“Found on The Hill”- Purveyor of Found Objects – Opens Saturday Near Eastern Market

It’s not clear yet what “Found on the Hill” is, other than it appears to be a successor to the short lived “septcarrés septième rue” (Seven Squares Seventh Street) which opened in mid February at 323 7th Street, a few doors down from Eastern Market, in the former location of Monkey’s Uncle.  Owner Ari Gejdenson of Acqua al 2 across from Eastern Market is so far keeping mum on this one.  See CHC posting on septcarrés here:  http://bit.ly/2bvRQyj

 “Found on the Hill” is the successor to the short lived “septcarrés septième rue” (Seven Squares Seventh Street) which opened in mid February at 323 7th Street, a few doors down from Eastern Market, in the former location of Monkey’s Uncle. 

“Found on The Hill”- Purveyor of Found Objects – Opens Saturday Near Eastern Market

by Larry Janezich

The latest venture of Ari Gejdenson, founder of Mindful Restaurant Group (Acqua AL 2, Ghibellina, Harry black, Sotto, and Denson) is the marketing of a collection of curious items and furniture originally purchased as design and aesthetic elements for the restaurant group.

“Found on the Hill” opens at 11:00am on Saturday, September 24, at 323 7th Street, SE – a space occupied until recently by Criston Mize’s custom furniture design and construction outlet, “septcarrés septième rue” (Seven Squares Seventh Street).  That venture was also the brainchild of Gejdenson, and the reason for the transition from “septcarres” to the new venture is not entirely clear, though the assertion that “Found” will market made-to-order items hints at a continuing relationship.

A press release from the Mindful Restaurant Group notes, “The store is a mix of ‘found’ objects, think vintage fans, old radios, and unique lighting fixtures, and pre-owned furniture, as well as some made to order items. Many of the chairs, bar stools and such from the restaurants are made specifically for them, and can be produced on a made-to-order basis for homes as well.”

For now, “Found” will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-6pm.

For the CHC post on “septecarres” see here:  http://bit.ly/2bvRQyj

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City Agency OKs Concentration of Substance Abuse Recovery Facilities in Hill East

Andromeda Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Clinic at 15th and Massachusetts Avenue, SE

Andromeda Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Facility at 15th and Massachusetts Avenue, SE

City Agency Oks Concentration of Substance Abuse Recovery Facilities in Hill East

by Larry Janezich

On Tuesday, the Board of Zoning Adjustment denied ANC6B’s appeal of the city’s sanctioning of a Hill East substance abuse recovery facility located 400 feet from another larger facility (CAG) which will provide the same services in the coming weeks.  Both are located in Hill East on the 15th Street commercial corridor, surrounded by a residential neighborhood, with a 24/7 7-Eleven convenience store and a liquor store between them.

The question of concentration as such was not before the BZA.  Mayor Bowser told ANC Commissioner Chander Jayaraman during her walk in Hill East last week, that it is not within the city’s capacity to approve or deny a certificate of occupancy to any business that meets the “internal requirements.”  The issue before the BZA was a technicality over whether the Andromeda Recovery Center should be defined as an “office” or a “medical office” – the straw the ANC had grasped at to challenge the planting of the Andromeda treatment center in Hill East.  (It didn’t really matter – Andromeda could have opened up as a matter of right under either definition but would have had another bureaucratic hurdle if defined as a medical office.)

The appeal was denied by a vote of 4 – 1.

Zoning Commission Chair Anthony Hood – who also chairs the DC Zoning Commission – said he thought the ANC had a valid point, and the regulations should be clarified.  He said would take the matter back to the Zoning Commission and speculated on the need for more specific language in the regulations, and  said, “We’ll see where we go.”

What Chairman Hood should take back to the Commission is the question of what changes in the Zoning Code are necessary to address the concentration of substance abuse facilities in residential neighborhoods and what can the Zoning Commission do to assure that community responsibility of hosting substance abuse recovery facilities is shared equally throughout the city.  That’s unlikely to happen.

