Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B holds its monthly meeting tonight, February 2, and the planned development on Florida Avenue NW between 7th and 9t Streets NW will be at the center of the agenda. The plans for consideration come from JBG, the influential development group with “more control over the future of U Street than any other property holder,” according to The Washington Post.
JBG has already presented its residential/retail concept to the various ANC design committees, and now the firm seeks ANC approval on issues before the Historic Preservation Board. These issues will most likely have to do with the fates of historic facades currently on the properties.
The design, covering two buildings on three parcels, comes from the Seattle firm Miller Hull Architects. JBG principal Kai Reynolds told Washington City Paper that their aesthetic will be aimed at “transforming the warehouse vernacular into housing.” In short this means lots of metal, lots of glass and perhaps an affinity for exposed staircases. (Slides from the ANC1B design committee presentation in December are available here.)
JBG bought the three parcels from Metro last summer after they had been on the market for nearly a decade. Though the lots appear vacant, they are home to a lively and at times controversial weekend flea market. (Some neighbors have complained of vendors selling stolen goods.) Michael Sussman, who runs the flea market, had a lease with Metro due to run to October 2012. When JBG purchased the property, the company made overtures to end the lease early, by the end of January.
At the last ANC 1B meeting on January 5 (which I attended), approximately 25 vendors showed up to protest the end of the lease. Sussman told the commissioners that 40 vendors and their families earn a living at the flea market, and requested that the ANC ask JBG to continue the lease.
In an email message to several neighborhood groups sent on January 13, ANC 1B Chair Myla Moss (ANC 1B-01) said that an agreement had been reached between JBG and Sussman. JBG will continue offering a month-to-month lease until October, as long as the flea market accepts a list of terms meant to eliminate traffic, trash and the sale of stolen goods.
It will be interesting to see if this issue arises again at Thursday’s meeting. I will be there and will post an update on any developments.
We ceased posting our weekly roundup of stuff you really should have read somewhere following the redesign of Borderstan. But, we ourselves missed it, so it’s back. Here are some newsworthy items in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area.
Utopia project at 14th and U receives extension. The real estate blog DC Mud reported Saturday that the developer behind the huge residential and commercial project at the southwest corner of 14th and U NW received a two-year extension for its plans from the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA). UrbanMud explains that the zoning variance extension was granted to the developer because funding has not been secured and thus work has not commenced. DC Mud reported in April that it appeared the project might get underway soon. DC Mud has more details about the delay as well as information on the mixed-use project and an artist’s drawing of the project.
Wone conspiracy trial verdict expected Tuesday. The presiding judge in the conspiracy case against the Swann Street Three is scheduled to deliver her verdict tomorrow (Tuesday). Remember that the defendants all waived their right to trial by jury; the judge will decide their guilt or innocence on all charges. There are on trial for charges related to conspiracy to obstruct justice in the Wone murder–no one has been charged with Wone’s murder. The guys over at Who Murdered Robert Wone have been posting furiously and will have updates tomorrow–you can bet on it. Robert Wone was murdered at 1509 Swann Street NW late on the night of August 2, 2006.
New editor takes over at dcist. The new dcist editor is Aaron Morrissey, who moves up from a writer position at dcist. Sommer Mathis departed dcist earlier this month, and is now an editor at TBD.com, which will launch later this summer.
Update on O Street Market Project. 14th & You has a great update on the status of the O Street Market project over in Shaw: “Over on O Street, it looks like the earth may finally start moving there this September, when developer Roadside Development undertakes efforts to stabilize the structure.”
Borderstan joins TBD.com network. Speaking of TBD.com, Borderstan joined the network last week–along with increasing numbers of other local blogs. Some of the other local blog names you may recognize who have joined the new, local online news operation are U Street Girl, ReadysetDC, Prince of Petworth, Unsuck DC Metro, Bitches Who Brunch (love the name), Metrocurean, We Love DC and a bunch more. Not yet familiar with TBD.com? Check out their blog.
