Some folks in the District have fast developed a hankering for the hot dog that's the main attraction at ChiDogo on 14th Street- a Chicago style dawg that's a lively combination, juxtaposing salty and sweet, fat and acid. Served on a poppy seed bun, dressed with a dill pickle, tomatoes, relish, and mustard and sprinkled with celery salt for good measure, the dawg can't be had for long. Despite that ChiDogo is the newest kid on the block having opened just three months ago, its tenure will be short lived: the building is slated for demolition this fall to make way for Utopia.
Conceived by Georgetown Strategic Capital (GSC), the Utopia development will serve up 220 rental units and 20,000 square feet of retail. Eric Colbert & Associates have moved forward on the drawings, says Robert Moore of GSC, with plans for completion of the drawings by spring. "The design is shaping up to be a very attractive solution, combining a sensitivity to the historic buildings and materials with a modern flair as Colbert has demonstrated in some of his other work," says Moore. Colbert & Associates also designed Church Place condos, The Hudson on P Street, The Floridian on 9th Street and The Rutherford on 13th Street.
ChiDogo, located at 1934C 14th Street, isn't the only business on the strip with numbered days: also on the chopping block is the United Supreme Council building, the Domino's location, Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The buildings which house Ace Check Cashing, McDonald's and El Paraiso are historic and will remain intact.
Utopia's facade is to be terraced so it blends with the surrounding rowhouses as opposed to coming off as a behomoth of the block. That may be a tall order, considering: at 90 feet high, it's set to become the most towering building in the neighborhood. Colbert & Associates maintain that they have been sensitive to community concerns, having met monthly with groups such as the ANC, Dupont Circle Conservancy, and the city's historic preservation staff.
Creating Utopia can be disquieting work. The project has been an on again and off again venture that began in 2008 and was granted an extension to November 2012 by the Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA) this past June. The group had trouble securing funding for the 93.5 million-dollar project during the flagging economy, but has since rebounded. Once permits are obtained, Moore expects a year-long construction period: a rather aggressive plan, but kudos if they can pull it off.
Washington D.C. real estate development news