For their part, health providers who receive city and federal funds for providing mental health and substance abuse recovery programs locate where their clients are or where their clients can get to easily on public transportation.  According to Ms. Phyllis Jones, Chief of Staff of DC Behavioral Health, much of the justification presented for establishment of a treatment center in a community is “people have a right to be treated where they want to be treated.”  The Hill East Andromeda center serves clients from Wards 6, 7, and 8, who previously had to travel to Andromeda facilities on 14th Street, NW; one third of Andromeda’s clients reside in those three wards.

Mayor Bowser has said she will ask the Department of Behavioral Health to work with the community to achieve a written community agreement with two Hill East substance abuse treatment facilities – CAG and Andromeda – regarding community concerns. (See here:  http://bit.ly/2cES19Z

The appeal was shepherded through the bureaucratic appeal process by ANC6B Commissioner Chander Jayaraman, who maintained throughout that the issue is not the facility itself – despite the unhappiness of the residential neighbors in immediate proximity – but the close proximity to another substance abuse facility offering similar services.

Asked for comment, Jayaraman said, “The Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) voted to deny ANC 6B’s Appeal…I believe that they were swayed by the existing regulations that a clinic or a medical facility is allowed by right in a C-2-A zone as well as testimony from the applicant stating the limited size of their operations (limited to 20 clients) at the 201 15th Street and the low level services they would offer including “wrap-around” services.

However, the BZA did recognize ANC 6B’s contention that a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment Facility more closely aligns under a “Medical” use category as opposed to “Office-General.” … While I am not satisfied with the outcome of the decision, I was pleased that the Chair intends to bring this issue before the Zoning Commission and to seek a way to address the lack of clarity in both the 1958 Zoning Regulations and the current Zoning Regulation-16. On a broader policy level, I intend to testify before the City Council to advocate for the addition of legislative language that requires the DC Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) to notify and request the opinion of the ANC at the time of application by SUD providers.”

ANC6B will have four substance abuse/mental health recovery facilities – two located at the intersection of 8th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, and the two in Hill East.  One of the Hill East facilities – CAG, near the intersection of 15th and Independence, currently resides at 13th and Pennsylvania, but will relocate to the new location in the coming weeks.

For previous posts on the Andromeda facility, see here: http://bit.ly/2a3jPUq

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The Week Ahead….

 

Beach on the Other Side.  Fused Glass.  10" X 20"  Price: $500  Artist:  Capitol Hill resident Elizabeth Eby  See Maryland Federation of Art here:  http://bit.ly/2d4QOL

Beach on the Other Side. Fused Glass. 10″ X 20″ Price:  $500
Artist: Capitol Hill resident Elizabeth Eby.  See Maryland Federation of Art here:  http://bit.ly/2d4QOL

 

The Week Ahead…..

by Larry Janezich

Monday, September 19

  1. ANC 6A Transportation & Public Space Committee meets at 7:00pm at Capitol Hill Towers, 900 G Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Newly proposed DDOT Residential Permit Parking (RPP) program regulations.  See here: http://bit.ly/2cIUn5O

Request to connect 808 Massachusetts Avenue to Constitution Avenue via rear driveway.

Truck traffic on 11th Street, NE.

Tuesday, September 20

  1. ANC6A Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Committee meets at 7:00pm, Sherwood Recreation Center, 10th and G Streets, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Discussion of request by Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar (1104 H Street, NE) for changes to its current Settlement Agreement.

  1. Community Meeting on Rewrite of Zoning Regulations, co-hosted by ANC6B Chair Kirsten Oldenburg and ANC6B Co-chair Nick Burger, at 7:00pmat Hill Center. Presentation summarizing changes by the DC Office of Planning.  Panel discussion with with Jennifer Fowler, Fowler Architects; Sarah Davidson, Insight Property Group; and Gary Peterson, CHRS.
  1. CHRS Board of Directors meets a 6:30pm, Capitol Hill Townhomes, 750 6th Street, SE.

Wednesday, September 21

  1. ANC6A Economic Development & Zoning Committee meets at 7:00pm at Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

1511 A Street, NE: Request of neighbors of 1500 Block A NE and Unit Blocks of 15th and 16th NE for ANC sponsorship of a BZA appeal.

