To the Editor:
Today I am writing to you with a major concern for our neighborhood. On Wednesday, March 9, we were given a presentation at our Upper King Street Neighborhood Association on the plans for the Naval Reserve Association building located at 1617 King St. Currently the building at that location is three stories high, it is not a large building, and the site itself is not a large space. The space is at the corner of Harvard and King Streets. Harvard is a residential street, one side is historical, with row houses on both sides of the street.
The presentation was given by MHF Properties V LLC, an affiliate of Magna Hospitality. They are proposing to remove the current building which more fits with the residential homes and replace it with a very large hotel, seven stories high, and retail of some type on the ground floor. They proposed two floors of garage space below ground. The hotel will have 118 rooms. This will tower over the current homes. That stated it will take approximately one-and-a-half to two years to complete the project which will be quite disruptive to the residents, traffic on Harvard and on King streets. The new building will butt right up to the homes. The developer will have to use a lot of equipment which will cause a lot of noise, and because of the age of the homes may also cause structural damage to them.
Once complete, the vehicular traffic will be a nightmare. The parking on Harvard Street is on both sides of the street and there is rarely an open parking space at any time, day or night. Even if they were to offer valet parking for the hotel they will need space for loading and unloading not only their guests, but equipment and supplies on a regular basis. The alley behind the homes will become a thoroughfare for the many delivery trucks and trash removal. They did not take into consideration parking for hotel or retail employees, which means the overflow will take up whatever vacant space that may appear on Harvard then onto Cameron Street.
With the upcoming change to the parking lot at the King Street Metro we are already experiencing an overload of parked vehicles. There are already several hotels at this end of King Street and within a couple of blocks of the property. A building of this proportion should not be permitted at this location.