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More Streetscape improvements plus bike racks on L Street

The streetscape on L Street NW in front of Safeway is close to being completed. The fencing and bike racks have been installed. We’ve had previous updates of the streetscapes on July 3rd and July 28.

fencing installed around the 120 year old oak tree

2 bike racks immediately in front of Safeway

4 bike racks installed close to entrance of City Vista L

I’m told K Street will also have bike racks later this year.

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The Waffle Shop

Last fall Douglas Jemal and preservationists sparred over the razing of The Waffle Shop on 10th St NW. The 57 year old diner with 1950′s style decor stood in the way of a Douglas Development office project. An amicable solution was reached between the parties as Jemal agreed to save the Waffle Shop from the wrecking ball by taking it apart brick by brick to eventually reassemble it on another property he owns.

Waffle Shop

photo from Mr. T in DC

Marc Fisher has speculated that most likely destination is at New York Avenue and Sixth streets NW. This would fall in either of the Square 450 and Square 451 locations we’ve talked so much about.

In the meantime, the Washingtonpost reports, that proprietors Hai and Sue Ngo, have moved their menu a few doors down the block to the Lincoln House restaurant.

Note: I realize this isn’t breaking news. I’m reporting it as part of a larger series that recaps all the stories related to Square 450/451.

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Jemal developments downtown

Douglas Development has a portfolio that includes downtown buildings with historic facades. I think most of us are familiar with the Woodies Building where West Elm is located. Below are a few more downtown projects.

The Historic Row : 800 F Street NW

International Spy Museum, Washington DC

photo from masteryofmaps

The Atlantic Building : 800 F Street NW

photo from otavio_dc

Historic 7th Street : 700-738 F Street NW

photo from otavio_dc

These buildings came out with a slick aesthetic look that honored the original details of the building.

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Mount Vernon Square Historic District

Yesterday we posted about Square 450. Any discussion about development in this square should acknowledge it is part of a Historic District.

Matthew Gilmore has compiled maps of historic districts and historic structures throughout DC. We have previously featured his map for the Triangle. Below is Matthew’s map for Mount Vernon Square East.


As you can see, Square 450 falls entirely within the historic district and has some structures designated as historic. I know that a historic district is designed to preserve the continuity of the neighborhood’s historic character. I imagine the rules are even stricter for a historic structure. How will this impact what Douglas Development can build on this square? Will it simply be that the facades need to be kept, ala the 800 block of F Street, or does it run deeper than that?

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Square 450

As Si eluded to in yesterday’s Square 451 post, Douglas Development is also aiming to create an assemblage on Square 450 (which is just outside MVT’s official boundaries).

RED=Square 450; BLUE=Square 451

Square 450 has many Douglas Douglas development records in the DC Real Property Assessment database. Jemal owns nearly all of the south facing of the 600 block of L Street. On New York Ave he’s bought out properties like 56 year dining institution A.V. Ristorante. However Square 451 still has more holdouts than it’s neighbor to the south.

Midas at 625 New York Ave NW;
notice charming ‘No Parking Will Be Tow’ spray painted on garage door

The music venue Warehouse Nextdoor, at 1017 7th St NW, had it’s final show on Aug 5th citing untenable property taxes. This area had a cluster of buildings involved in the Capital Fringe Festival. Very popular Moroccan restaurant Marrakesh also occupies a building on this square.

I’m far more conflicted about development on this square. Several of the entities on this block have great authenticity. It would be a big step backward to replace these institutions with the corporate chains that tend to go hand in hand with the high rents of new construction in prime locations. I’m sure the obstetrician on 6th Street has helped many people but somehow potentially losing an infamous restaurant and arts community feels like a bigger loss.

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