The company that has a contract to buy 9.4 acres of McLean Gardens proposes to build a residential and commercial complex that is 25 percent less dense than one opposed by neighbors last year.

The site, at Wisconsin and Idaho Avenues, was rezoned last year to allow the owners at that time, Stein & Co., to build a massive $60 million complex of 625 condominium apartments in three or more six- to 10-story buildings, a number of shorter buildings that would include office space and a shopping center.

Neighboring residents of McLean Gardens, built as a moderate-income housing project in the 1940s, opposed the project, saying it was too dense and would ruin the quality of the neighborhood.

At a neighborhood council meeting last week, Leroy Eakin III, senior vice president of Holladay Corp., said that his company plans to follow the outline of the Stein project, but that its development not only would be less dense but would have only one high-rise building.

"We plan to pick up the good aspects of the existing neighborhood," said Eakin, telling neighbors that the architects would design the new condominiums to look similar to the existing McLean Gardens buildings, which were converted to condominiums several years ago.

Eakin refused to discuss specifics of the project, saying the company has not yet determined how many condominium units or how much office space will be built.

He said the company hopes to design the proposal over the summer with the aid of neighbors and to apply for permits from the District in the early fall. Construction would start next summer.

About two dozen neighbors who attended the meeting questioned Eakin about the general size and scope of the project.

"This is a real informal, initial meeting for us to get to know each other," Eakin told the neighbors.

Holladay Corp. is a Washington-based firm that has been constructing residential developments for 30 years. A recent project is the 300-unit apartment complex at 4100 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

Last month the firm signed a contract to buy the land from Stein & Co. for an undetermined sum.