August 18, 2015 - 10:11 am

A lost iPad and thoughtful neighbors

iPad

In the wake of Saturday’s homicide on 7th Street, a neighbor posted about her son’s lost iPad on the neighborhood listserv:

Our children and our family friends were witnesses to the shooting yesterday afternoon at 7th and S St. During the chaos, my four year old (who has a developmental disability and can’t speak) dropped his iPad that he uses as a communication device. It is an iPad mini in a life proof case. If you find it, please let us know. There is a reward upon return.

If you found the missing iPad mini, send me a private message and I’ll put you in touch with the family.

Last night the resident posted this thoughtful follow-up:

After we shared a message about the shooting at 7th and S on Saturday and our son’s lost communication iPad, we received so many heartfelt messages of support and concern from friends and neighbors. Thank you for your outreach – it reconfirms everything that we love about living in this community.

We are struggling with how to reconcile this violence in our community with our family’s needs. We are heartbroken for Matthew Shlonsky and his loved ones, we are sad and angry about the violence in our community making it less safe for our kids, and we are committed to fighting the root causes of this violence.

Many people have asked what they can do to help replace our son’s lost communication iPad, and have even offered donations for a new one. We so appreciate all of these offers of support.

We are going to order a new iPad for our son to take to his first day of school next week, but we are also making donations to community organizations that work every day to improve the lives of children and families in our community. We invite you to join us in supporting these organizations, or others of your choosing.

Northwest Settlement House operates a child care center on the corner of 7th and S that serves kids from all backgrounds and helps working parents find affordable childcare.

ONE DC is a community organization, based a block from 7th and S that organizes for access to better jobs and housing.

 

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August 17, 2015 - 1:30 pm

Crime is up, but murder is rare

UNCF

On Saturday afternoon, Matthew C. Shlonsky, a recent graduate of American University, was murdered on Seventh Street near the Shaw Metro’s north entrance. Mr. Shlonsky’s murder is part of a documented uptick in violence across Washington.

Crime has risen and MPD’s online data tool reveals this.

MPD Third District

LeDroit Park, Howard University, and the section of Shaw near Progression Place are in police service area (PSA) 306. Over the past 12 months, violent crime has increased 8.1%, property crime has increased 4.9%, and total crime has increased 5.4% compared to the 12 months before that.

Number of Crimes Reported Between
Crime Type 8/17/2013 to 8/17/2014 08/17/2014 to 08/17/2015 Change
Homicide 0 1 +1
Sex Abuse 4 4 0
Robbery Excluding Gun 19 24 +5
Robbery With Gun 17 14 -3
Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) Excluding Gun 20 16 -4
Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) Gun 2 8 +6
Total Violent Crime 62 67 +5
Burglary 21 13 -8
Theft 129 140 +11
Theft F/Auto 157 168 +11
Stolen Auto 20 23 +3
Arson 1 0 -1
Total Property Crime 328 344 +16
Total Crime 390 411 +21

However, when looking at year-to-date numbers for 2015 (Jan. 1 – Aug. 18, 2015) versus the same range last year (Jan. 1 – Aug. 18, 2014), violent crime declined 8.1%, property crime tumbled 10.9%, and total crime in the fell 10.6%.

Number of Crimes Reported Between
Crime Type 1/1/2014 to 8/18/2014 01/01/2015 to 08/18/2015 Change
Homicide 0 1 +1
Sex Abuse 3 0 -3
Robbery Excluding Gun 11 12 +1
Robbery With Gun 10 6 -4
Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) Excluding Gun 11 10 -1
Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) Gun 2 5 +3
Total Violent Crime 37 34 -3
Burglary 15 9 -6
Theft 87 72 -15
Theft F/Auto 84 85 +1
Stolen Auto 16 14 -2
Arson 0 0 0
Total Property Crime 202 180 -22
Total Crime 239 214 -25

Mr. Shlonsky’s murder, though tragic, is rare. In the past five years, the only other person murdered was a man found with stab wounds in car that crashed on Florida Avenue in the early hours of May 1, 2012. He was believed to be driving himself to the hospital.

Residents concerned about crime are encouraged to attend the ANC 1B public safety meeting on Thursday, August 20 at 7 pm at the Thurgood Marshall Center (1816 12th St NW).

[This post has been updated to include year-to-date crime numbers.]

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August 11, 2015 - 9:19 am

The Royal offers new happy hour specials

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The Royal, the new restaurant at Fifth Street and Florida Avenue, is offering two new happy hours.  I typically get breakfast at the Royal on weekends since they serve hot breakfast items and an array of coffee drinks.  I’m always surprised how many strollers I see in that place; the Royal’s breakfast is popular with the sippy cup set.

For adults the Royal is offering a new happy hour from 3 pm to 6 pm daily and 10 pm to 1 am Sundays through Thursdays:

  • $5 house vermouth (the vermouth in the vintage copper fire extinguisher)
  • $5 Narragansett tallboys
  • $7 classic cocktails
    • Daiquiris
    • Palomas
    • Caipirinhas
    • Old Fashioneds
    • others
  • $7 wine by the glass: one red, one white (daily rotating selection)
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August 10, 2015 - 11:18 am

Washington Post features an alley dwelling renovation in LeDroit

A photo posted by @ericfidler on

How do you convert a rundown carriage house into a compact apartment? One LeDroit Park resident did it with $50,000 and some elbow grease. The converted unit, which the owner rents on airbnb, is nestled in the quiet alley that connects Fourth and Fifth Streets just south of T Street.