313 11th Street, NE.  Application for a special exception to construct a two-story garage with accessory apartment in the RF-1 Zone.

543 Tennessee Avenue, NE.  Application for a special exception to construct a two-story rear addition to an existing one-family dwelling in the RF-1 Zone.

808 Massachusetts Avenue, NE.  Application of owner to connect the rear of his property to Constitution Avenue through construction of a driveway.

1341 H Street, NE.  Application for a special exception to construct a mixed-use building in the NC-14 Zone.

H Street Overlay Amendment: Proposed H Street Overlay regulations amendment to clarify preservation requirements to protect buildings from being razed while still claiming preservation and to result in more consistent application of regulations.

Emerald Street Historic District: Request by residents to make Emerald Street, NE a historic district.

  1. PSA 106 meets at 7:00pm, 200 Eye Street, SE. Since this is a public vuilding, ID will be required for admittance.

On the agenda:  Discussion of synthetic drugs with MPD Lt. Christopher Avery.

  1. Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meets at 7:00pm, North Hall, Eastern Market.

Among items on the agenda:

Elections Committee Report: Chuck Burger

Report on Marketing /promotions committee: Chuck Burger

Hine Update

Market Managers Report

Status of the Leases

Capital Improvements Report

Tenant’s Council Report

Thursday, September 22

  1. The Watkins School Modernization Community Meeting – 6:00pm – Elliot-Hine auditorium, 1830 Constitution Avenue, NE. contact:  tuch@dc.gov
  1. Community Connections sponsors a Health Fare in the park at 8th and D Street, SE, from 10:00am until 2:00pm, as part of National Recovery Month. The event will feature food and vendors, according to organizers.

Saturday, September 24

  1. Barracks Row Festival, 11:00am – 5:00pm

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ANC6B Squares Off Against Department of General Services (DGS) on Watkins School Design

Watkins renovation project manager Greg Benson (left) and  Architect Sean O'Donnell before ANC6B last Tuesday night.

Watkins renovation project manager Greg Benson (left) and Architect Sean O’Donnell before ANC6B last Tuesday night.

ANC6B Squares Off Against Department of General Services (DGS) on Watkins School Design

by Larry Janezich

ANC6B wanted to hear directly from DGS why the Commission was not brought into the historic preservation design review for Watkins School at a point where they could have some input instead of after the deal was done and all they could do was rubber stamp the plan.

DGS Project Manager Greg Benson showed up for the meeting with ANC Tuesday night, apparently believing that a good offense is the best defense.  He was accompanied by Perkins Eastman Architect/consultant Sean O’Donnell, who was tasked with explaining why the ANC didn’t need to be consulted. O’Donnell went to some lengths to demonstrate the extent of community input on the Watkins School renovation project.  Then he told the ANC that since the building was being done as a matter of right, HPO says DGS is not required to contact the ANC for review citing language from the agencies’ “Notice to Advisory Neighborhood Commissions”

He would have been better served by remembering that even when you are going to have your way with the ANC, you have to at least pay lip service to them.

Commissioner Denise Krepp, expressed the sentiment of the entire Commission:  “I’m not going to have DGS tell us we don’t have a role in the review of this project.”

She cited the opening paragraph in the “Notice to Advisory Neighborhood Commissions”:  “HPO and HPRB welcome and encourage ANC participation in historic preservation review process.  HPRG gives great weight to duly adopted written ANC views on matters of significance to neighborhood planning and development.”

Benson, silent until then but realizing O’Donnell had wandered onto this ice, quickly spoke up, saying, “We’re not saying that at all.  We came here at your request to show we’re not trying to skip over you.”

But the presentation tonight and before ANC6B’s Planning and Zoning Committee on September 6, contradicted his words.

Last week, the DGS presentation before the Committee appeared to be an afterthought – and given the lack of detail and depth in that presentation, clearly reflected the attitude of casual indifference with which some city agencies treat ANC opinion.

