Sunday, April 29, 2012

District Issues Solicitation for the Redevelopment of Parcel 42, at 7th and R Streets, NW

Parcel 42
[click image to enlarge]
The District government has issued a solicitation seeking proposals for the development of Parcel 42, a large, vacant, District-owned parcel at the northeast corner of 7th Street and R Streets, NW, diagonally across from the Shaw Library.

Technically, Parcel 42 consists of two lots — the main development lot is an approximately 15,000 square foot vacant lot at the northeast corner of 7th and R Streets, NW (sometimes also referred to as 7th Street and Rhode Island Avenue, NW).  The second lot, which is also vacant, sits across the alley to the east of the main parcel and consists of approximately 1,700 square feet.  The image below shows the size and location of the parcels. 

Parcel 42 consists of the two lots outlined in red
Development Program
The solicitation provides developers with broad discretion in crafting the details of their development proposals, but it states that the District is seeking mixed-use development proposals with ground-floor retail and mixed-income residential units.  (The solicitation indicates that developers should "maximize" the number of housing units affordable to households at or below 80% of the area median income for the Washington metropolitan area, but no specific number or percentage of affordable units is required.)  The District is encouraging developers to submit development proposals that maximize development density through a planned unit development.

The solicitation also states that District is seeking "high quality architecture" for the project and proposals "are expected to have a signature design, which complements the neighborhood character, and creates a pedestrian friendly environment."

  • Responses to the solicitation are due by July 26, 2012
  • A short list of developers (selected from the proposals that are submitted) will be announced in the summer of 2012
  • A community presentation by the short-listed developers will be held in the fall of 2012
  • A development team will be selected for the site in the late fall of 2012
The timeline is subject to future modifications.

Solicitation Document
The complete solicitation document is available after the jump.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Agenda Announced for ANC2C Meeting on May 2, 2012

The agenda has been announced for the Wednesday, May 2, 2012, meeting of ANC 2C. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Shaw Library, 1630 7th Street, NW.

Agenda items include a request for support of zoning relief (related to parking) for the proposed development project at 435 R Street, NW; a request for support for the use of the Shaw Junior High School parking garage by churches on Sundays; a presentation on options for improving the availability of parking for residents during Howard Theatre events; and consideration of grant requests from non-profits.
The full agenda is after the jump.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bundy Field to Open May 12, 2012; Public Use Procedures Announced

Bundy Field will finally open for use by KIPP DC and the public on Saturday, May 12, 2012! 

Opening day events will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m and will include a ribbon cutting and a give-away of over 500 professional soccer balls to local youth on a first-come, first-served basis. (The U.S. Soccer Foundation made the balls available for $5 each; over $1,000 was raised from local residents and Douglas Development donated $1,000 in order to make the balls available for free.)

In addition, more details have been released regarding the use of the field by the public. As previously reported, primary use of the field has been granted to KIPP DC, which will generally have use of the field from 8:00 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on weekedays and from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays.   At other times, the field will be available for use by the public. The field may be reserved by the public for organized sports and recreational activites by filing an application with the District's Department of General Services (available here). When the field is not being used by either KIPP DC or an oragnized group, the field will be available to the public for unorganized sports and recreational acitivites.

View a flyer for the opening day events and a copy of the field use rules after the jump.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Should East Shaw Be a Historic District?

One of the stated goals of the District's Comprehensive Plan is to establish a historic district in the eastern portion of Shaw, which the Comprehensive Plan calls the Shaw East Survey Area.  The likely boundaries of the historic district are shown in the image to the left.  (Click on the image for a larger view.)

At this time, though, the District's historic preservation office is not actively pursuing this goal, and a community-driven effort would be needed to make East Shaw a historic district. In the early 2000s, just such an effort was begun; however, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, after originally supporting the proposed historic district, voted to oppose the potential designation.

What are your thoughts on the historic district proposal?  Would becoming a historic district benefit East Shaw?

Read more about the proposal, view a 182-page report on the history of the East Shaw area (which includes detailed information on the history of East Shaw's commercial establishments, schools, churches, and individual residential buildings), and add your comments, after the jump.

Friday, April 13, 2012

District Rejects Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Proposed in Shaw

The D.C. Department of Health (DOH) this week rejected the two applications that had been submitted to the District proposing to locate medical marijuana dispensaries in Shaw.  Each of the applicants had proposed to locate a dispensary on the 1500 block of 7th Street, NW — one at 1537 7th Street and one at 1539 7th Street, NW. (See prior posts on the applications here, here, and here.) 

