Douglas Development, in partnership with the Wilkes Company, to
Bounded to the north by M Street NE, and situated on the northern half of the block between 2nd and 3rd Streets NE, the Uline Arena, also known as the Washington Coliseum, is best known as the first concert venue in the United States to host the Beatles. Over the years it featured sports teams like the Washington Lions (American Hockey League) and the Washington Capitals (American Basketball Association), as well as famous musical acts like Bob Dylan and the Temptations. Most recently the facility was used as a trash transfer station by Waste Management Inc. Originally constructed in 1941, HPRB placed the building on its National Register of Historic Places in 2006, preventing any future demolition plans.
GTM Architects have penned the design plans that see the historic coliseum restored, renovated, and expanded. Designers are excited about the historic preservation aspect of this project, describing the structure and its thin shell concrete vaulted roof as one the earliest examples of "structural innovations in modern industrial design in the United States." As part of the renovation, existing masonry facades will be improved and restored. A 2-story addition of glass and steel will be constructed above the Ice House, highlighting the industrial character of the structure.
Executive Paul Millstein of Douglas Develpoment says of the hold up: "We have a really cool design to bring this property back to life, but right now we're still searching for the construction money." It's a tough market for anyone to secure financing in, but especially so for a development team used to doing spec projects. With times still uncertain, no one is willing to finance
But Douglas Development promises not to sacrifice quality for speed. At the initial approval hearing he told the BZA that the building was going to have "cool tenants." "They're going to be innovative. They're going to be environmentally correct. They're going to be public transportation oriented. They're going to be neighborhood friendly," he elaborated. But what and who are these "cool tenants"? Greenpeace, who currently resides in another of Jemal's buildings, was initially mentioned as a possible tenant, but have decided to remain in their current location. And that's really too bad, because what's cooler than Greenpeace? Well, except for Paul McCartney playing a gig at the groundbreaking ceremony, just a thought. Hurry up Jemal, while he can still sing.
Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News