City Paper Widget

Friday, March 14, 2014

Jack Evans to Assist Dupont Underground Developer (Video)

D.C. Councilmember and mayoral candidate Jack Evans engaged in some constitutent services at the regular monthly meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle on March 12.

During a short question-and-answer session at the beginning of the meeting, Evans fielded a question from Patrick Smith, a Cleveland Park resident and real estate consultant, who has been pitching the idea of turning the former trolley car storage space tunnel under Dupont Circle into a $26-million-dollar mixed use project called Dupont Circle Artwerks.

According to the Washington Business Journal, the complex would include a 21-room micro-hotel with rooms as small as 180 square feet. In addition, there would be space for cafes, restaurants, a theater, and an art gallery.

Smith said there has been a lot of media interest in the space recently but the city has been resistant to letting media into the space.

"Is there any way of getting the media down there so they could start generating buzz about what might happen?" Smith asked.

"Sure," Evans replied, before asking Smith to give the details to his constituent services assistant.

Evans then recounted briefly his experiences with the same space many years ago when Evans was a Dupont Circle ANC Commissioner. The space has had several failed proposals for redevelopment. The most spectacular failure was Dupont Down Under, a food court that failed within a year in the mid-1990s. The developer Gary Simon was later found to have multiple convictions for fraud and to have spent much of the prior 20 years in jail.

"It would be wonderful, to be honest with you, to get something down there that really worked," Evans said.

Below is a video of Evans responding to the question. Apologies for the sound quality, and also for my fumbling with the camera. If you cannot view it below, watch it on YouTube here.

Read an article about the Dupont Circle Artwerks project published yesterday (March 13) by the blog District Source here.

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