To review the applications, DOH established a 6-member panel consisting of one  representative each from DOH, the Department of the Environment, the D.C. Office of the Attorney General, the Department of General Services Protective Services Division, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and a public member selected by DOH.  Each application was scored based on factors set forth in the DOH application form, and only those applications scoring at least 150 points will be further considered.  Neither of the 7th Street applications met the 150-point threshhold.

The locations making the cut were the following:
  • Herbal Alternatives, 1147 20th Street, NW
  • Metropolitan Wellness Center Corporation, 409 8th Street, SE
  • Takoma Wellness Center, Inc., 6925 Blair Road, NW
  • VentureForth, LLC, d/b/a Center City Care, 1334 North Capitol Street, NW
The DOH notice announcing the results of the application review can be viewed here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shaw's Tavern to Start Serving Dinner and Drinks Tomorrow, April 13, 2012

Shaw's Tavern has announced that it will be open for dinner starting tomorrow night, Friday, April 13, 2012.   It will also start serving alcohol tomorrow, but will only serve beer and wine this weekend. 

The new hours are below:

  • Monday thru Thursday:   Lunch, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.; Dinner, 5:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
  • Friday:  Lunch, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.;  Dinner, 5:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: Brunch, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.;  Dinner, 5:00 p.m.–11:00 p.m.
  • Sunday:  Brunch, 9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.;  Dinner, 5:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
  • Monday thru Thursday:  10:00 a.m.–12:30 a.m.
  • Friday:  10:00 a.m.–2:30 a.m.
  • Saturday:  9:00 a.m.–2:30 am
  • Sunday:  9:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Read a 1910 Article on the Original Opening Night of the Howard Theatre (via Ghosts of DC)

Via Ghosts of DC, read a 1910 article from the Baltimore Afro-American describing the original opening night of the Howard Theatre.  The article says that the building costs $100,000 (financed mostly by Baltimore capitalists) and that "All the colored shows that heretofore been compelled to play in third-rate theatres or stay away from this city, will be seen this winter at the Howard, and white actors of note will appear there."  The article also describes the building interior, the opening night entertainment, and opening night speakers.

Check out the Ghosts of DC post here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Shaw's Tavern Receives Liquor License

In long-awaited news, Shaw's Tavern announced today that it has received its liquor license from the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board.  It said it will soon announce full-service, evening hours.

The restaurant/bar, located at the southeast corner of Florida Avenue and 6th Street, NW, has been open since mid-February, but was operating with limited hours and without a liquor license.

For more information on Shaw's Tavern's application for a liquor license, read prior posts here and here.

Bankruptcy Court Approves Sale of Mood Lounge Building

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia has approved the planned sale of the Mood Lounge building to Tom Power, the owner of Corduroy restaurant, which is located at 1122 9th Street, NW.  Power entered into an agreement to purchase the building, but the agreement is contingent on Power receiving financing and may be terminated by either party at any time after March 31, 2012, if the closing has not occurred by that time.  Click here for a prior post on the planned sale of the building.

I reached out to Power, and he declined to comment on the status of the planned purchase.  

Click here for more information on the bankruptcy filing by the Mood Lounge building owner.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Schedule Announced for Howard Theatre Community Day, April 9, 2012

The schedule for the Howard Theatre Community Day, celebrating the grand re-opening of the Howard Theatre, has been announced.  The Community Day events are free and open to the public. Schedule details (via WPGC) are below:

WHEN: Monday, April 9, 2012, at 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Howard Theatre Plaza, 620 T Street, NW

WHAT: The Howard Theatre raises its curtains after a $29 million renovation and a 30-year hiatus with an opening day to celebrate with the community.

