A look at recent developments related to business and politics in the Borderstan area…
Senior Housing Preserved; New Residential Tower at 15th & V
Jair Lynch Development Partners, headquartered at 1508 U Street, has been busy working on deals right in their own front yard. The company has been working with the residents association of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Apartments — formerly known as Campbell Heights Apartments — at 2001 15th Street NW to recapitalize and renovate the 171 unit building. The deal preserves its status as affordable housing for senior citizens under a covenant which will last for 30 years.
At a recent meeting of the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association Jair Lynch presented a proposal for a 95-unit residential building at the southeast corner of 15th and V Streets NW on property that is currently parking for the Paul Laurence Dunbar Apartments. The new building will not have the affordable housing requirements of the Dunbar Apartments. According to the book Best Addresses, the site was once the location of the Portner Flats apartment which opened in 1897. At the time the building was referred to as Portner’s Folly because of its remote location from downtown.
Tortilla Coast Protest
With construction of the planned Tortilla Coast restaurant at 15th and P Streets NW in full swing, neighbors are mobilizing to protest the restaurant’s hours for serving alcohol on their outdoor patio and sidewalk cafe. Borderstan was contacted by a neighbor of Tortilla Coast who says he received a letter from another nearby resident who is trying to rally opposition to Tortilla Coast’s liquor license application.
Liquor license protests have become routine as restaurants and bars open in popular downtown neighborhoods. In most cases neighbors, restaurants and Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANC) are able to hammer out a voluntary agreement which usually restricts hours on outdoor seating. Tortilla Coast presented their application to the Logan Circle ANC 2F on July 6. The ANC uanimously voted to protest the application which will be withdrawn if a voluntary agreement is reached and approved by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.
Vintage Furniture Store to Open on U Street
Designer Yvette Freeman announced she will open Foundry: Past, Present and Possible at 1522 U Street NW in early August. The ground floor space was previously home to Boundless Yoga and is in the same building as Parlour Salon. In a press release, Freeman describes Foundry as “a furniture boutique offering vintage, antique, industrial, reclaimed and repurposed finds for the home.” Freeman is a principal in the family-operated Freeman Development Group, which has renovated a number of homes in the Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods. The store will join a collection of vintage furniture and clothing stores in the 1500 block of U Street.
Connecticut Avenue Green Spaces to Get Upgrades
Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets — an advocacy group for the Dupont Circle commercial district — released a project update on the Connecticut Avenue median and Triangle Park. Work on both projects should get underway this fall. The median, which runs down the center of the avenue from S to R Street, will include plantings, irrigation and fencing. The Triangle Park, bordered by 20th and Q Streets across from the Dupont Circle north Metro exit, will be upgraded with the installation of a new fence, benches, sidewalks, plants, trees and flowers. Both projects have been in the pipeline for years due to the complexity of both D.C. and Federal agencies being involved along with local utilities DC Water and PEPCO.