Friday, December 20, 2013

HPRB Board Turns Down Design for 1921-23 14th

·         At its Dec. 19 HPRB hearing, the Board voted for the second time to ask the owner and architect to revise the design proposed for the properties located at 1921-23 14th Street NW.  They want to see the projections go as well as the cantilevered section over the historic bldg at the corner of Wallach Place.  The materials are also presenting a challenge to the staff and Board.  The facade of the historic building at the corner needs more refinement as well.  In general they think that the building design is "top-heavy" and is "not fully baked," according to Chair Gretchen Phaeler.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Reeves Center Property Swap Details Revealed by DGS

The head of the DC Dept. of General Services revealed on Tuesday, Dec. 17, the proposal for the swap of properties that includes the Reeves Center in order to facilitate the building of a new soccer stadium.  Residents and businesses weighed in to advocate for an office building rather than the proposed mixed use building.  CM Graham expressed his support for an office building that would retain the current Post Office and the DC Center.  Click here to see the slideshow presentation that was shared with the community.  It includes a timeline for the proposed project.  The proposal will be submitted to the DC Council by Dec. 31 along with some enabling legislation.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Zoning Commission Extends Deadline to March 3 to hear testimony about Zoning Re-Write

On December 9 the Zoning Commission announced its vote to extend the deadline to March 3 2014 to hear testimony from affected residents and community groups regarding the Zoning Re-Write.  It was a response to criticisms from the community that there had not been enough vetting of the new document by ANCs and civic associations.  So the ZC will hold hearings in January and February to reach out to the community at-large.  ANCs will be able to testify on January 30, 2014.  For us in the 14th and U neighborhood, a hearing will be scheduled in early February.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Holiday Wishes from DCCA President

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our members a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.  I also want to thank our many volunteers who help us with our various programs and activities throughout the year, especially the Annual House Tour which raises funds that we donate to our community institutions, charities and events.  We are so lucky to live, work and play in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. And last but very importantly, I want to thank our DCCA directors and officers for serving our community and making it an even better one.
DCCA President

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ABC Board Renews East Dupont Moratorium

The ABC Board renewed the East Dupont Moratorium on November 20 with some modifications.  They are relaxing the cap on restaurants but keeping the cap on taverns and nightclubs.  They cited the proximity to residences as the principal reason why they are unwilling to end the moratorium altogether.  This historic neighborhood's character should be preserved and not be impacted by additional licenses other than new restaurants stated the Chair of the Board. 

Look at what's coming to 14th and U

The Board of Zoning Adjustment has approved a 58 unit building to be erected at the corner of 14th and Wallach Place.  It will be built surrounding the historic structure that is currently located on the corner.  The developer plans to renovate the old building that currently houses a beauty shop and some apartments above. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

DC Center for LGBT Community set for Grand Opening

After months of fixing up the place, the DC Center is ready to celebrate the grand opening of their new home. Saturday November 23rd from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Their new facility is located in the Reeves Center at 2000 14th St NW Suite 105.
This celebration would not be possible without the help of countless supporters and volunteers. The DC Center thanks those who donated to their relocation efforts.
The Crew Club, sponsor of the Conference Room
Dupont Social Club, sponsor of the Lounge
Stonewall Kickball, sponsor of the Activity Room
Capital Pride, sponsor of the Reception Area

This event is free and open to the public. Stop by and see their new home.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1438 U SOLD to Indian Embassy for Cultural Center

After several years of lying dormant, 1438 U Street has been sold to the Indian Embassy for development as a cultural center.  Rock Creek Property Group, which acquired the building for $2 million in late 2010 through a bankruptcy auction, sold the 12,300-square-foot-property to the Indian Embassy on August 12 for $5.75 million, or $467 per square foot.  The property was listed for $6.5 million, but it is assessed by the city to be $2.5 million.

The building, formerly home to the Station Nine restaurant that neighbors complained had morphed into a nightclub, was gutted shorty after Rock Creek bought it.  Within six months, it was back on the market.  Rock Creek had proposed two scenarios for its redevelopment:  residential condos or commercial office space with retail.  Neither option generated any results.  

