF Saul development and construction of Park Van Ness, reports on an upcoming pre-construction meeting with BF Saul, and sidewalk closures at this construction site.
ANC Pre-Construction Meeting with BF Saul
The ANC has a pre-construction meeting with Saul Centers and Clark Construction on Tuesday, October 29th at The Methodist Home to learn about the overall construction process and implementation. Commissioners are the only invited attendees. After this meeting Commissioner Gresham will have more information to share with the community and possibly a commitment from Saul to have a community Park Van Ness construction status meeting.
Saul has been given the right to build on their site with the proper city submittals and permits. Developers with proper permits can have workers on site from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., six days a week (Monday-Saturday). Workers are allowed to congregate off the construction site before 7 a.m. Saul and Clark Construction have to submit a construction schedule and construction traffic plan to DDOT (District Department of Transportation) for review and approval. They will need to follow all the City’s regulations. If Saul/Clark are not following the regulations, the ANC will be able to address the issue with the proper city agencies and Saul and Clark representatives.
Sidewalk Closures on Connecticut Avenue
The sidewalk closure signage was for Pepco nighttime work on the electrical vaults in front of the old Pier One store last Thursday, October 24th. BF Saul and Clark Construction were not involved with this work and did not close the sidewalk.
Pepco put the signage up more than 24 hours before the scheduled night work. The same scenario happened with DC Water Friday, October 18th and Monday, October 21st because of a collapsed main sewer line work – again, directly in front of the former Pier One.
The sidewalk in front of the Saul project will be closed off by other DC agencies having to do work in the public space from time to time. Commissioner Gresham asked Saul at both public ANC meeting presentations on public space (April and July) to address sidewalk accessibility during the two years of construction (i.e. acovered walkway like at UDC, temporary lighting, exact times of the public space work that will close the sidewalk). Saul representatives stated both times that they will try to keep the sidewalk open as much as possible during the entire project but they have not committed to the sidewalk being open throughout construction.
According to DDOT, the sidewalk can be closed by Saul and DC agencies involved in the Park Van Ness construction with the proper permits and with proper signage directing pedestrians and bicyclists to cross to the west sidewalk on Connecticut Ave between Albemarle and Windom Place. Hopefully, Saul and Clark will be respectful of the community. And residents will need to draw on their reservoir of patience during this time.