MidCity Dog Days is August 7-8 on 14th and U. The annual Dog Days of August sidewalk sale (I call it a “near festival”) is Saturday and Sunday, August 7-8. It is sponsored by the MidCity Business Association and is a good time in the hood. MidCity businesses on the 14th and U Streets corridor participate, bringing their goods onto the sidewalk for a nice, hot summer sale. Check out what’s already planned.
DC Center for LGBT Community now on U Street NW. DC’s lesban, gay, bisexual and transgendered community center moved to 1318 U Street earlier this month from its 14th Street location. This location, like the previous one, is temporary, while The Center looks for a permanent home. The full name, BTW, is The DC Center for the LGBT community. The old location on the 1800 block of 14th Street NW, will demolished in September to make way for a new residential and commercial development that will stretch from S to Swann Street on the west side of 14th.
Lypsinka’s Legends at Studio Theatre through July 11. I don’t normally plug indiviudal shows, but I’m told that Legends with Lypsinka the Studio Theatre is quite amusing. The show was just extended through July 11.
Businesses coming to 14th and U corridor. Check out U Street Girl’s listing.
Happy Friday morning, Borderstan. A few news items… some news bits… happenings this weekend. So, read this posting and then turn off your computer and go enjoy the fall weekend. See you Monday.
- There was a gun robbery t 11:40 p.m. last night on the 1500-block of U Street NW. Here is the Police Alert: “Robbery (Gun)_2340 hours_1500 Block U Street, NW_No lookout given DO NOT TAKE ACTION CALL 911 W/EVENT #i20090562310. Sent on: 10/08 23:56″
- The Humane Society Walk for the Animals is tomorrow (Saturday the 10th)… 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Constitution Gardens on the National Mall.
- The National Equality March events are this weekend, ending with a rally at the U.S. Capitol around 2 p.m. on Sunday.
- On Monday I will have some Crimes of Note for the past couple of weeks… along with a look at crime stats for September for the Borderstan area.
- Cast members of the Real World DC (which is packing up and leaving town after finishing filming) had some of their individual works displayed last night at gallery plan b on 14th Street NW. I wanted to go to last night’s one-night exhibition, but work called (you know, the stuff that pays bills).
- If you missed the second Delhi Dispatch, it’s an interesting read: “Delhi Dispatches: Commuting with Cobras, Deities and Dust.” The contributor is an ex-Borderstanian and a friend and neighbor.
- NBC Channel 4 picked up the story of the “Men’s Parties” death at 14th and Corcoran NW. The Sexist at Washington City Paper summarizes the police crime report for you. 14th & You has a good posting, too: Is the city trying to shut down the club?
- Don’t forget Luis’ picks for stuff to do this weekend in Borderstan and around town, including some restaurant recommendations: “Borderstan Weekend October 10/11.”
- 14th & You has some very good postings on businesses coming and going on the 14th Street corridor: “Update: “Green Pets” Relocation Moving Forward” and “Latest on Birch & Barley; Diamond District Seafood coming soon.”
- If you’re going to see what’s in your Netflix movie queue, plan to watch something on-demand or are head to the video store (if you can still find one!)… check in with Mary the Borderstan Movie Fan: “Borderstan Movie Fan: Health Care Options at the Movies” or check out some of her other recommendations for food movies or sexy movies.
These are the most popular postings from the last 30 days.
- Saturday-Night Vigilante Justice: Victims Catch U Street Mugger
- Mahnke Family Seeks Witnesses to Sept. 3 Metrobus Incident
- Me or the Dog? Both of Us?
- “Real World” at 2000 S St NW; a Halo Lounge Angle?
- RWDC: What Glamor and Excitement?
- The Rest of the Story: Report #09085657, “Robbery with Gun”
- Policy Restaurant & Bar Opens this Monday
- 12th & U NW: “Mama said there’ll be days like this”
- Garden District Closing 14th & Church Store
- 17th Street Dog Park is Open
Here are my picks for things to do during the weekend in Borderstan, really close by or in the city… restaurants, galleries and theater.
