Shaw Fits and Starts
When climbing the escalator out of the Shaw Metro’s north entrance, one emerges between Seventh Street on the left and a vacant field on the right. The vacant field has been set for renewal with a plan going back several years. In January, when we first started writing about the project, Radio One was still planning to move its headquarters to the site and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) was considering space there, too.
At the February ANC1B meeting, the development team’s lawyer stated that the combination of UNCF and Radio One would require a reduction in the number of apartments from 180 to 133. With Radio One unceremoniously backing out, the number is now restored to 180. In January, the amount of retail space was reported to be 22,000 square feet. Now that UNCF plans to occupy 5,000 square feet on the ground floor for an outreach center, the retail component may have changed.
Two weeks ago we reported that Radio One had snubbed Shaw and decided to stay put in Lanham, possibly putting the project in jeopardy. Luckily, UNCF, in offering to purchase half of the 100,000 square feet of office space, provides a sufficient commitment to get the project further financing.
The following table illustrates the changes in the project since the beginning of the year and reflects numbers gleaned from various sources.
|Radio One||Radio One + UNCF||UNCF|
|Office Space (sq ft)||96,000||160,000||100,000|
On Friday, the WBJ reported that UNCF’s chief had formally testified before the D.C. Council seeking a $3.8-million property tax break and a $710,000 grant to move to Shaw. LeDroit Park’s ANC commissioner Myla Moss (ANC1B01) testified in support of the legislation, which will be taken up by the full council in April. If approved, the development team promises (yet again) to break ground in August.
One casualty of the proposed move is the Howard Theater, already delayed and crumbling under the elements. The $710,000 relocation grant would come from money set aside for the theater’s revival.