Thursday, August 31, 2006

Furioso Condo Project on Hold – Commercial Development Considered

Giorgio Furioso’s project to develop the vacant lot on 14th Street, next to the organic restaurant Veridian, is on hold, a representative of Furioso Development said. Furioso had been approved by the Historic Preservation Review Board to build an ultra-modern condominium next to and above 1515 14th Street, but may instead pursue opening a second restaurant or boutique hotel on the site.

Speculation about the reasons for the plan’s demise centered on potential construction costs. Construction companies may have perceived the project - designed to have a large, curving glass and steel facade - as being so architecturally sophisticated as to exceed reasonable construction costs.

Furioso is known for his background in the arts, having redeveloped the former Hudson Automobile showroom building at 1515 14th Street into a center for the arts, with his restaurant Viridian on the ground floor featuring regularly changing art shows, and art galleries on the second and third floors. The building, originally constructed in the 1930s was part of the 14th Street "auto-row" – a series of car dealerships.

The aborted condo project, which was to include additional arts-oriented retail, had been delayed in zoning and permitting. Emma Saal, an associate of Furioso, describes his style as very modern. She added that he was one of the originators of a now much-used mixture of glass and steel that makes use of the classical attention to detail. Saal points to one of Furioso’s signature projects as an example of his style. "Solo Piazza," she says (SoLo – or South of Logan) "is a perfect illustration of his combination of classical detail within a modern structure." Saal points to Solo Piazza’s floor to ceiling fenestration and multiple colors for the masonry as capturing the essentials of that style’s attention to detail while reinterpreting the building in a modern manner. "It’s very Giorgio," said Saal, "old and new in a modern setting; clean lines with a crown of steel and wood."

Saal added that regardless of what Furioso does with the 14th Street property, she’s certain it will be a great architectural addition to the Logan Circle area. "The restaurant, or a boutique hotel; either will be designed with the same great attention to detail and the wonderful modern flair that makes Furioso unique."

Washington DC real estate development news


Anonymous said...

Hopefully it will be better than Solo Piazza - this is already starting to look dated and a bit tacky ...

Anonymous said...

I agree. They did a nice job with the renovation of the building Viridian sits in, hopefully it will be more in that aesthetic vein.

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