City Paper Widget

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Embassy of Georgia to Move to R Street

Staff from the Embassy of Georgia appeared November 5 before a committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle to request support for a planned move of the Chancery to 1824-1826 R Street NW. The Embassy of Georgia asked for endorsement by ANC2B's Zoning, Preservation and Development (ZPD) Committee because the proposed new chancery location is not zoned for this type of use. It is zoned for residential use.

1824 R Street (left) was built in 1911 for $15,000
Even though it is zoned residential, it has been decades since the either of the two adjacent buildings have been anybody's home. The building has been on the market for several years. Before that, it was the Artists Inn Residence, a bed-and-breakfast, for more than five years. The Artists Inn Residence closed in 2009.

Before that, the building housed the Embassy of Singapore. A document from DC's Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) indicates the Embassy of Singapore first moved into the 1824 R Street property in 1971. In 1981, the Embassy of Singapore acquired the adjoining property and successfully petitioned the DC government to expand and use both properties as a chancery.

Georgian diplomats and a representative told the ZPD Committee sixteen employees would work at the sight. Most carpool together to work from their residences in suburban Maryland. There are at least five parking spaces associated with the property, possibly more if compact cars were used. The diplomats said they might request two spaces on the street be reserved for diplomatic cars during business hours. When told that the chancery's future neighbors might object to that, the Georgians said the request was "not necessarily mandatory".

It was reported the Embassy Singapore had ten reserved parking spaces on the street in the period they used the property.

The Embassy of Georgia currently rents its chancery building and wishes to buy a property, according to testimony at the meeting. The chancery is currently located at 2209 Massachusetts Avenue.

According to the presentation at the meeting, the combined structure is about 12,000 square feet. The asking price for the property in 2011 was over $15 million.

Although no vote was taken at the meeting, the committee members seemed inclined to recommend that the full ANC support the request of the Embassy of Georgia. The ANC recommendation will accompany the Embassy of Georgia's request for zoning relief when it is processed by the Foreign Mission Board of Zoning Adjustment (FMBZA). The FMBZA is an agency which provides foreign embassies and missions with a "one-stop shop" for all legal aspect of local property ownership and use.

At the same meeting, the ZPD committee also considered a request from the Embassy of Oman to endorse a handful of zoning variances. This was reported in the SALM blog post of yesterday, November 6.

1 comment:

  1. According to the MLS, the current list price on the combined property is $9.95m. We'll see what it actually sells for. The last sale of a similar property for embassy use was Trinidad and Tobago, which listed at 15m and sold for 12m--so this looks like a good deal.