We wish the Indian Embassy good luck in redeveloping this stunning building into a cultural center!  It will fit in just fine with our community's diversity.

Doi Moi, loulou, and Redeem Open

Several new businesses have opened their doors at the corner of 14th and S in the new District Apartments building.  loulou is also located in Dupont Circle.  Redeem is moving from the 1700 block to the 1800 we are familiar with these two businesses.  Doi Moi is restauranteur Mark Kuller's latest venture featuring Asian fusion food.  He also owns Estadio and Proof.  We welcome all of them to our neighborhood.  It's great to see retail businesses in the 'hood after losing so many during the redevelopment of 14th Street!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bye Bye

After five years of publishing information about our neighborhood known to some as Borderstan, the blog co-founders of have decided to end its online run.  Many of us who live in the target areas of Logan North, Dupont East, and Cardozo-Shaw have enjoyed the information sharing and cross-pollination that took place during those five years.

The neighborhoods surrounding 14th Street have certainly come into their own during that time and perhaps we don't need this kind of blog any more.  With all of the money and development that has come into our neighborhoods, the need for sharing information about "future projects" is no longer there.  We are fully developed...except for a few parcels that remain unbuilt (but there are plans on file!).  As I tell newbies who stop me on the street, they should have been here 10 years or 15 years ago to buy the properties that are now being redeveloped, including our rowhouses!

As for covering the 3 ANCs that represent the target area, I often found's coverage instigated unnecessary controversy and nasty comments, so I won't miss their coverage.  I tell residents and business owners to attend the monthly ANC meetings to see for themselves what happens and to not believe what they read on the blogs.  The information in blog write-ups is often inaccurate or misleading or designed to instigate.

BTW joins seven other local blogs that have stopped publishing online.  You are welcome to visit my website and blog for continuing coverage of  "our neck of the woods."  I always argue for more facts and verbatim quotes.  In that spirit, I have provided a link to the co-founders' parting words...good-bye Borderstan!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ted's Bulletin Restaurant NOW Open

At long last, the owners of Ted's Bulletin (pictured at left) have completed the installation of a tin ceiling, a deco-inspired interior, and a wonderful fountain-like lobby (with a marble floor) and a bakery.  I joined them last night to help open the new restaurant in the District Apartments building located at the corner of 14th and Swann Streets.

This is billed as a "Family Restaurant" according to the large print on the front windows.  I had a very good dinner last night, from soup to dessert.  Their menu features breakfast all day long.  They serve burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches and a choice of items for dinner. 

They also feature "adult milkshakes" and their famous flavored "pop tarts."  The bakery promises to make fresh donuts and bagels every day.  It is twice the size of their Capital Hill enjoy!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Salvage Yard May Stop Reeves Center Swap for Stadium Plans

By now you may have heard that WAMU discovered that there is a salvage yard located right smack dab in the middle of the proposed soccer stadium.  The company has been there for decades and is owned by its employees.  There are 10-20-30 foot stacks of metal that would have to be moved...except that the owners do not want to move. 

The Council has til January 1 to review the proposal...stay tuned for more updates...

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dog Days are Here!

Dog Days are here again, so please take advantage of all the promotions and sales that can be had just by walking down 14th or U Streets.  So many venues, so little time!  Bring your friends and money to purchase sale items and enjoy a drink and a meal along the way...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

BOOM Changes 14th Street

I get a lot of questions about the development along 14th Street from Logan to Cardozo-Shaw and I tell observers that the planning for this development occurred 10-15 years ago and what they are seeing is the result of a lot of money being directed and invested in our neighborhood. 

Don't forget that the Great Recession delayed some of these investments because construction funds dried up for a few years.

If you haven’t taken a stroll lately, check out this interactive guide to the recent development.

I welcome the changes and am pleased to have been part of the planning and development process, shaping the various projects to fit into our historic neighborhood.  Many community meetings were held during those 10-15 years and now visitors and new residents are witnessing the results. 