Tuesday night, in attempting to be transparent, DGS made a presentation that raised additional questions, including how long the current design concept had been available (most members of the community had never seen the latest design before a posting on CHC last week), whether the public engagement had been adequate, the possibility of a full court gymnasium, and the health hazards associated with the use of polycarbonate windows for the site.  This, in turn, demonstrated how the community could have been better served by earlier involvement of the ANC.

Commissioner Jim Loots suggested what appeared to him to be DGS’ operating principle: “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.”  Loots told the DGS reps:  “It’s absurd to assert you don’t have to go before the ANC unless the ANC reaches out and then to say, if ANC does reach out, HPO has to give the ANC opinion great weight.

Loots continued, “I’m disappointed.  The community was involved on a lot of issues – all important, but not historic preservation issues.  Projects need to come before ANC in design phase.  Especially in a non-conforming building in the historic district.”

ANC6B Vice Chair Nick Burger was willing to give DGS a qualified benefit of the doubt – having little choice.  He said one of the goals of tonight’s presentation was aimed at getting the clarification on the project the ANC needs.  But the other was “to send a clear signal what we expect in the future.”

An unenthusiastic ANC voted to approve the design concept, 5 – 0 with four abstentions.  That vote was followed by a 9 – 0 vote in support of sending DGS and DCPS a letter that ANC6B expects to be notified of any further developments in ANC6B in a timely manner, and to express concerns about the lack of notification on the Watkins project.

For the CHC post on Planning and Zoning Committee protest on DGS’ failure to notify, go here: http://bit.ly/2bZCXml

For photos of the design concept, go here:  http://bit.ly/2cCc7za

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Photos – Mayor’s Hill East Walkabout/Support for Community Agreement on CAG and Adromeda

Photos – Mayor’s  Hill East Walkabout/Support for Community Agreement on CAG and Adromeda

by Larry Janezich

After touring Hill East on foot yesterday, Mayor Bowser said she will ask the Department of Behavioral Health to work with the community to achieve a written community agreement with two Hill East substance abuse treatment facilities – CAG and Andromeda – regarding community concerns.

ANC Commissioner Jayaraman, who has taken the lead on trying to mitigate the impact of the facilities on the community told CHC, “I appreciate the Mayor facilitating negotiations between the community and Andromeda.  The battle was never about Andromeda, but concentration of recovery facilities in the neighborhood.  The Mayor says it is not within the city’s capacity to approve or deny any provider that meets Department of Behavioral Health internal requirements.  But the community is worried about their external impact.   To the extent that we have her support it goes a long way toward satisfying community concerns – especially loitering and littering.”  As one example, he pointed to the No Smoking within 25 feet of the facility signs outside Andromeda, which, he says, pushes smokers and the consequent littering into the nearby residential areas.  Jayaraman said it would be better for Andromeda to have a confined smoking area that can be maintained.

Asked for comment on the Mayor’s walk, ANC Commissioner Denise Krepp said:  “The Mayor’s community walk-about in Hilleast this afternoon was an impressive examination of community problems ranging from broken sidewalks, traffic, vacant buildings, trash, and crime.”

“Mayor Bowser ended the walk-about with a thorough summary of get-backs and I’m confident that the mayor’s folks will complete the assigned tasks in a timely manner to the community’s satisfaction.  These assigned tasks include adding trash cans and traffic calming measures; increased assistance from DCRA; new community agreement with Andromeda; and examination of next steps regarding the Boys and Girls Club property.” Supports Community Agreement on CAG and Andromeda

 

The Mayor's Hill East Walkabout started at the Stadium-Armoury Metro.  Bowser takes a question from the press at the beginning of the tour.

The Mayor’s Hill East Walkabout started at the Stadium-Armory Metro. Bowser takes a question from the press at the beginning of the tour.

The tour included a walk-by of Eastern High on East Capitol Street on the way to 15th and Independence, a focus of community concerns.

The tour included a walk-by of Eastern High on East Capitol Street on the way to 15th and Independence, a focus of community concerns.

