The D.C. Zoning Commission yesterday approved a controversial rezoning plan for McLean Gardens that allows developers to build a $60 million project that will almost double the size of the complex and will include an office and shopping center along Wisconsin Avenue.
The plan, which was opposed by some citizens' groups, calls for a series of six- to 10-story apartment buildings to be built on 9.4 acres between the existing McLean Gardens development, now being converted to condominium units, and Wisconsin Avenue.
Several civic groups and some McLean Gardens residents opposed the rezoning saying the proposed buildings would be too tall, too large and out of character with the 720 garden apartments that make up the rest of McLean Gardens. They also said the new development would increase traffic congestion.
But the zoning commission voted 4 to 0, with new member Maybelle T. Bennett abstaining, to approve the plan which calls for 625 new apartments or condominiums, a minimum of 772 new parking spaces, many of which will be underground, and a small office and shopping center.
Arthur Rubloff and Co., a Chicago-based real estate firm, had originally asked for the rezoning of the nearly 10 acres along Wisconsin Avenue between Idaho Avenue and Rodman Street, as part of the company's conversion of McLean Gardens.
But Rubloff ran into financial problems and in May, his bank, Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Co. of Chicago, foreclosed on the condominium units and bought them.
The bank brought Richard Stein and Co., a Chicago-based real estate firm, to take over the construction and sales of the condominiums, and that company formed a new partnership with Rubloff to pursue the rezoning. Rubloff owns a 1 percent interest in the new project.
The developers have said that the $60 million project, which is scheduled to begin next year, will be constructed in phases, with completion set for 1990.