- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 14, 2007

Local community groups are trying to stop development of condominiums and a new parking garage at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel on Woodley Road in Northwest.

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3C and the Woodley Park Community Association are protesting construction of a new parking garage on the site. A former commissioner who led the protest said that appealing the parking-garage zoning is the only tool neighbors have to stop construction of the condos, which she said have neighbors concerned about overdevelopment.

“Personally speaking, not as the commissioner, you appeal what you can appeal to work the issue you really want to go for, which is the condo tower,” said Deborah Jane Lindeman, who recently lost re-election to the commission.

Some in the community think the condominium building will bring too many people to an already congested area, she said. But opponents can’t do much to stop the condo construction, so they’re going after the parking garage.

“It’s a humongous condominium [building],” Ms. Lindeman said. “The neighborhood wouldn’t bellyache so much if it wasn’t so large.”

“The neighborhood is not unanimous” on this issue, said Gloria E. Day, who was elected to the neighborhood ANC. She declined further comment except to say that the ANC will keep an eye on the situation.

Ken Finkelstein, a managing partner at JBG Cos., the Chevy Chase developer that owns the hotel and the site, said the 100 to 150 additional condo units won’t significantly alter the neighborhood. Condo construction is scheduled to start in mid-2008.

Construction has started on the underground parking garage, which would replace an aboveground structure.

JBG doesn’t expect the appeal to sway the District’s Board of Zoning Adjustment but says it is listening to its neighbors.

“There were some concerns expressed about the new condominium building, and we’re continuing to talk to the community,” Mr. Finkelstein said.

Opening soon …

• KLNB LLC, a real estate company with four offices in Northern Virginia and the Baltimore area, plans to open two new offices: one in the District, at 5225 Wisconsin Ave. NW, and one in Loudoun County. KLNB plans to have the District office up and running this month and the Loudoun office up by the summer.

• Jack’s Restaurant & Bar, a European and American bistro, has opened on 17th Street near Dupont Circle.

Chef and owner Herbert Kerschbaumer has combined his Swiss heritage and culinary training, his travel throughout Europe and Brazil, and his current home in the United States to develop the restaurant’s flavor. Mr. Kerschbaumer, who also owns Bistro Bernoise in the District, named the restaurant after a friend’s German shepherd.

• Oyamel, the Mexican restaurant formerly of Crystal City, has completed its move to Seventh Street Northwest in the location formerly occupied by sister restaurant Andale. It is open only for dinner now; lunch and weekend brunch service will start later.

• Sushi-Ko, which dishes fish at 2309 Wisconsin Ave. NW, plans to open a second location in March. The new restaurant, at 5453 Wisconsin Ave. NW, will have three dining rooms and 17-foot ceilings.

Retail & Hospitality appears Mondays. Send news and tips to Jen Haberkorn at jhaberkorn@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-4836.

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