Monday, August 27, 2012

Brookland's Colonel Brooks' Tavern Demolition Within the Month



Despite significant pushback from some locals, Colonel Brooks' Tavern in Brookland is set to be demolished in the next month, marking the end of one of the neighborhood's most recognizable landmarks.

"We anticipate the raze permit coming in the next thirty days," said David Roodberg, President at Horning Brothers.  (The application was filed on August 7th.)  "Of course, it could come sooner.  At this point we're thinking about when we're going to do the work.  We'll probably raze in October and then start in immediately on construction, which should take about two years."

The five-story project at 901 Monroe Street slated to replace the tavern will feature 220 residential units over five stories.  Jointly developed by Horning Brothers, The Menkiti Group, and owner Jim Stiegman, the Esocoff and Associates-designed project is said to be designed to blend in with the neighborhood's brick townhouse aesthetic, and will offer 12,000+ s.f. of ground floor retail space.  (And thanks to an agreement with the ANC, these commercial spaces will be leased to small- to medium-sized stores.)


The project has had a sometimes-rocky road to fruition, though, as community groups feared the new building would usurp the intimate scale of Brookland's commercial strip.  In deference to these concerns, developers revised their plans to shrink the new building's footprint by 12%, reducing its footage down to 197,000 from an original estimate of 220,000 s.f.  The development will also create 150 below-grade parking spaces and 66 bicycle parking spaces, as well as much wider sidewalks, thanks to 15-foot setbacks.

While the tavern will certainly be missed, tavern owner Jim Stiegman has said that business dried up after the tragic robbery/murders in 2003, essentially forcing him to sell.  Rumor has it that Stiegman proactively approached the Menkiti Group about development, and that Horning Brothers were brought in shortly after.

Brookland has seen a surge of development as developers woke up to the potential of a walkable, small scale neighborhood in such close proximity to transit and Catholic University.  The 901 Monroe project follows on the heels of Bozzuto's $200 million Monroe Street Market project that broke ground in late 2011.

Washington D.C. real estate development news

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I find it obscene that the historic tavern is being demolished for this totally undistinguished building.

Anonymous said...

Actually, if you want to know exactly how indistinguishable it is just head down to 9th street and you'll see it. This architect doesn't do anything original anymore, just repeats the same brick forms...

Anonymous said...

I's sorry, the Colonel Brooks building was nothing more than early 20th century commercial brick. It has no distinguishing architectural features, or a "Historic" past that would warrant preservation. Jim Stiegman did a great job with it all those years until the murders, and he's done the right thing in working to get a decent development in there now.

Josh said...

I can't wait for this building. I live 600 feet from the development. It will be great for our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

This is not a "historic tavern." The building may be on the older side, but it didn't become a tavern until the 1980's. And the notion that this building has some "historic" character worth preserving was squarely rejected by the court of public opinion after opponents tried to have the building declared "historic." Indeed, the application to have it declared "historic" was withdrawn before the Board could even act on it. The only thing that is "obscene" is when people pretend to care about historic preservation as a guise for their opposition to developments. I would refer you to this:

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/9617/will-preservation-be-a-tool-of-blatant-anti-development/

Ward5Rez said...

As a local, I CAN.NOT.WAIT for this and the MSM development to open. This will change the neighborhood for the better. With these big developments, we will also start getting smaller business as well... ie, Menomale, Chocolate City, the re-vamped "Library" (better food/less stabbings)

Now, if we could just get rid of that terrible mural on B'cafe!

Anonymous said...

As a soon to be Brookland resident (Bought a town-home at Chancellor's Row), I am very excited about this new development. I already love the neighborhood but a few more retail, hole in the wall "joints" would be a great addition to the area. There is no reason why Brookland can't become the latest up and coming neighborhood in DC.

brookland_rez said...

Glad to see this project move forward. Will be good for the neighborhood.

David Greenberg said...

My son Joshua was murdered by the thieves who robbed the Tavern in Aril of 2003 .He was the cook who got there early that day, because it was the morning of the time change and he was afraid that the sous chef would be late. It cost him his life. I have avoided driving by the place or seeing it these nine plus years. I know that terrible event was the beginning of the end of this place. I'm glad it's gone.

Anonymous said...

David,
Your son seems to have been a wonderful person. Thank you so much for sharing your pain, it will help others.

W on Aug 28, 2012, 9:37:00 AM said...

I've eaten at Col Brooks a number of times. It's a neighborhood fixture, and it's got a very nice atmosphere. I think I've heard (from waitstaff there) that they'll restart it in the new building. I very much hope this comes through. And I'm worried that the waitstaff may have problems getting new jobs.

But Col Brooks is not a historic building per se. The rebuilding will be good for the neighborhood. High density does not mean the whole place has to look like Manhattan, or even like Woodley Park where I used to live.

Anonymous said...

David, So sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

David, So sorry for your loss.

Carole J. on Aug 28, 2012, 11:18:00 AM said...

Regarding "community groups feared the new building would usurp the intimate scale of Brookland's commercial strip," that is inaccurate. The problem raised by Brooklanders is that the new building will loom over the remaining rowhouses on 10th St and present an undistinguished six-story facade to the modest detached homes facing it across Lawrence St.

As a precedent for preserving the scale of residential Brookland, it is inauspicious at best.

Anonymous said...

It is really great to see these developments finally getting underway. With any luck the Colonel Brooks development will finish up around the same time as the 2nd phase of the Abdo MSM. It will be nice to have the extra amenities. I'm glad the handful of naysayers weren't able to screw it up for pretty much everyone else in the neighborhood. Delayed but not denied is good news.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see Col. Brooks go -- and not eager for a construction period during which we have even fewer places to sit down for a meal and a beer in the neighborhood. I'd like Brookland to be a little livelier commercially, but that needs to include a better coffee house and a decent neighborhood bar.

Anonymous said...

The building is useful. Brookland doesn't desire the overhaul. We were pretty clear in stating that. What resident's want isn't prioritized highly enough in the development of their space. Money-clamor shaping our landscape, so it goes in transition city.

Anonymous said...

You're right, residents don't always get what they want because contrary to your view, the property isn't "their space." It is the space of the dude who owns it.

Anonymous said...

I live right around the corner from here and have mixed feelings. Although I am all for much needed developement in Brookland, which should be kept to the areas around the metro, it should be done respectfully. Take a look at the signs in the yards of the directly affected houses. They are not saying no to the project, just that it follow the orginal building codes. Just the fact that the original design had to be scaled down shows the design disreguarded the neighbors. Plus the building is not catered to Brookland, go take a look at 9th and M NW, same exact desgin. This block is a prime location for developement but the current height and density restrictions should have been enforced. If a presidence is set that the rules can be changed what could happen to the rest of BLand

Anonymous said...

Change is good! All this development will bring new business, more work for the locals and make Brookland more livable! Trust me .... progress is never a bad thing.

IMGoph on Aug 31, 2012, 3:15:00 PM said...

every ward has its own special kind of NIMBYs. ward 5's are the best!

Anonymous said...

The tavern is not historic. Brookland needs better amenities. People are scared of change, even if they need change.

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