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Changes Could Be Afoot On Pennsylvania Ave Once The FBI Moves Out


The National Capital Planning Commission has backed a proposal that will impact the new owner of downtown’s J. Edgar Hoover Building, once the small matter of the FBI finding a new home sorts itself out.

The proposal would see buildings taller than the usual height along Pennsylvania Avenue rise at the site. The NCPC’s staff has backed the proposal, and official commissioners are likely to do the same, Greater Greater Washington reports.

The 1910 Height Act allowed for buildings along Pennsylvania Avenue to climb up to 160 feet, but the majority of buildings in the area have significantly shorter massing along the grand avenue. The proposal aims to change that, allowing whatever replaces the FBI's HQ to build to the max height up to the public right-of-way.

Additionally, the NCPC has proposed a reconstruction of D Street NW. Previously, there was a 70-foot-wide tract that ran to a public right-of-way, and the staff has floated some ideas for the two restored blocks, including as pedestrian-only use. An additional question on the width of the sidewalks along Pennsylvania Avenue has been tabled for now.

Perhaps this carrot thrown out by the NCPC will help move the process of finding a new owner for the aging Hoover building along. Bids on potential sites for the future home of the FBI are due in by June 22, and a proposed swap of the Hoover building remains on the table to be part of the final transaction. [GGW]