Lower Hill Block G1

Lower Hill Block G1
PAR, BPG, FNB, Clay Cove Capital
Project Status: 
Development Category: 


Original Submitted Documents

View the Executive Summary
View the Project Narrative
View the Project Team
View the Site Plan and Renderings

Updated Documents

View the First Response to DRP Request to Show Progress After Failed Scores - May 2020
View the Second Response to DRP Request to Show Progress After Failed Scores - January 2021
Note: Some documents have been marked confidential by the Development Team and as such we are unable to upload them

Memos to the SEA/URA/Mayor's Office/Elected Officials

View the Status of Non-Compliance with the Greater Hill District Master Plan and the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan 
View the Second Status of Non-Compliance with the Greater Hill District Master Plan and the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan
View the Planning Commission Briefing Memo

Timeline and Updates

February 2020 - Submitted to the DRP

  • Development Team: Buccini Pollin Group (BPG), Pens, First National Bank (FNB)
  • $200 million mix-used projects consisting of a 24-story modern office tower with a 4-story retail and parking podium
  • Over half an acre of public open space
  • 390,000 sq. ft. of modern office space along with complimentary conference and wellness areas for office tenants (over 40% pre-leased to First National Bank)
  • 20,000 sq. ft. of dining, fitness, and retail banking space across a two-level commercial podium
  • 100 space parking garage
  • The developer anticipates Q3 2020 groundbreaking and a late 2021 delivery with occupancy by Q3 2022
  • An internal review performed by DRP February 5th
  • Additional information requested by DRP
  • Developers have not yet been invited to present at the DRP

March 2020 - Attended the DRP Meeting

  • Joined the DRP at their March 4th meeting 
  • Discussed additional information requested
  • Developers were invited to present at April DRP Meeting

April 2020 - Presented to the DRP (Did Not Receive a Passing Score)

  • The Development Team presented the project to the DRP at the April 1st meeting
  • Received a score of 75% - C against GHDMP and a 68% - D against CCIP 
  • DRP invited the Development Team to attend the May 6th meeting to debrief about the project, the scoring, and discuss solutions to bring the project in alignment with CCIP and GHDMP.  Areas of the proposal that needed the most improvement:
    • GHDMP
      • Build Upon the African American Cultural Legacy
      • Economic Empowerment
      • Mobility and Transportation
    • CCIP
      • Wealth Building Initiatives
      • Cultural and Community Legacy Initiatives
      • Coordinated Community Development Strategies

May 2020 - Development Team Met with the DRP to Debrief on Failed Score and Next Steps

  • After meeting internally with DRP and some Executive Management Committee members for the Lower Hill, the DRP provided the Development Team with a summary of comments/concerns.
  • Development Team attended the May DRP meeting to understand where the proposal did not perform well in accordance with GHDMP and CCIP alignment and how the Development Team can go back, make the necessary adjustments to the project, and prepare to submit any new/requested materials prior to a second presentation and second scoring.
  • The DRP followed-up after their May DRP meeting with a list of requested documents for the Development Team to provide to evidence and explain GHDMP alignment and CCIP commitments before they could be invited back to the DRP to formally present their project again. 
  • Development Team submitted a response to the DRP's document requests, summary of comments/concerns, and areas that needed most improvement.

June 2020 - Development Team Submitted Incomplete Response

  • Upon receipt, the DRP reviewed the Development Team's response and determined that what was submitted was incomplete.  As such, the DRP did not invite the developer back to present, but instead invited them to attend the July 2020 DRP meeting to discuss the missing documentation, what the challenges were in being able to prepare and provide them, and how to move forward to receive the documentation requested to bring the project into alignment with both the CCIP and the GHDMP and advance it through the community review process. 
  • The developer declined the DRP's invitation and stated they would do their best to keep in touch as efforts progressed.

November 2020 - Development Team Reengaged the DRP

  • Development Team (which now includes Clay Cove Capital) reached out to DRP seeking to reengage the process and requested what was needed to do so.

December 2020 - DRP Reiterated Previously Unmet Requests

  • The DRP responded to the Development Team's interest in reengaging the process and reiterated the previously unmet requests.

