February 8, 2006

ST-EXEMPIRE TO GROW WITH SATELITE RADIO. A slew, well three, development announcements came out of the DC Office of Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development recently. One in Eckington involving the St. Ex-Bar Pilar crew with friends from XM Satelite Radio, one in Ivy City and one in Shaw.

The managers of Cafe Saint Ex and Bar Pilar on 14th Street NW, along with Next Gen Construction and Renovation LLC, a DC development firm, were selected to restore Old Engine Company 12, located at the corner of North Capitol Street and Quincy Place NW in Eckington. Built in 1897, the historic firehouse is one of DC's 29 pre-World War II firehouses.

The plan is to convert the building into a full-service, sit-down restaurant named "EC-12" with a second-floor cultural and performing arts space programmed by XM Satellite Radio, who will broadcast live music events from the location. Wow. DC Bubble votes for this crew to play a role in the next item too.

In Shaw, A Solicitation of Offers for the redevelopment of the historic Howard Theater, located at 620 T Street NW will be issued Friday, the press release said. Built in 1910, the Howard Theatre was a prominent performing arts center when U Street was known as Black Broadway. It closed after the riots and now is in ruins.

"DC's vision is to reposition the Howard Theatre as not only an icon of past achievements, but also as a competitive, self-sufficient and contemporary venue for launching future generations of musical and cultural talent and for showcasing today's most celebrated artists," said the DMPED release. We hope this does not become an under-performing Lincoln Theater redux.

In Ivy City a request for proposals to develop 37 properties was issued. 50% of the units produced would have to be affordable, with special emphasis on units affordable to buyers who earn below 50% of the Area Median Income. DC has promised up to $3 million in public subsidy to assist developers in meeting this requirement.

The RFP "strikes a desirable balance by providing unprecedented affordability for a neighborhood revitalization project of this type while creating more opportunities for workforce housing for teachers, police officers, and workers in the hospitality industry," said DMPED.

pix by rj3dc

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