Bowser posed for a photo in front of the Community Action Group HQ near the corner of 15th and Independence with DAG President Janice Gordon.

Bowser posed for a photo in front of the Community Action Group HQ near the corner of 15th and Independence with DAG President Janice Gordon.

The group paused in front of the new 7-Eleven at 15th and Independence, its sidewalks still damp from a wash down prior to the Mayor's arrival.  Neighbors are concerned about trash and loitering.  Of equal concern is the Andromeda Substance Abuse Recovery Facility across the street.

The group paused in front of the new 7-Eleven at 15th and Independence, its sidewalks still damp from a wash down prior to the Mayor’s arrival. Neighbors are concerned about trash and loitering. Of equal concern is the Andromeda Substance Abuse Recovery Facility across the street.

After a prolonged discussion involving ANC commissioners, residents, Andromeda officials and the Mayor, ANC Commissioner Chander Jayaraman discusses a potential community agreement with Andromeda officials.

After a prolonged discussion involving ANC commissioners, residents, Andromeda officials and the Mayor, ANC Commissioner Chander Jayaraman (right) discusses a potential community agreement with Andromeda officials.

The tour ended in front of the Boys and Girls Club where Bowser, surrounded by agency representatives, summarized the issues which had been brought to her attention and got commitments from city employees regarding what steps they would take to address those issues.

The tour ended in front of the Boys and Girls Club where Bowser, surrounded by agency representatives, summarized the issues which had been brought to her attention and got commitments from city employees regarding what steps they would take to address those issues.

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Mayor Offers Hope on Hill East Boys and Girls Club Development

Mayor Bowser, flanked by ANC Commissioners Daniel Ridge and Denise Krepp on East Capitol Street Tuesday afternoon, enroute to Hill East's former Boys and Girls Club

Mayor Bowser, flanked by ANC Commissioners Daniel Ridge and Denise Krepp on East Capitol Street Tuesday afternoon, enroute to Hill East’s former Boys and Girls Club

Bowser and CM Allen in front of the Boys and Girls Club, discussing the next step.

Bowser and CM Allen in front of the Boys and Girls Club, discussing the next step.

Hill East activist Francis Campbell (far left) gets some face time with Bowser to lobby for more affordable/senior housing at the Boys and Girls Club site.

Hill East activist Francis Campbell (far left) gets some face time with Bowser to lobby for more affordable/senior housing at the Boys and Girls Club site.

Mayor Offers Hope on Hill East Boys and Girls Club Development

by Larry Janezich

Mayor Bowser took a 90 minute stroll through Hill East Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by CM Charles Allen, ANC6B Commissioners Denise Krepp, Chander Jayaraman, and Daniel Ridge, plus a slew of DC Agency representatives including DC Department of Energy and Environment chief, Tommy Wells. The walk was part of a series of Ward tours by the Mayor.

Bowser, coming face to face with the embarrassing Hill East Boys and Girls Club, asked, according to Allen, “Can’t we do something about this?”

Bowser decided what she could do is sit down with Allen and the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and figure out the “next step forward” on redevelopment of the long abandoned Club at 17th and Massachusetts Avenue, SE.  Bowser stressed the need for community input, in particular, hearing what the neighbors don’t want at the site.

Allen later told CHC that he was “heartened” that the Mayor came into the community and saw firsthand some of the issues and challenges facing the community.  Asked how a new approach on the Boys and Girls Club might differ from the last failed attempt to redevelop the property – a plan which the Department of General Services (DGS) withdrew after considerable neighborhood opposition – Allen said that the last proposal was handled by the DGS whose job is not redevelopment of public property.    He suggested that DMPED was better able to consider the broadest range of possibilities as well and develop a more flexible Request for Proposals for development. For more on the failed development proposal for the B&G Club, see here:  http://bit.ly/2crh6Ty

Asked for reaction, ANC Commissioner Daniel Ridge, in whose ANC single member district the Club resides, said, “This is the culmination of recent concerted efforts between executive agencies, Councilmember Allen’s Office, neighbors, and ANC Commissioners. There is no question that we can find a way to transform B&G into a jewel on the Hill that brings jobs, meaningful amenities, and thoughtful programming to the neighborhood. A challenge is to get it done before an entire generation grows up with an abandoned shell.”

