Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Restaurant for Georgia Avenue


On Tuesday, District officials and developers broke ground on what will become a first class restaurant on the historic site of the former Billy Simpson's House of Seafood and Steak. The District originally sought proposals for the site in April 2008, selected a developer in September 2008, and in March 2009 the property was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The development team, Donatelli Development and Mosaic Urban Partners, is working with the Hilton Brothers, known for their restaurants Gibson and Marvin in the U Street corridor, to bring the new retail to the Petworth community.

According to Rachel Preston, an Advisor at Mosaic Urban Partners, the project is fully financed. Preston said the team has begun interior demolition and the project could be ready as soon as this summer.

A press release from the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development's office said the historic restaurant operated in the 1960s and 1970s and was an "oasis" for leaders of the Civil Rights movement as well as home to the political forum "Round Table 9."

The development team also won the right to develop on another plot of land at 3825-3829 Georgia Avenue, in the form of a small residential building of approximately 12 units with ground floor retail. These developments continue the trend for the neighborhood, also home to Donatelli's Park Place built on top of the Georgia Avenue/Petworth metro station.

When the new yet-to-be-named restaurant opens it may just breathe new life into the "up-and-coming" neighborhood, much like U Street (where the restaurateurs currently operate) and Columbia Heights (where Donatelli's projects changed the face of the neighborhood). That, at least, is the hope.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Go Georgia Avenue! The new trolly line will revive that corridor and make it competative with Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenue for the simple reason that it's blessed with all that great old time main street architecture. Now, if the Historic Preservation Office would do what it should, and got to the hard work of preserving history, we might be able to hand this legacy off to our grand kids.

Anonymous said...

Clarify your statement, if you could, Anonymous. What is it that you want the DC Historic Preservation Office do regarding this stretch of Georgia Avenue NW that isn't being addressed?

Anonymous said...

That section of Georgia Avenue is not a Historic District. the HPO office has nothing to do with that area.

Anonymous said...

I would have them working towards creating a historic district for areas such as Petworth, Upper 16th street, and Georgia Avenue at several streches north of Florida Avenue, all the way to Sheperd Pard. These are valuable assets that will contribute to the economical viability if properly protected much as they contribute to Georgetown, Cleveland Park, etc.

On the other hand, I would relax the standards such as windows, colors, and additions so as not to freak out citizens that they would loose too much control over their properties.

Lastly, I would get the historians at the Office of Preservation out of the business of dictating what style buildings in historic neighborhoods should be, and concentrate on preserving our history.

Anonymous said...

Have you contacted the Historic Preservation Office and suggested to them that they initiate on their own or encourage residents of "Petworth, Upper 16th street, and Georgia Avenue at several streches north of Florida Avenue, all the way to Sheperd Park" to pursue neighborhood historic designation?

Anonymous said...

So, what exactly do you want? You seem confused as to what Historic Preservation means or don't mean.

Anonymous said...

Many buildings on Georgia Avenue, need to just go!

Anonymous said...

The Office of Historic Preservation should preserve (built) history. If you think that sounds confusing, then I can't help you.

Anonymous said...

Great, so let's preserve all the carry-outs and liquor stores, they're part of the history of DC!

Anonymous said...

Well then... Are u done? Seems YOU don't understand what Historic Preservation means!

 

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