Yesterday, the Corcoran College of Art and Design announced the sale of the former Randall School for $6.5 million to Telesis Corporation and CACB Holdins LLC. Don and Mera Rubell, owners of CACB, will convert the school at 65 I Street, SW, into a contemporary art museum, hotel and private residence (s?). Corcoran originally purchased the Randall School in November 2006 for $6.2 million to build another College campus, but the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers forced Monument Realty, Corcoran's then development partner, to "default" in September 2008, according to a Corcoran spokesman. The sale means Corcoran will begin the search again for another location in the District for extending the College's campus.
According to a press release from Corcoran, the new owners, the Rubell Family, are hoteliers and collectors of contemporary art. The southwest museum will serve as a satellite of the Rubell's Miami museum. Corcoran estimates the purchase and sales agreement for the school will take 12 to 18 months for government review and approval.
Corcoran's previous designs by Shalom Baranes Architects included two nine-story residential towers with 420 units of housing and 100,000 s.f. of college facilities. Last month Kristin Guiter, Manager of Media Relations for Corcoran, told DCMud "the Corcoran has entered into negotiations with a potential development partner" and was seeking a PUD extension, which the ANC approved. Today Guiter said that after almost a year and a half of looking for a development partner, it became clear it just would not be "financially feasible." Guiter indicated the College put the property on the market a few months ago and are now working on a partnership with the Rubells where Corcoran will likely still be involved in programming for the planned museum.
In January, ANC 6D Commissioner David Sobelsohn told DCMud "we in the community are anxious to get this project underway. We're very concerned that this building has been sitting vacant and empty all this time." It looks like the community will get something at Randall, just not what it was expecting.