This month Hunter Gorinson of DCNorth has flushed out more of the latest specifics through interviews key members of the development team (I’ve bold faced some key points on timeframes).
Despite recession-related obstacles in the every facet of the development market, the Donohoe Development Company’s ambitious Arts at 5th & I mixed-use project is still headed towards its projected 2010 groundbreaking — and could possibly be extending even further into the surrounding Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood.
The developer is currently in talks with the owners of Louis Rogue, a long-running strip club at 476 K St. NW that abuts Donohoe’s site at the corner of Fifth and I streets NW. Since the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) accepted the Donohoe-led development team’s $7 million bid for the DC-owned vacant parcel in September of last year, the company has not been shy about their intention to pursue further development in the immediate area via the acquisition of derelict or underutilized buildings.
“There is a parking lot and several vacant storefronts [that we are interested in],” said Jad Donohoe, development director of the Donohoe Companies. “We’re still in close conversations with the Fifth Street owners, and we hope to have some good news to report on that in the coming weeks.”
Originally, the Donohoe Companies had intended for the entire Arts at 5th & I development — including a 260-room luxury ME hotel by Spanish hotelier Melia; 166 new rental apartments; a string of retail outlets, including an “urban cafe”; and the first US location for the London-based Boisdale Jazz Club — to fall within the confines of their empty, 20,600-square- foot corner lot. However, it now appears that the historically protected townhomes that house Louis Rogue are being scouted for the site of DC’s soon-to-be newest jazz hotspot.
“It has not yet been acquired, [but we] have been in negotiations for the jazz club directly,” said Robert Holland of the Holland Development — a company that, along with Spectrum Management, Harris Development, and architects Shalom Baranes and Associates, is a member of the Donohoe team. “We are going to try to have the club open within 18 months.”
“We’re still on track,” said Donohoe. “The footprint is finalized, the uses are finalized, and after we have the LDA (Land Disposition Agreement) completed, there are construction documents, et cetera. “It’s a matter of still working out the Land Disposition Agreement, and we hope to be through with that process within the next couple of months.”
Read the rest of the DC North article [here].