SCHEDULE (as of April 4, 2012):
  • 11:30 a.m.: Welcome, Saleem Hylton
  • 11:35 a.m.: Robert Thompson and The James Brown Experience Band
  • 12:00 noon: Reverend Sandra Butler-Truesdale introduces Reverend Trent and clergy for invocation (Melvin Deal, libation; Reverend Ivy Hylton, The Lord’s Prayer in song)
  • 12:05 p.m.: Duke Ellington statue unveiling/dedication.  Words from the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and the Humanities; recognition of the Ellington family and statue artist
  • 12:15 p.m.: Reverend Sandra Butler-Truesdale introduces speakers: Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton; Mayor Vincent C. Gray; Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown; Councilmember Jim Graham; Councilmember Vincent B. Orange, Jr.; Commissioner Myla Moss (ANC 1B Chairperson)
  • 12:30 p.m.: Ribbon cutting; unveiling of “Jazz Man” statue atop theatre.  Words from Howard Theatre Restoration (Chip and Malik Ellis) and Brower Hatcher, artist commissioned to create “Jazz Man”
  • 12:35 p.m.: Live entertainment. Scheduled performers include: Darlene Dancy, Delonte Copeland, Jimi Smooth, Matthew White, Wendy Hicks, NuEra, Teri Swenton, Velons, Orioles, Skip Mahoney, The Jewels, and Al Johnson
  • 2:45 p.m.: Grand finale

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bundy Dog Park Opening Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 10:00 a.m.

Bundy Dog Park
Great news! The Bundy Dog Park is scheduled to open this Saturday, April 7, 2012, at 10:00 a.m.  (The park is located on P Street, NW, between 5th Street and New Jersey Avenue.)  No formal activities are planned to mark the opening, but hopefully a lot of Shaw dog owners will be there to celebrate.

The dog park's regular hours after Saturday's opening will be 7:00 a.m. to sunset daily.  After lighting for the park is arranged, hours are expected to be extended to 10:00 p.m. daily.

The dog park rules can be viewed after the jump.

Read more here about the plans for the Bundy athletic field, which is expected to open in May.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

HPRB Gives Preliminary Approval to Concept Plan for JBG Florida Avenue Project

Rendering of west building,
at Florida Avenue and 8th Street, NW
The Historic Preservation Review Board has given preliminary approval to the concept plans for JBG's Florida Avenue project.  (You can view the HPRB's March 22, 2012, hearing here.)

The JBG project is located on Florida Avenue, NW, between 7th and 9th Streeets.  It consists of two planned buildings centered on 8th Street, NW, on lots comprised of approximately 30,000 square feet of land area.  Each building would have ground-level retail space, five stories of residential units, and one floor of below-grade parking.  (You can view the March 5, 2012, project renderings at this prior post).

JBG Florida Avenue project site
The Board found the following aspects of the JBG concept plan "to be compatible with the character of the historic district and consistent with the purposes of the preservation act":

•  Overall site organization 
•  Height and massing along Florida Avenue, NW
•  General architectural direction, subject to further development and material selection
•  Relocation of the front, original section of 1933-35 9th Street, NW, to the southern portion of the site
•  Reconfiguration of the alley on the western parcel to exit on 9th Street

At the same time, the Board asked JBG to "study reductions in height and mass at the southern ends of the two buildings to improve the transition to the adjacent smaller scale rowhouses."

The Board also asked JBG to "continue working on the designs, materials and articulation of the proposal and return for further review when appropriate."

Excerpts from the staff report are after the jump, along with a copy of the full report.

Monday, April 2, 2012

HPRB Approves Shipping Container Restaurant on U Street

Planned shipping
container restaurant.
The Historic Preservation Review Board has approved the Hilton brothers' plans to build a restaurant out of shipping containers on a vacant lot at 919 U Street, NW.  The Board gave its approval at a meeting on March 22, 2012.  The Board "determined the proposed conceptual design [is] consistent with the purposes of the preservation act" and it delegated final approval of the project to HPRB staff.

Read more details about the planned restaurant — and view the developer's site plan and the HPRB staff report — at this prior post.

24-Unit Residential Project Planned for 435 R Street, NW

Project rendering
(click to enlarge)

Local developer Community Three has announced plans to construct a 24-unit residential building at 435 R Street, NW.  The site (pictured below) currently consists of a one-story building, which formerly housed a dry cleaner, and two vacant lots.  The current one-story building will be demolished and the site will be environmentally remediated before construction begins.

Unit sizes are expected to be between 500 and 800 square feet, with prices in the $250,000 to $350,000 range.  Six parking spaces will be included in the rear of the building. Because of the environmental remediation issues, it is expected to be two years before the project is delivered.

Community Three has developed other projects in the Shaw community, including The Nine in Naylor Court and the M Street Flats at 444 M Street, NW.

Community Three will provide additional information on the planned project at this week's ANC 2C meeting.

The project site includes the one-story building to the right
and the fenced-in area to the left.