Sunday, March 3, 2013

Multiple new neighborhood developments, Scripture Cathedral to sell

1) As you probably have heard Scripture Cathedral has several times come close to selling their property at 9th and O Streets.  It appears they have a deal.  In this case it is a relatively modern church which is not contributing to an historic district so its demolition can occur.  The mixed use property that will replace it will likely have retail on the ground level and apartment/condos on the upper level.  Note that the surface parking lot at 8th and O Streets belongs to the City and would likely need to be sold to the developer for all this to happen.

2) Several have asked what is going on at the old Kelsey Gardens apartment site.  That is the land on the West side of 7th that goes all the way from O to Q Street (450 feet).  Jefferson at Market Place will be another high rise similar to what is going up by Roadside at O Street.  281 apartments, 250 car parking garage, roof top pool, about 13,500 sq ft of retail along 7th.  Here is the link:

A word on these high rise residential developments.  Over the last 15 years, there have been multiple studies on what will make retail effective in the Convention Center retail spaces, mostly along 9th and N Street.  Bottom line to all is location, location, location and insufficient foot traffic.  This new density along 7th and 9th from N/O/P/Q Street projects together with the 1200 room Marriot Marquis at 9th and Mass/L will be what finally allows 9th street to fully blossom.  Most of the retail spaces are a bit small and unique so there really needs to be this street life to make it work and hopefully it will result in an interesting diversity of shops and restaurants.  A similar set of projects along the 1200 block of 11th should make a difference there as well although I know several restaurants have passed on David Dale's space at the corner of 11th and O due to this foot traffic issue.  As we were told Thursday night the new apartment building street stretches around the back of the Laundry at the NE corner of 11th and M, won't be a reality for another 3 years (design/construction).

3) If you have been back in Blagden Alley you might have noticed that there is a large red brick 2 story building to the west side of Rouge 24.  Right now it is completely gutted out and it appears RJ and the Rogue folks use it for some storage.  The article below discusses a pending lease to Philadelphia's La Colombe Cafe specializing in their on site coffee roasting.   Sounds like a great use and I am amazed but how busy the new "The Coffee Bar" is at 12th and S:  

Here is the link to the Blagden Alley Cafe

PS:  there is interest in the boxing gym, I hear a restaurant.

4) I spent an hour the other day with the owner of 1322 9th Street and his architect to discuss options on what they had in mind for that lot.  Recall this is the location of the Historic Carriage House we just stopped them from  tearing down.  They are thinking through options of how to incorporate it into the new project.  One option I thought they should take a good look at is leave it open as an outside space either to go along with a retail/restaurant use or as an amenity for the tenants living above.  Basic concept on this 6500 sq ft C2A space is some sort of commercial use on the ground floor and apartments above.  I like the idea of a restaurant and the carriage house space could be outside dining or maybe with a glass roof. Obviously with are Mood Lounge struggles the noise issue would need to be carefully addressed.  It would be nice to liven this end of Naylor Court and seeing some life inside the old carriage house, visible out into the alley, would be fitting.  This was just a preliminary discussion (they are at the paper/pencil drawing stage) and I asked them to come to a future BANCA meeting to discuss their ideas before going forward to the CDC and ANC for approval.  I have also connected them with several restauranteurs looking for space in the neighborhood. They are also in discussions with Brendan at HPRB.

Thanks to Dave Salter for the heads up on a couple of these.

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