Friday, June 03, 2011

Adams Morgan 1950s-era Auto Dealership Back on the Market

Booze-filled, bauble-covered bodies course through Adams Morgan's main ventricle, 18th Street, hopping in-and-out of bars and filling out a strip of nightlife that is arguably unrivaled elsewhere in the District. Two blocks east, running virtually parallel to 18th, is Champlain Street.

At 2329 Champlain Street NW, there is a 30,000+ sf building that at first glance appears to have been built out of river rocks. Brick-and-cement in actuality, the structure was built in 1957 to house an auto dealership, and later became the Brass Knob warehouse, until 2004.

Adjacent to the lofty warehouse space, at 2335 Champlain Street NW, is a compact, 100-year-old brick building, and former site of the Georgetown Plating Polishing & Repair Co.

First sited for redevelopment in 2005, a plan to turn the combined properties into a 22-unit multi-family residence was approved in May 2006, but crashed around '07/'08. Involved parties are now back on their feet, for the most part.

Gourley & Gourley LLC was the lender in '05, and is now the owner, and selling.

In February of this year, Gourley & Gourley, along with counsel Holland & Knight, and with conceptual drawings by Bill Bonstra of Bonstra│Haresign Architects, approached the Board of Zoning Adjustments with the request to bump up the 2006 design of 22 units to 31. The BZA approved the change in March.

The approved 31-unit design now needs a developer, and finding one rests with Robert Meehling of CB Richard Ellis. Meehling seems confident. Blaming time and circumstance for killing the first go at developing the adaptive reuse project, Meehling said he believes the area has a solid market for units pegged at $550 to $600 psf.

The current, but still evolving, design will preserve the existing façade, and add two levels of high-ceiling units. According to Bonstra, the design will incorporate "raised bedrooms" on the first two floors, while playing with a glassier, full-window concept above, and will overall honor the "neighborhood aesthetic." The auto dealership/warehouse portion was built with 1.5' thick walls, which will be preserved, but the use of the smaller brick structure is yet to be determined.

D.C. Real Estate development news


Michael said...

Does anyone know the dealership name or the make of cars sold there? In addition to real estate, I'm a car buff too. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Its such a quirky block, with mixed high and low income on the same strip. Glad when that group of projects finally gets built, its so underimproved right now.

Anonymous said...

What are the other condo projects coming to Adams Morgan? I know there was a stalled one on Columbia Road atop the row of retail that houses Burger King/Pizza Hut/Old City Cafe. Any plans to resurrect that? Also hope Safeway eventually adds a few stories of condos above their Columbia Road store. They are doing it on Georgia Ave but not Adams Morgan a few blocks from the CH metro?? If the owner of the Ontario Theater gets his way and developes that into condos and the Hotel at Columbia and Euclid get's built this section of Columbia Road will really be vibrant. Makes sense for it to be on the up and up as it links Adams Morgan to Columbia Heights.

Ariadne Henry said...

I've had replating work done at Georgetown Plating--it was always a little run down on Champlain St, but somehow in a charmnig "back in time" kind of way. It's nice to see the old facade is being preserved.

IMGoph on Jun 12, 2011, 2:39:00 PM said...

champlain street is the next north/south street east of 18th. it certainly is not two blocks east, as this article asserts.

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