City Paper Widget

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

11th and O Streets: "Household Name" Chefs Interested, But ANC Won't Go for 60 Seats Outdoors

CORRECTION (3/9/15): This article originally said the outdoor space was at the corner of 11th and Q Street. It is not. It is at 11th and O Street. Apologies for the error.

David Dale of Dale Management and Development asked a committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle to endorse a plan that could have created outdoor dining space for "50 or 60 people" outside a new restaurant space. The space is on the ground floor of a proposed mixed-use building planned for 1337 11th Street NW, the southeast corner of 11th and Q O Streets NW. He made the request at the February 25 meeting of ANC2F's Community Development Committee (CDC).

1337 11th St in July 2014, viewed from across Q O Street
Dale's idea was to brick over the entire space between the northern side of the building to the Q O Street sidewalk. There would be a "hoop top wrought iron fence" and a 42-inch high permanent hedge around the perimeter. The bricks would match the sidewalk as much as possible.

Right now, Dale is only asking for a public space permit to start the construction of the space. The permit comes from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), and often an ANC endorsement makes the process go more smoothly.

Who will occupy the space?

"I'm not asking anything about the liquor license," Dale said. "This is just a construction application."

Dale does not have a tenant for the building yet. At the meeting, he claimed that two "household-name chefs who I cannot divulge" were interested in the space.

"The two LOIs [meaning, I think, "letters of intent"] I have are from restaurants that people have heard of," Dale said later.

"This is leading up to a public space application," a member of the committee said, meaning that, once built, the patio space would inevitably end up serving as outdoor seating for a restaurant operating out of the building.

Developer reaches out to neighbors

Dale told the CDC he took "extraordinary measures" to ensure transparency and community input. He printed and distributed 125 copies of a flyer inviting neighborhood residents to the CDC meeting. Four or five people at the meeting identified themselves as neighbors concerned about the public space application.

"I appreciate the notice," one of them said to Dale. However, this man, and other neighbors, expressed apprehension at the prospect of 50+ outdoor streets on the patio.

"I'm very concerned about what kind of tenant you will have," said one 27-year resident of 10th Street.

There was a lot of discussion about what might happen if a restaurant came, meaning, for example, where and when the trash would be picked up and deliveries made, and and what the operating hours of the restaurant might be.

"I've let the applicants know there will be no full hours," Dale said.

Dale said his prospective tenants would want the patio space set up as Dale had outlined, and he would be in "a tight spot as far as making the economics work" without it.

"I'm sure you appreciate the pickle I'm in," Dale said.

The committee votes

The first vote the CDC took that evening was to endorse Dale's application as written -- to allow him to brick over the entire space. The motion went down to defeat by a single vote, 7 - 6. After that motion, a second motion was made that would allow Dale a paved space equivalent to that which was there before the renovation -- about 65 percent what Dale had asked for. The remaining easternmost portion, facing Q O Street, would be green space. This second motion passed unanimously.

The CDC's recommendation is on the agenda for the next meeting of the full ANC, which is scheduled for tonight, Wednesday, March 4, at 7 pm, at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle).

Read a March 2014 report about this development from the blog BadWolfDC here.

Publicly available records show that Dale Management and Development acquired the domain name in January 2012. The page promises: "Coming soon!"

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