Long-timers are anxious for the construction phase to end and to have our neighborhood back!  In particular, the 1400 blocks of S, Swann and T have had to shoulder the burden and inconvenience of   the various construction projects but we can see that completion is near!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

And the RAMMY goes to...

Bar Pilar, Nellie's Sports Bar, and Estadio.

These three local businesses have won RAMMYs, an award created by the Restaurant Association of Metro Washington to acknowledge the best and brightest restaurants and bars in the District.  Bar Pilar won for the "hottest bar scene;" while Nellie's Sports Bar won for "neighborhood gathering place;" and Estadio won for "upscale casual restaurant."

Congratulations to all of our local winners.  For a complete list of the winners in 17 categories, please visit the RAMMYs web site.  Please support our neighborhood businesses!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ted's Bulletin Restaurant Putting on Final Touches

The owners of Ted's Bulletin are putting the final touches on their new restaurant at the corner of 14th and Swann Street.  The Art Deco themed "breakfast all day" restaurant is larger than their original location on Capitol Hill.  We are looking forward to the opening soon. Visit their website to learn more about menus and offerings.  See you at breakfast...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

JBG Wants to Sell LOUIS and PUD Projects

The word on the street is that JBG has put the LOUIS and their 13th and U Planned Unit Development (PUD) on the market FOR SALE.  Various real estate blogs have posted stories about this news.  A number of us spent several years reviewing, approving and monitoring the LOUIS project with assurances that JBG staff were going to remain as managers of the leased building.  Now we don't know who will be accountable to our community.  Neighbors are concerned about noise emanating from the proposed rooftop activities, like showing movies, and providing an outdoor bar and lounge area.

The PUD project located at the corner of 13th and U was recently approved by the Zoning Commission giving JBG the variances they were seeking and new zoning to allow the construction of an eight story apartment building in our historic district.  Stay tuned while we try to get more information about the sale.

And lest we forget, JBG sold the District Apartments at the corner of 14th and S after telling the community and the ANC that they had to change their plans from building condos to apartments because the numbers didn't support condos.  Bozzuto is leasing and managing the apartments.

So was it their plan all along to simply serve as the developer, despite representations to all of us that they were here for the "long haul" and cared about our neighborhood?  One wonders!

Friday, June 21, 2013

BakeHouse Opens on T Street

The long wait is over and BakeHouse has finally opened next door to the Taqueria Nacional at the former location of the U.S. Post Office on T Street near 14th.  It is on the street floor of a two story addition (where the postal trucks would load and unload mail to the post office.

The staff is congenial and has been busy working out the kinks of starting a new locally owned business.  Some days they run out of food and reviews have been mixed at, but one thing is's a great addition to our neighborhood!  They have added premade sandwiches for those seeking some lunch.  So give them a try.  Get some coffee and a muffin to start your day...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Gay Pride Parade Comes to 14th and S

Our neighborhood has grown so much in recent years and now the organizers of the annual Gay Pride Parade have deemed us worthy of being incorporated into the parade route.  LGBT residents have lived here for many years and so it will be a celebration of their pioneer efforts to settle and thrive in this neighborhood.  We are PROUD of our neighborhood's diversity!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

ABC Board Listens to Neighbors

On May 22 the ABC Board listened to neighbors regarding the proposed moratorium at 14th and U Street. They heard 18 witnesses (largely affected neighbors) who were in favor of the moratorium and a handful of witnesses who were opposed (largely the affected ANCs--1B, 2B, and 2F).  The one ANC that is largely affected is 1B, while only 5% of ANC2B and less than 1% of ANC2F are affected by the proposed 1800 foot radius.

Neighbors argued that late night noise and parking issues were affecting them as well as the cumulative effects of having over 120 licensees in their neighborhood.  They also argued that many businesses had left the neighborhood and had been replaced by alcohol serving establishments.  Moreover, they presented petitions signed by over 450 neighbors who live within the proposed zone.

The ABC Board will deliberate and issue a ruling within 90 days.  They can accept the 1800 foot radius or modify it by downsizing it to 1200 feet or 600 feet as allowed by the ABRA regulations.  They can also reject the petition submitted by the Shaw-Dupont Citizens Alliance. 