Long-time former ANC6B Commissioner and continuing Hill East activist Francis Campbell pressed the Mayor to consider redeveloping the site to provide affordable and senior housing, pointing to the lack of both in the neighborhood.  Campbell has been working for a decade for the redevelopment of the Club.  He gives credit to Bowser for “actually coming out and taking a look at the issues” that he has been working on for so many years –  “None of her predecessors did that.  Whether or not something might happen as the result….it would be nice to see, but I’m cautiously pessimistic that nothing will get done.”  Campbell says he is irritated that it took gentrification of Hill East to get the attention of the Mayor’s office – the issues of addressed on today’s tour – including the Boys and Girls Club – “didn’t become issues until the neighborhood started to change.”

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City Council Chair Mendelson Purchases Hill East Home Across From Watkins School

1239 E Street, SE, is four doors to the east of the famed Shotgun House scheduled for preservation and renovation as part of the SGA Development of the Frager's Garden Center site on Pennsylvania Avenue..

1239 E Street, SE, in the center is four doors to the east of the famed Shotgun House scheduled for preservation and renovation as part of the SGA Development of the Frager’s Garden Center site on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Across E Street to the west, the Watkins School is being renovated http://bit.ly/2cCc7za

Across E Street to the west, the Watkins School is being renovated http://bit.ly/2cCc7za

And across E Street to the west, Insight is developing the the Buchanan School site.

And across E Street to the west, Insight is developing the the Buchanan School site.

City Council Chair Mendelson Purchases Hill East Home Across From Watkins School

by Larry Janezich

City Council Chair Philip H. Mendelson purchased a home at 1239 E Street, SE, across from Watkins Elementary School, according to the Washington Post listings of recently sold properties. See here: http://wapo.st/2cPXRac  The sales price was $1.1 million, well over the original asking price of $998,000.

According to real estate ads the home has five bedroom and 2.5 baths, and totals 2,700 square feet plus some 800 square feet of unfinished storage space.  The former multi-family house was built in 1908 and renovated in 2006 “into a grand and spacious single-family home designed for lavish entertaining and luxurious living.”

The immediate area is virtually exploding with development.  There are four condo/apartment projects currently under construction or being planned within a block of 1239 E Street, including Insight Development’s Buchanan School http://bit.ly/2cpmcAn, and “Bowie Site’ http://bit.ly/1TsgfOV, OPaL LLC’s Watkins Alley http://bit.ly/2bYJltK, and SGA Architect’s Capitol Courts micro apartment project  http://bit.ly/29buF8j. In addition, the SE Safeway adjacent to the Buchanan School project has solicited bids for redevelopment into a retail and residential mixed use building.  http://bit.ly/2ckTfHd.

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The Week Ahead….Meet Commander Morgan Kane, Newly Assigned to MPD’s 1st District

New MPD First District Commander Morgan Kane was introduced to the ANC6A community last Thursday.  She succeeds former Commander Robert Contee who was promoted to assistant chief.  Kane is an 18 year veteran of the force.  Her first post after graduating from the Police Academy was to the First District.

New MPD First District Commander Morgan Kane was introduced to the ANC6A community last Thursday. She succeeds former Commander Robert Contee who was promoted to assistant chief. Kane is an 18 year veteran of the force. Her first post after graduating from the Police Academy was to the First District.

Kane says her focus will be fighting crime, engaging the community, and promoting community relations.

Kane says her focus will be fighting crime, engaging the community, and promoting community relations.

The Week Ahead….Meet Commander Morgan Kane, Newly Assigned to MPD’s 1st District

Also: see here for photo updates to “Life on Capitol Hill”:  http://bit.ly/2co2uUs

by Larry Janezich

Monday, September 12

ANC6D meets at 7:00pm at 1100 4th street, SW, DCRA 2nd Floor Meeting Room.

