Logan Circle’s community leaders have given their blessing to a plan to redevelop Whitman-Walker Health’s former home, the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center at 14th and R streets NW.
Members of ANC 2F voted on a proposal last night to send a letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) commending Whitman-Walker’s design, which includes the preservation of the original Elizabeth Taylor Center as well as a new mixed-use development that would span 155,000 square feet and six stories.
Takin a page from Einsteins book #biggerbrain pic.twitter.com/huNR3OWGdI
— Usher Raymond IV (@Usher) October 14, 2015
The pop star reportedly surprised a throng of locals when he biked through Logan Circle and Dupont earlier this afternoon. And on his birthday, of all days.
Two Whitman-Walker employees said they spotted “The Voice” coach leaving the Filson (1534 14th St. NW) near the health center around 1 p.m. today.
“My colleagues were totally shocked, yes,” said Shawn Jain, Whitman-Walker’s director of communications. “I did not see him, but they retold me the story, and they couldn’t contain their excitement. We wonder what he’s doing here.”
Other locals took to Twitter to describe meeting the man famous for melting hearts and just totally destroying the charts in the late ’90s and early 2000s:
Usher just rode past me on a bike. Usher is totally allowed to ride on the sidewalk.
— Molly O'Toole (@mollymotoole) October 14, 2015
Just sighted. Usher. Riding his bike down 14th street in Washington DC. Really nice guy. Stopped and took pics. #usher #goodperson #class
— Errick McAdams, CPT (@ErrickPT) October 14, 2015
Usher just rode pass my job on a bike not motorcycle a damn bicycle
— Erica Sharnee' (@_EricaCreamer) October 14, 2015
Just said what's up to usher on a bike at 13th and L st
— Jayski (@Jay30002) October 14, 2015
Heard our staff ran into U, @Usher! Feel free to stop by our health center & slip on some hero gear! #HeroesWalkDC pic.twitter.com/f5gPUFR5QJ
— Whitman-Walker (@whitmanwalker) October 14, 2015
You guys, I just saw @Usher!
— (Stephanie) Slade (@sladesr) October 14, 2015
Today, Usher. Friday, Guy Fieri. Ah, the magic of Dupont Circle.
— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) October 14, 2015
The celebrity later shared photos in front of the Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials.
Photo via @Usher
Dozens of locals, former patients and D.C. politicians braved the rain this afternoon for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate Whitman-Walker’s new 14th Street clinic.
In attendance were D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, former D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham, at-large D.C. Councilmember David Gross and Whitman-Walker executive director Don Blanchon.
Whitman-Walker Board Chair Mark Edward and Norton delivered speeches, followed by a religious ceremony during which retired clergyman and LBGT activist Bishop Gene Robinson blessed the new building.
The new clinic is known simply as 1525, and spans six floors and 42,000 square feet.
See In Pictures: Development Projects Line the 14th Street Corridor (August 11, 2011).
From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email. You can follow him on Twitter @Tomonswann.
In a press release issued this afternoon JBG Companies and Grosvenor announced that the much heralded condominium project at the corner of 14th and S Streets NW would be developed instead as a “boutique apartment building.” When delivered in fall 2012 the seven-story building will have 125 apartments.
Kai Reynolds, a principal with JBG, said “We received a substantial amount of interest in the condominium project, but the strong fundamentals of the rental market and our confidence in the opportunity to deliver an exceptional boutique apartment building ultimately swayed our decision to deliver the project as an apartment.”
The condo project was unveiled last fall at an event attended by Councilmembers Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) and Jack Evans (D-Ward 2). The project was to be called District Condos. The site includes the historic building at the northwest corner of 14th and S that once housed the Whitman Walker Clinic, and the now-demolished one-story properties north to Swann Street. Graham had once served as director of the Whitman Walker Clinic (now Whitman Walker Health) from 1984 until election to the City Council in 1998.
Whitman Walker bought the building for $1.25 million in 1986. When the District Condos project broke ground, James Nozar of JBG said the condo prices would likely start in the low $300,000 range, with a bulk of the units priced under $600,000 and a few running up more than $1 million.
Projects Underway on 14th & U Corridor
Numerous residential projects line 14th Street from Thomas Circle north toward Columbia Heights. Some of them include –
- Two condominium projects are underway a block south of the JBG / Grosvenor project — one in a former Verizon building the other on a former Zipcar lot next to AYT Auto Service (which is departing at the end of the year).
- At 14th and Wallach NW, Level 2 Development is also readying plans for an apartment building.
- Across the street at the southweset corner of 14th and U, work will begin shortly on a large 200-plus unit project that JBG is a partner in as well.
- South of P Street, a small condominium project is in the works for 1328 14th Street, just south of the 7-11.
- Around the corner on the south side of Rhode Island Avenue developer ABDO has plans for a building on the last bit of vacant land on that block.
Previous Stories On The Project
From Tom Hay
DC Mud is reporting that JBG Companies has taken another step forward in their efforts to build a mixed use building on the west side of the 1800 block of 14th Street. The cornerstone of the project will be the former Whitman-Walker Clinic building at the corner of S and 14th which will be saved and incorporated into the plan for the block which extends north to Swann Street.
According to the DC Mud story, JBG has filed a demolition permit for buildings adjacent to the historic Whitman-Walker structure extending to Swann Street.
The properties adjacent to the Whitman-Walker building have served as home to various clinic programs over the years. Most recently one of the properties served as temporary headquarters for The DC Center, whose mission is to support the LGBT community of DC. The former laundromat at the corner of 14th and Swann Streets closed earlier this year. Portions of the site are now being used as evening parking for the crowds who flock to the area restaurants and clubs.
Plans for the project include 120 residential units, 18,000 square feet of retail and 90 below ground parking spots. Beyond the Clinic building the new construction will rise to seven stories along the 14th Street side.
The DC Zoning Commission recently increased the Arts overlay restriction on allowable food and beverage establishments for the corridor; I am sure we can expect to see a number of restaurants or bars opening in the space. The block has become an eyesore for the neighborhood in recent months, so I think most will be pleased to see this project moving forward.
Last week we reported that the Utopia project at 14th and U was also moving forward. Looks like two-year lull in condo development is nearing an end?
Two great postings today at Greater Greater Washington… one on the plans for the Whitman-Walker property on 14th Street NW between S and Swann NW… and the other on DDOT’s traffic flow plans for 15th Street NW (Borderstan postings here and here).