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.