Among items on the agenda:

Southwest Business Improvement District Updates

The Wharf Updates

BZA #19323 – Application of Christopher D. French for special exceptions from the lot occupancy requirements to add a third-floor addition to an existing two-story, one-family dwelling at premises 929 5th Street, SE.

Tuesday, September 13

  1. ANC6B meets at 7:00pm in Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Among items on the agenda:

Presentation – Marc Battle, Vice President, Pepco

Presentation – DC Statehood, DC Mayor’s Office of Federal & Regional Affairs

420 12th Street SE (Watkins Elementary School), renovations and addition: Department of General Services

629 East Capitol SE, concept/alteration, new basement entrance, windows, and roof parapets

1230 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE & 1229 E Street, SE, development public space plan

921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, addition of memorial marker at Hill Center

Review of DDOT Proposed Rulemaking to Revise the Resident Parking Permit System

Status Report on ANC6B’s BZA Appeal of the DCRA granting of an occupancy permit to Andromeda Substance Abuse Recovery Health Clinic.

  1. Police Service Area (PSA) 104 public meeting, 8:00pm, Pilgrim Baptist Church, 700 Eye Street, NE.

Wednesday, September 14

  1. ANC6C meets at 7:00pm at the Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE

Agenda not available at press time.

Thursday, September 15

  1. Police Service Area (PSA) 108 meets at 7:00pm at Liberty Baptist Church, 527 Kentucky Avenue, SE.
  2. CHRS Preservation Café meets at 6:30pm at Ebenzers Coffee House, 2nd & E Streets, NE. Local contractor Gary Barnhart will compare the characteristics of modern and traditional building materials and techniques http://chrs.org/modern-traditional-building-materials-preservation-cafe/

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DC Restaurateur Xavier Cervera Back as Owner of Eight Capitol Hill Restaurants

The Hawk & Dove is the flagship of Cervera's fleet of restaurants - now under old management.

The Hawk & Dove is the flagship of Cervera’s fleet of restaurants – now under old management.

DC Restaurateur Xavier Cervera Back as Owner of Eight Capitol Hill Restaurants

by Larry Janezich

Xavier Cervera and his partners are back in business as owners of the string of eight restaurants located on Capitol Hill and near the Nationals Park that were sold to a Boston equity firm in December of 2012, (update)  as first reported by Hill Rag, here:  http://bit.ly/2cO1YDU

When profits began to sag under the new ownership, Xavier Cervera was brought back as a consultant to right the listing ship.  Fifteen months later, in March of 2014, when the buyers defaulted on a payment, they filed bankruptcy, which prevented ownership from passing back to the Cervera group under terms of the sale.

A year later, in March of 2015, Katy Stech reported in the Wall Street Journal that the bankruptcy case filed by the Boston group had been settled out of court, but was unable to report on the details of the settlement or “who won.” That report stated the original components of the sale were $4.5 million up front and another $9.7 million over time, with the provision that if the buyers missed a payment the sellers could take back the restaurants.  Stech reported that out of court negotiations lead to a restructuring of the debt and the court subsequently dismissed the bankruptcy case at the owners’ request.

Today, it’s clear that the ultimate winner was the Cervera group, which has ended up with ownership of the restaurants.  On August 30, 2016, Cervera and his partners received notice from Barracks Row Holdings that they were unable to meet their financial obligations and they intended to turn control of the restaurants back to the Cervera group, effective immediately.

(Actual transfer of ownership back to the original owners requires approval of lenders, landlords, and the D.C. Government, but Cervera and his partners don’t anticipate any major delays or issues with that process.)

Capitol Hill Corner asked Cervera to comment and received the following statement from Capitol Hill Attorney James Loots, who represents Cervera and his partners:

“The latest default and surrender of the restaurants came as a surprise to Xavier and his partners, who have been working with Barracks Row Holdings over the years to avoid exactly this situation.  However, now that it’s happened I know that Xavier is excited and looking forward to bringing the standard of quality for these restaurants to a higher level than ever.”

“We are continuing to work with Barracks Row Holdings and its attorney in order to assure a smooth transition and change in ownership.”

