City Paper Widget

Monday, March 9, 2015

CORRECTED: Prestige Restaurant Patio Space at 11th and O Streets Endorsed

CORRECTION (5:30pm, 3/9/15): When originally posted this article (and the March 4th post referenced below) erroneously said the planned outdoor space was on the corner of 11th and Q Street, not O Street. A reader corrected. Apologies for the error.

David Dale of Dale Management and Development came before Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle last week and convinced it to revise a decision on outdoor space for a proposed mixed-use building planned for 1337 11th Street NW, the southeast corner of 11th and Q  O Streets NW. Dale's request and subsequent decision occurred during the last regularly-scheduled meeting of ANC2F on March 4. 

How the space looked two days ago
The previous week, Dale had appeared before the Community Development Committee (CDC) of ANC2F -- see SALM blog post of March 4. At that time, Dale asked for endorsement of a plan that would brick over the entire space between the north side of the building and the sidewalk, and then set a decorative fence and hedge around it. This would create an area which was ideal for a restaurant patio, with seating for perhaps 50-60 people. Dale said previously he's had expressions of interest in the space from "household-name chefs who I cannot divulge".

The CDC refused to endorse Dale's request as submitted. Instead, they modified his plan and passed a resolution endorsing a smaller space -- roughly 65 percent of what Dale asked for. Over Dale's objections, the CDC's plan located the patio entirely on the western part of the requested space, toward 11th Street (right of photo), away from the neighboring residences on Q O Street.

Dale came back before the full ANC to explain why the CDC decision was unacceptable for him. The CDC's resolution, as written, would prohibit Dale from using a fire exit door that opens onto the east side of the proposed patio space (see left of photo). DC regulations require that such a door open onto a paved area. The door would be a requirement should a professional kitchen want to operate in that space.

Dale came back with an revised proposal, designed both to allow him to both have the required fire door as well as meet the CDC's desire to have roughly 65 percent of the originally-proposed space bricked over. The result was the creation of a patio with an irregularly-shaped green space in the northeast quarter, which would hold two newly-planted trees and an herb garden.

 "It is the exact number of square feet that was approved," Dale said.

There was some discussion about whether endorsing the design of the patio, as Dale had submitted it, obligated the ANC to endorse a future public space permit by a restaurant tenant.

"We're buying into the notion of some café space," said Commissioner Kevin Deeley (district 08).

"I don't think this is an implicit approval of outdoor space," said Commissioner Kate Gordon (district 01).

The ANC considered sending the decision back to the Community Development Committee. Dale told the ANC he had put $1.2 million into the renovation of the property and he needed to move forward.

"I have to be able to show something built to a restaurant tenant," Dale said. "I can't just hang on forever."

The full ANC approved Dale's proposal as presented without audible dissent. Dale will now take the ANC's endorsement to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), which has authority over public space issues, for a final decision.