Constellation’s developers seeking another star attraction in the Galaxie
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That potent mix always made sense to Gebhardt, but he notes that his optimism was not universally shared when he first proposed the Constellation.
“There were a lot of naysayers about the Constellation,” said Gebhardt. “There were a lot of rumblings that what we were doing wasn’t going to work, that it couldn’t work, we didn’t have a shot. There were a lot of rumblings throughout the industry that we were nuts, and I think we certainly showed that the concept is very viable and very much in need. And the idea is we’ll be creating a whole neighborhood within a neighborhood, essentially connecting the Marquette and Tenney neighborhoods with the Capitol Square, just right in the middle of everything.”
For Black, the success Gebhardt had with the Constellation was also a factor in smoothing the road for the approvals the company needed to get the Galaxie project underway. In a city that has often — fairly or not — been criticized for being less than accommodating to developers, that is a welcome sign for all those interested in revamping the East Washington corridor.
“I guess in comparison with other projects I’ve worked on in the city, this one was not controversial; it was very much supported by the city, the developers, the neighborhoods,” said Black. “This corridor, everyone recognizes the value of its redevelopment, so it makes our jobs as developers, and attorneys for developers, easier.”
Meanwhile, says Black, the Constellation and its new sister development are not just getting people talking; they’re prompting plenty of action.
“Actually, I’m working with several other folks who are looking at projects in the corridor as well,” said Black. “And whether I’m working for someone or not, there’s a lot of buzz out there that I get to hear because of what I do in the community. And maybe more than a buzz, it may be a roar at this point. There are a lot of folks who are looking at doing stuff in the corridor, and I talk to a lot of people about our experience with the Constellation, and everybody seems very optimistic at this point in terms of what they’re looking to do.”
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