I’m friends with the owner and he gave me a tour as he was starting the renovation two years ago. It’s great to see such a drastic transformation. Read the full story in the Washington Post.

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August 03, 2015 - 11:48 am

Buy a McGill house for $1.4 million

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One of the original McGill houses of LeDroit Park is up for sale for $1.4 million. The Second Empire manse on Anna Cooper Circle (1901 Third St, specifically), contains seven bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms across 3,235 sq. ft. The house is one-half of a duplex and both are pictured in the 2010 photo above (1901 is on the right).

The house’s mansard roof is a signature feature of the Second Empire style along with window moulding, ornate porches, ornate brackets, prominent eaves, and prominent cornices.

In the late 19th century, the house was the home of General William Birney, a southern abolitionist who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.  After the war, Birney moved to Washington to establish a law practice.  He lived in LeDroit Park for a few years and eventually retired to Montgomery County, Md.

The house previously sold for $133,636 in 1997.

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July 28, 2015 - 10:04 am

Doug Brown, co-owner of Costa Brava, has died

Costa Brava Restaurant

Doug Brown, the co-owner of Bloomingdale’s Costa Brava restaurant, drowned in the Chesapeake Bay on Friday evening.

Mr. Brown had hosted LeDroit Park happy hours at his restaurant and welcomed the LeDroit Park Civic Association’s executive board to meet in the restaurant. Many remember Mr. Brown as the friendly guy managing operations upstairs at Costa Brava.  Mr. Brown’s generosity and his friendly and welcoming personality will be sorely missed.

Neighbors will be signing a condolence card on Thursday; please feel free to add your name.

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July 28, 2015 - 9:45 am

Lick free ice cream on Thursday

Birney House

Meet your neighbors over free ice cream sundaes, ice cream floats, banana splits, brownies, and cookies. The LeDroit Park Civic Association is hosting an ice cream social on Thursday, July 30 from 6 to 8pm in Ms. Norman’s backyard (1853 3rd St NW).

Brianne Nadeau, who represents Ward 1 on the DC Council, will be in attendance.

Attendance is free, but please R.S.V.P. so we know how much ice cream to buy

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July 07, 2015 - 11:04 am

110 units proposed for Wiltberger and T Streets

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UrbanTurf reports that a 110-unit apartment building may be coming to T Street next to the Howard Theatre.  The project would replace the warehouse on Wiltberger Street and the stretch of buildings on T Street from Flava to Zenebech Restaurant (see photo below).

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 9.51.01 AM

The project would also include 8,000 square feet of retail and 50 parking spaces. According to UrbanTurf, the project developer plans to build the project matter-of-right, meaning the project will not require any historic design review and will not require zoning relief for things like height, rear yards, parking, etc.

The map below shows the zoning context of the project site.

wiltberger-site-zoning

The site lies just outside the LeDroit Park and Greater U Street Historic Districts (brown dotted area). The site also lies within the C-2-B zone, which allows

  • office, retail, and residential uses
  • maximum lot occupancy of 80% for residential uses and 100% for all other uses*
  • maximum FAR of 3.5 for residential uses and 1.5 FAR for other permitted uses**
  • maximum height of 65 feet.
  • rear yard requirement of fifteen (15) feet
  • 1 parking space for every 3 housing units + 1 parking space for every 750 sq. ft. of retail over 3,000 sq. ft.

As long as the project stays within these constraints, the developer is entitled to receive building permits.


* This calculation applies to different floors of the building based on the floor’s use. If you have ground-floor retail, you can cover 100% of the lot for that floor. If there are residential floors above that, each residential floor cannot cover more than 80% of the lot.
** This calculation is separated by use, meaning you can have 3.5 FAR of residential uses on top of 1.5 FAR of commercial uses. This would give the building a total of 5.0 FAR.

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July 03, 2015 - 3:55 pm

The Royal receives plenty of good press

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June 25, 2015 - 12:00 am

Two businesses open this week

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Two restaurants open this week on Florida Avenue, continuing the transformation of intermittently vacant properties into food establishments.

The first is the LeDroit Royal (501 Florida Ave NW), which opens today (Thursday) at 7 am.  The Royal has been under construction for months and I was able to attend its soft opening on Tuesday night.  The interior renovations are remarkable and the menu provides a wide array of cocktails, on-tap vermouth, and Colombian and Guatemalan food.  Like Bistro Bohem, the Royal opens as a coffee shop during the day and transforms into a bar at night.

Read the Post’s review for more details.

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Just up the street, Rito Loco (606 Florida Ave NW) opens on Friday at 11 am.  Like the Royal, Rito Loco has been under construction for several months.  Rito Loco is the brick-and-mortar incarnation of the popular burrito food truck.

The shop is more of a fast-food operation with limited seating, but it may expand. I talked with the owner two weeks ago and he said he would eventually like to add a roof deck once he gets financing for it.

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