Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Douglas Buys Time for Waffles

Last night, Douglas Development's plans for the former Waffle Shop at 1000 F Street received a time extension, saving his "Up Against the Wall, LLC" from an expired zoning approval. Along with architect Shalom Baranes, Douglas received approval in April 2008 to relocate the historic eatery now just two blocks from Metro Center, and in its place construct a large office building. Since that time the art deco 1950s Waffle Shop closed and recently reopened as a tourist's delight, filled with "I heart DC" shirts and Obama memorabilia plates.

Douglas's planned 11-story building would bring 91,000 s.f. office space with 6,000 s.f. of ground-floor retail to an L-shaped amalgamation of lots. Plans also include the renovation and relocation of the two-story Waffle Shop now on the site - reassembled on another site. HPRB had initially granted Douglas's request to destroy the eatery, despite the dearth of retail downtown and the vacant storefronts downtown at the time, but later reneged on that offer thanks to community outcry. The developer committed to moving the shop to a new location intact within five years of the approval; two years, down three to go, an alternate location has yet to be publicly announced.

During their 2008 testimony at the Zoning Commission, the project team said it had been pursuing a project at the location for nearly nine years, finally convincing the property owner to sell in 2005 and closed in 2006. Douglas development's Paul Millstein described the importance of F Street and its continued renaissance to the firm, "we have a passion for F Street...this building represents much more than just a building to us."

Architect Shalom Baranes explained that his design was emphasizes the "verticality" of 10th and F Streets. The facade is planned to feature two surfaces - a "masonry curtain wall" and a "transparent, more prismatic form" to articulate the volume of the building. The property contained two historically contributing buildings, the Waffle Shop and 1000 F Street, which will be the corner structure of the development. The extension expires May 16, 2012.

Washington, DC real estate development news


numbers said...

no surprises there. it's a shame.

Anonymous said...

I respect Douglas for what he did for downtown at the turn of the millenia, but given what's been coming out of this firm lately, I would say retirement is calling...

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