Thursday, June 21, 2007

Randall School Project Update


Last November, the vacant Randall School at Half and I Streets in Southwest DC, long the desire of many dreaming developers, was purchased by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, which announced it had bought the 80,000-sf building from the DC government for $6.2 million, and hired Monument Realty to manage its renovation into new art space and apartments. However, last week the Southwest Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 6D) voted in opposition of this renovation plan, stating that the development didn’t do enough for the surrounding community. The Corcoran was hoping to gain the commission's approval before going before the Mayor’s office on June 27 (and after that the Zoning Commission, as part of the historic structure is slated for destruction), though the ANC’s approval is not required.

The Corcoran, which has outgrown its home on 17th Street near the White House, envisions using half of the fixed-up school for studio, classroom, and display space for its larger-scale art collection, while converting the other half of the building into market-rate and affordable apartments. There will also be underground parking. As part of its deal with the city, the Corcoran will offer some space in Randall to artists who used to lease space in the building. For this project, the Corcoran will sell Randall to Monument for $8.2 million, which will then manage the building. The Corcoran is donating its profit from the sale to the city’s public school modernization fund. As for the apartments, while numbers are not yet known, twenty percent of the units will be affordable housing.

11 comments:

Chris on Jun 21, 2007, 12:27:00 PM said...

Its nice to know that ANC6D is just as narrow minded as ANC2C...I don't feel so bad about living in Shaw now.

Seriously, whats not to like about a project that brings an art institution to a community, as well as new affordable housing where its sorely needed?

I hope the mayor and zoning commission's office have more sense than the ANC.

Chris in Eckington said...

ANC6D has a history of voting against projects because they don't think the neighborhood is getting enough amenities. The Zoning Board doesn't always agree with them though.

Nick on Jun 21, 2007, 7:42:00 PM said...

Normally I can see where an ANC is coming from, but here the straws they are grasping for their objection are kind of tenuous. This area is in need of, well, anything that is not DC admin-related, and having the Corcoran in the area is a boost and solid start. Could there be a grocery store? Sure - that would be nice, but it is not what the Corcoran project is aiming for. Other complaints, such as the suspected "shadows" the project will throw on the area, just sound whiny. We'll see what DC does soon enough ...

poo poo said...

is this ANC serious?

they're a good example of what crack does to people that smoke it.

which makes me think, maybe they'd accept the homeless shelter that's trying to relocate. i bet they'd have no problem with that.

friggin idiots.

Anonymous said...

Funny you should mention homeless shelters...The school used to be a homeless shelter, but it was shut down once the DC gov't sold the building to the Corcoran. I'm not sure what the ANC's position was when the shelter shut down, but there was some protesters in front of City Hall...

Anonymous said...

nick, are they really asking for a grocery store too? isn't there a brand new grocery planned as part of the Riverfront/Waterside Mall redevelopment?

Nick on Jun 22, 2007, 5:18:00 PM said...

While they are not asking for a grocery store specifically in the Randall project, that lack of fresh food options in SW and near SE is notorious, and a valid concern that is often raised whenever a new development is proposed in the SW/S. Capitol corridor area. The Safeway at Waterside Mall at 4th and M SW will be redeveloped, but that's the only certainty for the area, and with more and more residential coming online in this and the ballpark area, there needs to be more options ... something I hope developers and retailers take note of.

poo poo said...

isn't there a harris teeter opening up nearby?

rob in SW said...

I live directly next door to the Randall building and can tell you that the claim it will "overshadow" anything is bizarre. There are no houses within 150 feet of the project! The nearest building is a church fifty feet or so to the north that has been abandoned for years.

A lot of the resentment seems to do with the steal Corcoran got on the land. It's a valid point, but at least they are doing something with a building that has been crumbling for over twenty years.

Corcoran says it will provide affordable housing, programming in local schools, and a cafe. This means museum jobs, academic jobs, food service jobs, security jobs and at last a local place to eat. These also are "amenities;" these also are "community benefits."

Yeah, I want a new grocery store too (and Safeway will be at New Waterside mall) but no one will open competing retail in SW unless there are people to shop there. New condos bring new customers.

Hope Corcoran gets quick approval and doesn't drag its feet on the construction!

Nick on Jun 27, 2007, 11:51:00 AM said...

Rob - well put, and I appreciate someone in the neighborhood giving their view like that. I have been around that area for 20 years, playing softball at that field and running errands nearby, and I think this project will jump-start some good things for Southwest, along with all the other projects.

Scenic Artisan on Jul 5, 2007, 4:36:00 PM said...

poo poo said...
isn't there a harris teeter opening up nearby?
--------------------

doesnt it seem like there is a rumor of a harris teeter coming to every neighborhood?

i've only heard of the one at jenkins row, across from the potomac avanue station. that seems legit. maybe. possibly.

 

DCmud - The Urban Real Estate Digest of Washington DC Copyright © 2008 Black Brown Pop Template by Ipiet's Blogger Template