Other community organizations that represent affected residents have expressed their support for the moratorium and they include the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association and the Dupont Circle Citizens Association.

Taqueria Nacional Opens on T Street


Taqueria Nacional has officially opened and the neighborhood is excited to have a reasonably priced eatery specializing in Mexican-inspired food. Owners John Fulchino and Ann Cashon are hopeful that their new venture will be supported by their new neighbors. The menu features tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, yucca fries, guacamole, several flavors of agua fresca, and huevos rancheros and cornmeal pancakes for the weekend breakfast crowd. Did I mention that they also serve margaritas and beer? Enjoy! We wish them BUENA SUERTE!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

DCCA Elects New Officers and Directors

DCCA Elects New Board of Directors
Former ANC2B Commissioner and Chair Ramon Estrada Elected President of DCCA

Washington, DC, May 7, 2013 – The Dupont Circle Citizens Association announced the election of nine members to its Board of Directors for the 2013-2014 term. The election took place during its annual membership meeting on May 6 at the Hillyer Art Space.

Ramon Estrada will serve as President for a one-year term. Mr. Estrada has been a resident of the Dupont Circle neighborhood for over three decades. During this time, he has served the Dupont Circle community in a number of different capacities, including ANC2B Commissioner, a role which he held for 10 years. He served as Chairman of the ANC and its ABRA Policy Committee. He was acknowledged for his leadership by his fellow Commissioners who appointed him Chairman Emeritus. He continues his efforts as an activist by working with the District Government, businesses, his neighbors and several citizen organizations to improve the quality of life in his neighborhood. Professionally, Ramon has an MBA Degree and has been a CEO of several non-profit trade associations and a community economic development think tank.

Mr. Estrada stated, "I look forward to sharing my private and public sector expertise with the Board of Directors. I want to lead this very important organization into the future with all of the challenges facing us in order to enhance and support Dupont Circle's vibrancy and diversity."

Mr. Estrada succeeds Charlie Ellis, who served as DCCA’s President since September 2012. Mr. Ellis will continue his Board service as Second Vice-President. Other elected Officers include: Nelson Marban, First Vice-President; Susan Volman, Secretary; and Ruth Horn, Treasurer. Re-elected members include Nancy Desmond and Jim Dudney. They join continuing members, Robin Diener and Mary Lord, and newly elected members Marcy Logan and Stephanie Sheridan. Greg Milman and Matt Webster concluded their Board service in May.

Membership in DCCA is open to residents, businesses and supporters of the Dupont Circle neighborhood. To join, please go to

About the Dupont Circle Citizens Association

Founded in 1922 in a townhouse at 1767 P Street, to promote and protect the interests of the residents, the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) is the premier civic and residential organization in the Dupont Circle area. DCCA brings neighbors, including residents, businesses and non-profit organizations, together to improve the quality of life in an active and diverse urban neighborhood.

DCCA’s major fundraising event, the Dupont Circle House Tour & Tea, will be held on Sunday, October 20 from 12 pm to 5 pm.

Pictured above: (L to R) Stephanie Sheridan, Jim Dudney, Ramon Estrada, Nancy Desmond, Robin Diener, Ruth Horn, Mary Lord, Susan Volman, Nelson Marban, Marcy Logan, and Charlie Ellis

Monday, April 15, 2013

Proposed Moratorium Captures Attention of Residents and Businesses in the 14th and U Corridors

The Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance has filed a petition with the Alcohol and Beverage Regulatory Administration (ABRA) to establish a liquor license moratorium in the 14th and U corridors.  ABRA has certified the petition and has scheduled a hearing for May 22. 

A listening session sponsored by the three affected ANCs was recently held at the Thurgood Marshall Center.  The northeast corner of ANC 2B is included in the proposed 1800 foot radius affecting the 1400 blocks of S, Swann, T, and U Streets and a small part of the eastern end of the 1500 block of U Street.