La Carbonara at 1926 9th Street NW is in Shaw’s Little Ethiopia. This recently opened Italian restaurant has received mix reviews, from excellent to bland, perhaps depending on the day of the week. If you are feeling adventuresome, give it a try and let us know.
Local 16, at 1602 U Street NW is a nice place to go during the week. The weekend is totally different and it can get crowded and uncomfortable. The menu is American food with an Italian influence. Local 16 has a beautiful roof top deck.
“Ink Storm” at Transformer Gallery, 1404 P Street NW: “This exhibition highlights how artists CHEN Shaoxiong, DAI Guangyu, and Paula TSAI, three emerging Beijing based artists who re-interpret and re-invent traditional Chinese uses of ink through video, drawing, and mixed-media installation, incorporate ink into their work, ink, and how each individual exploration offers compelling contributions to contemporary art discourse.”
“Mirage Series” by Steve Alderton at Touchstone Gallery, 406 7th Street NW: “The series includes portraits, cityscapes, still-lifes, and landscapes. One landscape includes what appears to be two farm structures viewed from across a field; the hot, shimmering light of a summer’s day has had its effects. Another painting shows a cityscape, with a mass of loosely rendered buildings. In both works, the atmosphere has seemingly blurred many of the specifics–but there is enough information in the watery images to transfix and invite one in. The artist’s technique successfully conveys the essence of his message, but also effectively leaves room for personal interpretation. The result is strong and engaging.” (more…)
Just a reminder about a couple of things happening in Borderstan tomorrow.
Farmers’ Market, 14th & U NW. Remember that the 14th and U Farmers’ Market continues into October. You can get info about the market on Facebook and since they have a public page on Facebook, you don’t have to be a registered member of Facebook to go to it. (Got that?) On the northwest corner of 14th and U Streets NW.
Clark Ray for Council Kickoff, 17th & Q NW. At 10 a.m. Clark Ray will officially announce his candidacy for the DC City Council at the corner of 17th and Q Streets NW next to Java House. Ray is kicking off his candidacy in Ward 2 where served as neighborhood service coordinator for former Mayor Anthony Williams. Ray is running for the At-Large seat held by Phil Mendelson; they will be on the ballot in the Democratic Primary in September 2010. (Full disclosure: I know Ray and am supporting him.)
Hope you enjoyed the weekend… yesterday was spectacular… Labor Day is just two weeks away.
Perhaps JJ’s will be open for cheesesteaks by the time it’s sweater weather. Luis took this photo yesterday of the location-to-be at 1939 14th Street NW, (just off U Street). There appears to be a bit of work left on the shop.
Not surprisingly, Wikipedia has an entry for cheesesteaks.
Chi Cha Lounge is billing its Wednesday evenings with a movie as Notoriety. Says this urban hipster place on U between 16th and 17th: “Notoriety at Chi Cha Lounge is a weekly Wednesday event for friends to come together, listen to soulful music, and soak up some good vibes.” Located at 1624 U Street NW, the lounge has wide-open windows that allow you to see the street and get the urban feeling of the U Street corridor. Tonight the movie is Point Break.
The U Street Neighborhood Association will host a community festival this Saturday, August 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Reeves Municipal Center, 14th and U Streets NW. The event is in conjunction with the 10th Annual MidCity Dog Days of August Sidewalk Sale weekend and the weekly Farmers Market (9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays only).
Put ’em down on your calendar… always good fun in Borderstan. The 10th annual MidCity Dog Days Sidewalk sale is next weekend, August 1 & 2.
From the MidCity Business Association:
August 1st and 2nd mark the tenth annual Dog Days of August sidewalk sale along and adjacent to the 14th and U Street corridors. MidCity shops, galleries and restaurants will take their wares to the sidewalk, feature performers and special events and welcome shoppers to one of DC’s most unique and dynamic retail zones.
14th & You (one of my favorite blogs for in-depth postings) has a post about The Gibson, a lounge at 2009 14th Street NW… with a link to the Washington Post review. I really shouldn’t post this because it sounds as if The Gibson is not crowded and an easy place to walk in and enjoy yourself. Once it gets popular, you can count me out.