Thursday, January 08, 2009

SW Waterfront Nets its First Casualty


Just weeks after the City Council's approval of a Land Disposition Agreement authorizing the Hoffman-Struever, LLC’s redevelopment of the Southwest Waterfront, progress, of a kind, is already being made. The first casualty of the development process appears to be the Virgo Fish House – a staple restaurant of the famed Maine Avenue Fish Market. Shrimp cocktail enthusiasts shouldn’t fret, however; while the restaurant’s current quarters are scheduled to be demolished in tandem with another abandoned property at the site, the remainder of the Washington landmark at 1100 Maine Avenue, SW, will be safe for the foreseeable future.

"The blue building, which formerly operated as a crab house [will be razed],” says Nina Albert, a Project Manager with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. “That blue building will be replaced with a temporary Fish Cleaning Building, and...the building that Virgo’s is currently operating out of will be demolished. The intent of these small moves is to keep the Fish Market in safe and operable condition until the redevelopment occurs.”

That redevelopment by the Hoffman-Struever development team – which is officially comprised of comprised of PN Hoffman, Struever Bros., Eccles & Rouse, McCormack Baron Salazar, ER Bacon, Gotham, City Partners, Triden and the recently added Paramount Development – isn’t expected to begin anytime before 2011, but it’s also worth noting that the Maine Avenue Fish Market was also targeted by 2008’s National Capital Framework Plan. The Plan – drafted by the National Capital Planning Commission - seeks to reintegrate Maine Avenue into the fabric of daily life in the District by refurbishing the Market’s home at the Overlook and linking it with an extension of 10th Street, SW. We’re in, provided they do something about the smell.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am pissed. They need to keep the fish market as is... it's part of the history of this city. We can't whitewash everything with sterile new buildings. And I'm usually in favor of development!

Jesse - BuildingDC.com on Jan 13, 2009, 6:48:00 PM said...

Thats a huge shame. In the summers my friends and I get together and go to the waterfront nearly every weekend. While PN Hoffman will be a great addition, I'd hate to lose the "tradition" of the market.

Anonymous said...

DC is not NYC!!! Will anyting that provides unique cahracter to DC remain?

Anonymous said...

I read with interest your report of the razing of the Virgo Fish House and the "blue building". Both buildings are steeped in history and are being eliminated after years of neglect and mistreatment. The "blue building" formerly known as Captain Morgan's, a black owned cooked seafood business on the Fish Wharf changed hands and became Maine Avenue Seafood, where it also operated for many years delivering first quality fried seafood and crabs while nostalgic oldies and blues established at atmosphere complementing the fish wharf's "attitude". The current owner of Maine Avenue Seafood (The blue building) was systematically evicted from the fish wharf and is to this day battling in court to recover compensation for some of the years of lost health along with the thousands of dollars of lost income at the hands of the Government and the development process. I hope more is said of the Virgo Fish House and Maine Avenue Seafood. They made a mark in their time and didn't just step aside for the advancement of new development. They were systematically, and rudely, ripped from their firm historical roots on the Fish Wharf and thrown away. Pray for them and say a prayer for me too.

CPB

Anonymous said...

Yeah, As litle as possible should be changed here. This is part of the original true DC. While I am a fan of most development, we need a bit of authenticity. Any development in the areas should be made to support the fish market not alter it or "clean it up" so non-urban people can feel it's sufficently sterile. Again I'm usually really for development, but not here!

Anonymous said...

All DC residents should know that it was the competition of the Blue Building , Maine Avenue Seafood , that was the cause of the owner being displaced. The seafood was much better there and the prices were more reasonable and Capn Whites , Jessee Taylors and Pruitts could not compete , but no one cares anymore.

 

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