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WaPo: D.C. drops Donohoe as developer of Mount Vernon Triangle hotel

Jonathan O’Connell of the Washington Post’s Capital Business column reports that the District has dropped Donohoe Development as the developer of the 5th & Eye RFP site. Donohoe initially promised a 475,000-square-foot project made up of a 261-room Spanish luxury hotel by Meliá Hotels International and a 160-unit apartment building, with housing for artists, and retail space. A spokesperson from Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development’s office said the project will be re-bid later this year.

The public presentations of the original RFPs for 5th & Eye occurred on May 1, 2008. My recap of that meeting was one of my earliest postings after joining the blog. At the time the Donohoe proposal was the most inspired and earned the endorsements of local community organizations and ANC6C. That ultimately led to Donohoe being awarded the RFP in September 2008.

The economic slowdown/housing crisis understandably grinded progress to a halt in 2009 and 2010. However I do feel the total absence in progress by Donohoe in 2011 and 2012 was a damning indicator. Nor did they give us any reason to be optimistic for 2013. Residential buildings on other sites have been flying up the last two years in the Triangle and around the city. Yet all this site got was a parking lot and some lip service about potentially breaking ground in 2014 (six years after the RFP award). So I do agree its time to move on even if that potentially pushes things back a year as we have absolutely no reason to be confident in Donohoe. The Mount Vernon Triangle deserves better.

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WaPo: High-rises replace parking lots in Mount Vernon Triangle

Lori Aratani of the Washingtonpost published an article yesterday about the ongoing transformation of our Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood. The piece includes a hat tip to the Triangle blog and quotes from developers, residents and local office workers.

Planters outside Busboys patio painted to spell IMAGINE

Among the quotes, City Vista resident Sam Shipley states that the neighborhood was a bit like the ‘Wild West’ when he moved here in 2009. Most would agree the neighborhood was already on the upswing by then. The Fun Fair Video fiasco was already resolved by the time I moved to the neighborhood in early 2008. However that first year did include incidents such as Ace Hardware’s windows being vandalized with gunfire and a half dozen or more prostitutes squatting in the sunken patio of the old CAAB building.

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Are you a Regular?

Washingtonpost food critic Tom Sietsema has published his fall dining guide which is comprised of a list of establishments he’d like to be a regular at.

Norm and Cliff of Cheers; image from wikipedia

Are you a regular at any establishments inside the Triangle or nearby? Are there places you’d like to be a regular at?

Feel free to add any addition clarification to your comments. I’m a regular at several places in Rosslyn but that’s more by default that I need to grab lunch within 1-2 blocks of my office. I’d say the K Street Taylor Gourmet is the only place I’m truly a regular of on the merit of enjoying their product and it being at a price point I can afford on a regular basis.

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WaPo: Closeup on Wah Luck House Culture

On Sunday the Washingtonpost published a closeup look at the Wah Luck House at 6th & H NW in Chinatown. The property is an HUD apartment building for seniors that is estimated to house half of the estimated ~500 remaining Chinese immigrants in the area.

Image from Washingtonpost; click to visit original article

The HUD contract for Wah Luck House expired in 2010 but was renewed through 2015 when Aimco could not find a suitable buyer.

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WaPo highlights Mandu K Street late night eats

The Washington Post recently highlighted the K Street location of Mandu among their top late night eats.

Photo by Evy Mages for The Washington Post

Excerpt:

After dinner service is over, the kitchen at Mandu’s Fifth and K location begins a second shift of sorts, cranking out Korean-meets-Mexican bar snacks. Night owls sup on piquant quesadillas oozing with cheese and buttery caramelized kimchi, and tacos stuffed with pillows of egg-battered tofu or bulgogi and peppery cucumber slaw. Mandu doesn’t bother with a menu of late-night curiosities; adventurous eaters sidle up to the bar and ask what’s on. It allows the cooks free reign to rifle through the fridge and whip something up, explains co-owner Danny Lee. The bar snacks run $5-$7.

The article also mentions The Passenger and Taylor Gourmet’s H Street NE location.

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WaPo: An Influx of New Voters

Anne Marimow of the Washingtonpost delves into the topic of increased voter registration in the District (graphic) and how the participation of new voters may impact the upcoming Mayoral Election. Voter registration has risen by over 47,000 democrats since the 2006  election due to both new resident influx and residents inspired to vote for Obama in the 2008 presidential election. Marimow’s article highlights our neighborhood as our voting precinct (#143) is new and did not exist during the last mayoral race.

Will you vote in the September Mayoral Election?

  • Yes (82%, 64 Votes)
  • Undecided (9%, 7 Votes)
  • Not Registered to Vote (5%, 4 Votes)
  • No (4%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 78

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Historically the mayoral race has been determined by roughly 100,000 registered Democrats (out of a 600,000 population) voting in the Mayoral primary.

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WaPo recaps saga of 433 Mass

In today’s Washington Post staff writer Paul Schwartzman revisits the story of the “Ledos” building at 433 Mass Ave. The owner, Austin Spriggs, turned down over $2 million from developers for a property assessed at $200K during the height of the bubble. Late last year the District threatened to demolish the property as it was and unsecured shell. Adams National bank took that as a cue to foreclose and put the property on auction. It appeared there was a buyer (for $715,000) at the auction, but Spriggs contested the foreclosure and is supposedly threatening a civil rights lawsuit against the bank.

This April the property has been put back on the market for $1,500,000. Realtor Charles York told WaPo there is interest while members of the development community retorted “not at that price“.

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