A two-story restaurant with a soon-to-be-named tenant will fill the vacancy at 2208 14th Street, NW. The project has been helmed by Kensington-based N & C Construction, LLC and Bonstra Haresign Architects, the firm behind Studio Theatre and Parker Flats at Gage School.
In 2005, the building had been abandoned and was purchased by Neftali Benitez of N & C, with Bonstra Haresign signing on in 2006, said Brian Forehand, project leader for the design firm. The historic building will maintain several facets of the original, in compliance with Historic Preservation Review Board guidelines. "To the right of the facade, we have preserved an original door and window detail," said Forehand. "The left section is modified in that we will create a more contemporary bay and a new entry canopy." Much of the base building renovation has been completed. Additional work will include expansion of the storefront as well as expansion of the back of the building.
The former rowhouse-turned-retail has an interesting history as documented by The Humanities Council of Washington D.C. in that it had been The New School for Afro American Thought, an Afro-centric humanities organization founded by Howard University student activist (and now a Berkeley, California resident) Don Freeman and the late Washington D.C. poet Gaston Neal in 1966. Once the school moved in 1971, it fell into disrepair and was eventually abandoned.
The building is one of many developments burrowing down on 14th Street, the others of which include Utopia, the massive, mixed use project by Georgetown Strategic Capital (GSC) that is scheduled to begin in the fall 2011. Furioso Development has begun work on a seven-story residential building at 1525 14th Street, in between Posto and Great Wall Chinese restaurants. Douglas Development and R2L Architects have partnered in the creation of a six story apartment house at 2221 14th Street. The JBG, Grosvenor and Shalom Baranes condo project broke ground this fall at 14th and S Streets, and UDR has begun initial work in the giant pit of the former Nehemiah Center at 2400 14th Street as well.
Washington, D.C. real estate development news