Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Future of 14th and R Still in Limbo


The ever-changing plans for the site of the former Central Union Mission will go before Zoning this month for an extension to an approval granted in May 2008. The project will sit directly across the street from a planned seven-story residential development, each hugging their respective corners on 14th and R Streets NW. Developer Jeffrey Schonberger of Alturas Real Estate Interest planned a mixed-use retail and residential project, then an office building, and most recently for a large-scale retail space once rumored to have caught the eye of CB2 (Crate and Barrel's "cheaper" offspring). Whatever it is he's bringing to the Logan area, he needs more time, given the economy and the quandary of Central Union Mission.

Schonberger entered into a purchase agreement for the property with the Mission in 2006. The developer owned property in Petworth which was swapped for the Mission's 14th street site as part of the sale agreement. Schonberger woudl also pay upwards of $7 milllion for the Logan property. The final sale, however, is contingent on the Mission's ability to relocate its shelter services. Initially the Mission sough to build a 100-bed homeless shelter in Petworth, to which neighbors responded with a resounding no-thank-you-very-much. With Petworth no longer an option for a shelter, the Mission sought to make a deal with the District for the Gales School, only to be derailed by an ACLU lawsuit. At this point, Schonberger's plans for the former automobile showroom began to unravel.
Now the development team is going before the Board of Zoning Adjustment to ask for an extension to various zoning exceptions granted in May 2008. Some of the exceptions related to the historic building on site, which the Historic Preservation Review Board ruled had to stay, meaning future development will entail a reuse of the former auto showroom, likely with additions. The developer also seeks to renew the exceptions to the arts use and design requirements to allow a mixed-use residential and retail development despite the requirements that 14th street have a balance of uses that favors the Arts. Any project will be required to have ground floor retail, though the rest is up for debate.


A source familiar with the project indicated that no decisions had been made on the eventual use of the property (i.e. commercial or residential) since the project is "so far from development" and the Mission has not yet relocated. Assuming Zoning grants the extension, the developer will have a year to breathe before having to file for construction permits and another year after that until work needs to be under way. Two years might be enough time to tie of up the Mission's loose ends.

To date, DC public records still reflect the deed to the property under the Mission's name. Wonder who Schonberger is rooting for in the new Gales School RFP contest?

Washington DC real estate and development news

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ugh, good luck now that the HPRB is involved.

Chris on Apr 7, 2010, 5:13:00 PM said...

I second @anonymous comment

meester poo poo said...

i 3rd it.

IMGoph on Apr 7, 2010, 8:28:00 PM said...

sorry guys. i know that petworth is the closest metro station, but that building wasn't going to be in petworth, that's park view. solidly park view.

Anonymous said...

Wy doesn't Central Union Mission just find a nice space in Truxton Circle,the homeless/social services Capitol of the Free World? Every other do-gooder free-loader non-taxpaying hypocrite suburbanite-run organization worth its salt is flocking there with the blessing of the "keep it black and poor" racist religous crowd. Why challenge people to lift themselves out of poverty when its so profitable for ones wallet and image to just "serve" the poor?

Anonymous said...

was jesus a do-gooder?

Anonymous said...

Was Jesus a do-gooder?

No Mas said...

He, if they are in TC, maybe they will provide public restrooms so I don't have to clean excrement from behind my house every other day.

Anonymous said...

Why should CUM have to import the homeless? Why can't they move to where the homeless are? When they are realesed in the morning they filter back to their previous neighborhoods.

Lets hope 14th st. will be what it was in the 50's

Claney said...

Why can't they go to Arlington, Alexandria, or Bethesda? Even better, put a shelter out in Capital Heights or something. I thought they would be gone from Rst in a few years when I bought 10years ago, this is getting rediculous, just leave already!

Nikki Smith on Apr 16, 2010, 4:30:00 PM said...

Hi DC Mud! Just wanted to say I LOVE this blog. I read it almost every day and even share some of your posts with readers of the Federal Title & Escrow Blog (my baby). Seriously, your blog is among the top DC real estate blogs, and I read a lot of them - keep up the good work!

Also, I came across this story in the Washington Biz Journal today ... DC Zoning Commission is reconsidering 14th Street regulations. It could mean opening it up for more restaurants & bars, and hopefully attract more folks to the area.

Here's a link:
http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2010/04/12/daily53.html

Have a great weekend!

 

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