From Tom Hay
In a confluence of interest, developers, real estate agents, politicians, local business owners and residents gathered at Garden District, 14th and S Streets NW, on Wednesday. The occasion was the the naming announcement of the condo and retail development planned for the northwest corner of the intersection.
Demolition of the current buildings, except for the Whitman-Walker facade, should begin soon.
The site includes the historic building that housed the Whitman Walker Clinic and the properties north to Swann Street. Early in the presentation, the banner on the former Clinic building was released: the name of the luxury project will be District Condos. JBG is working with the international developer Grosvenor on the project.
Mark Darley, a Senior VP of Grosvenor, commented in his remarks that “the market has returned.”
Councilmembers Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) attended the event. Evans acknowledged that although the project was in his ward, Graham’s ward was just across the street, to the east.
Graham has strong ties to the building and the neighborhood. He served as director of the Whitman Walker Clinic from 1984 until election to the City Council in 1998. Graham recounted the successes of the clinic in its early days, and commented that the building now slated to be part of the development was purchased for $1.25 million in 1986.
Two Large 14th Street Projects
The JBG/Grosvenor project is one of two major projects slated for the west side of 14th Street. The District Condos project will have 125 residences and 18,000 square feet of ground floor retail. Developers have a target completion date of spring 2012 (14th & You has a great preview of details on the residences and retail).
Further up the block at U Street NW will be the Utopia project, which will have 220 units and 20,000 square feet of retail.
Planners for the Wednesday event made an obvious effort to engage nearby businesses. The event was held under a tent at Garden District, catering was provided by Point Chaud Crepes, and furniture was courtesy of Vastu.