Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Proposed Tenleytown residential building sparks controversy

A controversial new building with ground-floor retail and residential floors above may be built in Tenleytown to replace the currently vacant Babes Billiards building.

ANC 3E will vote to approve the new building plan, located at 4600 Wisconsin Ave. NW near the Tenleytown Metro stop, on Jan. 14, ANC 3E chairman Matthew Frumin said.

If approved, the expanded building will be a five-story residential addition on top of the former Babe’s Billiards structure. This will serve as the entrance and elevator to the residential floors above. Retail and services will be located at the ground floor and lower level.

The new building’s plan does not provide parking for its residents or its retail customers. This is a concern to some Tenleytown residents who worry that it will make parking difficult and lead to additional traffic, Frumin said.

The building is expected to contain approximately 60 apartments, all of which are intended for residents without cars. Frumin said these apartments may be a popular option for AU law students due to the building’s close proximity to the school.

The building’s height will approximately 71 feet high, according to a sign posted on Babes Billiards by the D.C. Zoning Commission. Residents are worried that the height of the building will deter from the aesthetics of the area.

But Frumin said the building improve the appearance of the neighborhood, given the vacant building that’s there now.

Brian Medich, a freshman in the School of Public Affairs, frequently passes the vacant Babes Billiards in Tenleytown.

“I think that Babes Billiards is an eye sore right now, so I like the idea of replacing it with this new building,” Medich said. “However, I am not a fan of the construction it will require because it will lead to a lot more traffic in the area.”

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