by Tim Regan December 1, 2016 at 11:45 am 2 Comments

A plan to redevelop the building that holds Logan Circle’s Barrel House Liquor landmark has garnered early support from a panel of Logan Circle community members.

A development subcommittee of the neighborhood’s ANC 2F met last night to discuss a plan to turn the building at 1341 14th St. NW into a seven-story mixed-use development.

According to the plans, the new development would repurpose the building’s concrete barrel facade, which was boarded up after longtime tenant Barrel House Liquors moved next door last year.

As proposed, the redeveloped building would contain retail space, more than three dozen residential units and have entrances on both 14th Street and Rhode Island Ave. NW.

From Bonstra|Haresign Architects:

The new and renovated building will total 33,300 GSF above grade with a 3,250 GSF cellar under the eastern portion of the building. The ground floor will contain 2,720 GSF of retail, a residential lobby and four parking spaces. Floors 2-7 will contain 37 residential units. There will also be one residential unit, a small amenity terrace for the building residents, and screened mechanical equipment at the penthouse level.

Though the ANC’s committee was generally supportive of the idea, a small group of community members shared apprehension about the height and shape of the building.

“If you’re standing on Rhode Island Avenue… and then you have an 85- to 90-foot building, we’re very concerned about the mass and the size of the building,” said Greg Parks, who lives nearby.

Parks, along with four other community members, said they’d like the project delayed slightly to further discuss the design. But Parks stressed they weren’t totally in opposition to the plan.

“We support the development and concept but we do have some concerns,” Parks said.

Ultimately, the subcommittee voted unanimously to recommend that the ANC write a letter of support to the Historic Preservation Review Board. If ANC 2F during its general meeting next Wednesday votes to follow that recommendation, the matter will likely then move to the HPRB for further consideration.

Renderings via HPRB filing

by Tim Regan February 26, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Sorry, photo seekers, the big barrel on 14th Street NW is no longer in view.

Workers began boarding up the property yesterday and were hard at work finishing the job this morning. Though the barrel façade is out of sight, it’s still there underneath the scaffolding, said landlord Eric Meyers. (more…)

by Tim Regan February 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

Logan Circle’s Barrel House Liquors has officially shed the big barrel.

The liquor store moved its operations next door to 1339 14th St. NW over the weekend, said owner Mesfun Ghebrelul, who goes by the name M.G. The store relocated because of a disagreement over rent between M.G. and landlord Eric Meyers. (more…)

by Tim Regan September 18, 2015 at 3:50 pm 2 Comments

barrel house liquors

An imperiled Logan Circle business could receive a historic status.

Washington City Paper reported last week that Barrel House Liquor — known around the neighborhood for its iconic barrel-shaped facade at 1341 14th St. NW — is being forced to move next door due to rising rent. Though the liquor store will live on, what might happen to the big barrel is unknown.

Or maybe not. At least, not if Logan Circle’s ANC 2F can help it. The neighborhood commission is currently discussing applying for a historic status for the building’s facade, which would make it difficult for future tenants to modify or remove it.

Commissioner Pepin Tuma, 2F-03, is the one leading the effort.

“I first heard that M.G. [whose full name is Mesfun Ghebrelul] would be moving last Thursday. I heard that the landlord was doubling their rent every lease term, which is unfortunate,” said Tuma. “He’s been a great neighbor. They’ve won the Logan Circle Community Association award several times. I’ve been shopping there almost 17 years.”

Tuma and his fellow 2F commissioners plan to hear public comments regarding giving the building a historic status during a community development meeting at the National City Christian Church (5 Thomas Circle NW) next Thursday at 7 p.m.

“We want to hear if this is something that the community wants to stay,” Tuma said. “I personally want it. Everyone I’ve talked to wants it. But that’s the first step, that making sure this is representative of the greater community.”

The neighborhood commission will also hear from members of the public during its general ANC meeting in the first week in October.

Provided the ANC reaches a consensus, Tuma said it will move forward with applying for the historic status, preferably with the property owner’s blessing.

“Because the property owner is part of the community, we would like to have a situation where everyone is moving toward the end result,” Tuma said. “We are going to do it. I hope the property owner signs on.”

But Tuma added that it’s not necessary to have the landlord’s approval before applying for the status.

“I think that there really is a desire among the community and the commission to preserve the history of Logan Circle. That’s why we live there,” said Tuma. “Whether it’s a building built in 1893 or Barrel House, the beauty of Logan Circle is everything that it was and everything that it will be.”

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