January 2021 - Developer Submitted Responses to the Previously Unmet Requests

  • The Development Team submitted responses to the previously unmet requests. 
  • The DRP completed their review of the responses and unanimously voted (1 member was absent, but also has a conflict) that the documentation provided to demonstrate progress in the areas of the Greater Hill District Master Plan (“GHDMP”) and Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan (“CCIP”) where the proposal scored poorly were either incomplete or less than what the DRP requested.  Based on responses provided, there is not sufficient improvement to evidence that the project is prepared for a second presentation that would result in anything other than another failed score. 
  • Therefore, the DRP did not invite the Development Team with the intent to score. Rather, the DRP once again extended the offer to attend the upcoming DRP meeting on Wednesday, February 3rd to discuss what challenges and barriers the team has to addressing these areas and meeting the DRP’s requests for a second time. 

February 2021 - BPG Attended DRP Meeting to Discuss Barriers and Challenges to Meeting Requests to Demonstrate Progress

  • The Development Team attended the February DRP meeting without their development partner PAR.  The DRP expressed concerns with the Development Team's inability to demonstrate sufficient progress and reiterated their requests for a third time to try to move the project forward.
  • The DRP is still awaiting receipt of the requested items.

March 2021 - BPG Presented to DRP

  • The Development Team submitted updated documents on 3/1/21; each response is marked confidential as such we are unable to upload for community review
  • DRP reviewed those documents and communicated to the Development Team that they were not ready to present again as they still had yet to evidence sufficient progress that would result in anything other than another failed score.  The DRP felt the Development Team was rushing review in order to meet self-imposed timelines and trigger the regulatory process. Despite the DRP's guidance the Development Team insisted on presenting again to the DRP.  The DRP agreed to invite them to present at their insistence.
  • In addition, despite not yet receiving a passing score at the DRP Committee level, the Development Team requested that the Registered Community Organization (RCO) host a Development Activities Meeting (DAM).
  • The Development Team formally presented to the DRP Committee for a second time on Block G1 and for the first time on Block G4.  NOTE: The Development Team still has not submitted an application for Block G4.
  • DRP scored each Block G1 and newly introduced Block G4 separately for alignment with the GHDMP and each specific action item of the CCIP.  Block G1 received a 56% - E when scored against the GHDMP and a 47% - F when scored against the CCIP.  This is a second failed score for Block G1.  Block G4 received a 58% - E when scored against the GHDMP and a 48% - F when scored against the CCIP.   Unfortunately, this means that neither project passed the DRP Committee, which is the initial round of the community review process. As you will note, the Block G1 scores are lower than the first time.  When the DRP Committee peeled back the layers of promises and reviewed supporting documents and details (or rather lack thereof for both items) over the last 10 months, it was more evident how short the projects are falling on community reinvestment.  The Development Team did not meet DRP requests to produce the documentation that evidences sufficient progress and commitments.  In addition, the census tract boundary change in secret for the Development Team to take advantage of financial benefits (Opportunity Zone Status and LMI designation) raised the bar for community reinvestment as it exposed the neighborhood to potential increased gentrification and displacement.
  • Hill CDC hosted a DAM as part of the RCO process, which over 200 people attended for over 3 hours and there was not one positive comment

April 2021 - BPG returned Responses

  • As a result of the second set of failed scores, the DRP once again provided feedback for the Development Team to incorporate and address in a submission of updated documents.
  • Development Team did not respond directly to the DRP, however Development Team asked that their responses to EMC and Hill CDC proposals be shared with the DRP.
  • Development Team requested a Planning Commission Briefing as the first step in seeking Planning Commission approval for their Final Land Development Plan.

May 2021 - Planning Commission Hearing

  • Development Team presented to the Planning Commission at their Hearing
  • Planning Commission approved the Block G1 and Block G4 Final Land Development Plan with 6 conditions, including increased accountability and metrics to measure progress against the CCIP for future Lower Hill developments. 
  • DRP requested update from Development Team on submitting updated documents to continue with the community review process
  • The Developer never returned to engage the process, and thus failed the DRP.

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