Loots is also the Advisory Neighborhood Commission representative whose single member district includes the businesses on the west side of Barracks Row.

Upon receiving notice from Barracks Row Holdings that they intended to give up the restaurants, Cervera, who now lives in a small town in Maine where he is pursuing other development interests, returned to DC, driving all night, to make sure the restaurants didn’t close the next day and to start rebuilding the businesses.  That effort will include improvements such as new menus, renovations, and the return of former staff members as well as bringing new employees on board.  One of his first steps will be to temporarily close Lola’s Barracks Bar and Grill and begin a major refurbishment of the interior.

The eight restaurants include The Hawk & Dove, Lola’s Barracks Bar & Grill, Molly Malone’s, Pacifico Cantina, Senart’s Oyster House, the Chesapeake Room, and the two outlets near the National Stadium, Park Tavern and Willie’s Brew and Que.  (A ninth restaurant – Boxcar – was sold back as part of the bankruptcy restructuring and has been operated independently since early 2015.)

For the March, 2015, WSJ article, see here:  http://on.wsj.com/2bYuOeo

For previous posts on CHC, see here:  http://bit.ly/2cAwJr4 http://bit.ly/2cx9MpS http://bit.ly/2cLRNhM

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Robert White Tells ANC6A He Expects To Be Appointed to City Council Next Week

Councilmember "Elect" Robert White at last night's ANC6A meeting

Councilmember “Elect” Robert White at last night’s ANC6A meeting (click to enlarge)

White fields a question from resident Elizabeth Nelson

White fields a question from resident Elizabeth Nelson

Robert White Tells ANC6A He Expects To Be Appointed to City Council Next Week

by Larry Janezich

Last night, Councilmember “Elect” Robert White introduced himself to the ANC6A community at the commission’s September meeting, and told them he expected to be appointed next week by the local Democratic Party to fill the remainder of the term of former At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange who resigned effective August 15.  A staffer for the DC Board of Elections confirmed to Capitol Hill Corner this morning that there will be no special election to fill Orange’s unexpired term.  For all practical purposes, the winner of the Democratic primary has a lock on the seat for the term beginning in 2017, and White defeated Orange 39.48% to 37.65% – a margin of 1796 votes.  The council is currently in recess and returns to resume business on September 20.

In his remarks to the ANC, White listed his top concerns as councilmember:

  • More affordable housing – He says he will press for enforcement of affordable housing regulations since “the council increasingly lets developers off the hook”, conversion of empty commercial buildings to residential, and rezoning of underperforming commercial corridors such as Georgia and MLK Avenues to permit residential construction on top of one story commercial.
  • Public Safety – White pledged to make sure beat cops and “white shirts” (management) are “on the same page”, push for stricter enforcement of violent crimes while avoiding over-criminalizing, and work to establish local accountability for prosecutors who are currently answerable only to the federal government.
  • Education – His first request as councilmember, he says, will be appointment to the Committee on Education. He says he will demand that the DCPS system work with neighborhoods and parents.  Further, he will press for DCPS accountability and increased enforcement of efforts to prevent out of state residents from enrolling in DC’s public schools without paying tuition.

White, a newcomer to elected office, was a former aide to DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and then to DC Attorney General Karl Racine.  The council comprises 13 members – each of DC’s 8 Wards elects one member of the council and five members, including the Chairman, are elected at large.

Current makeup of the council:

Phil Mendelson, Chairman, Democratic

David Grosso, At-large Independent

Elissa Silverman, At-large Independent

Anita Bonds, At-large Democratic

Vacant, At-large               Democratic (primary won by Robert White)

Brianne Nadeau , Ward 1, Democratic

Jack Evans, Ward 2, Democratic

Mary Cheh, Ward 3, Democratic

Brandon Todd, Ward 4, Democratic

Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 5, Democratic

Charles Allen, Ward 6, Democratic

Yvette Alexander, Ward 7, Democratic (primary won by Vincent Gray)

LaRuby May, Ward 8, Democratic (primary won by Trayon White)

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