The residents group filed the petition to “give the neighborhood a chance to drive towards a more sustainable living model for all the residents. We are teetering on the verge of the same problems that have plagued Adams Morgan and forced them to institute a moratorium,” said SDCA President Joan Sterling in her opening remarks at the recent listening session.

She advises everyone that the moratorium idea is not new because previous ANC 1B Commissioners like Peter Raia had advocated for such a moratorium because there has been a proliferation of alcohol licenses. The ABRA definition of overconcentration is defined in their regulations.  The proposed moratorium zone is considered a “portion” of the neighborhood and is drawn using an1800ft. radius.  The regulations say that overconcentration in a portion is 18 establishments of a combination of all classes of licenses, or 9 of one class. New legislation was passed last December  that has now lowered the threshold from 18 to requiring only “several” in a portion. 

“The number of licenses in the proposed portion when we filed was 107 and this has reached approximately 120 currently, with others in the pipeline,” reported President Sterling.  In total, there are over 16,000 alcohol seats in the proposed moratorium zone (with higher numbers when you consider their occupancy).    

She notes that moratoriums are temporary, giving the neighborhood a chance to “catch its breath” and work toward filling the area with the services and amenities that we all need to remain long term residents.

There is always talk about how to attract new businesses to the area, and many suggestions are given. This discussion has been going on since Georgetown, Dupont, and Adams Morgan put moratoriums in place. So far nothing has been done to get those incentives instituted.

Unfortunately, most of the incentives suggested are dependent on the District Government to support and implement.  But in the mean time we need to fix the problem we have now with the over concentration of liquor licenses, to the exclusion of the other business and services we all need.

Moratoriums and incentives are not mutually exclusive – it will take both to drive the improvements we all need to live sustainably in this vibrant and diverse neighborhood.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

ANC 2B Hosts Listening Session on Proposed Moratorium

The Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission's Alcohol Policy Committee will host a listening session on the proposed liquor license moratorium for 14th and U Streets. The Dupont ANC (2B) will vote to support or oppose the moratorium petition at its May 8th meeting. This listening session is an opportunity for residents and business owners to speak directly to the 2B Alcohol Policy Committee, which may formulate a recommendation for consideration by the ANC.

2B Moratorium Listening Session
Wednesday April 17, 2013
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Chastleton Cooperative Ballroom
1701 16th Street NW
(Location tentative and will be confirmed next week)

This is not your only chance to have your voice heard! You can also email your ANC Commissioner directly or send a note to the Alcohol Policy Committee with your thoughts on the proposal.

No Street Sweeping or Trash Collection on Emancipation Day April 16

The DC Department of Public Works will observe Emancipation Day, Tuesday, April 16. The result will be changes to trash collection and street sweeping. Sanitation services will be suspended for the holiday and will resume Wednesday, April 17. In Ward 2, Tuesday and Friday collections will be made Wednesday and Saturday. There will be no street sweeping on Tuesday. Regular street sweeping will resume on Wednesday, April 17.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Zoning Commission Reviews JBG PUD at 13th and U

On Monday night, March 4, the Zoning Commission reviewed the proposed PUD project by JBG at 13th and U and recommended that some additional work be done to answer questions they had regarding the bulkiness of the roof, construction management plan, effects on the neighboring building to the west, retail window details, LEED checklist, business relocation plan,  bikesharing plan details, and examples of successful RPP limitation requirements in other projects in the District.

Neighboring residents and business owners testified that they are going to be impacted by this large project and asked the Commissioners to consider and address their concerns.  The Commission will revisit the project again in April.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Street Sweeping Resumes March 4

Heads up, car owners and vehicle operators: DC’s Residential Street Sweeping Season gets underway once again beginning March 4.  Signs are posted that identify the days of the week and hours of the day when parking restrictions will be enforced so the sweepers can clean the streets effectively.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Whitman-Walker "Pillar of Fire" Memorial Installed

I am pleased with the "Pillar of Fire" memorial installation in front of the former Whitman-Walker Clinic at the corner of 14th and S.  Having lived through the AIDS crisis here in DC, it's important to never forget the establishment of this clinic.  The building has been purchased and redeveloped by the JBG Companies as apartments.  I can't wait to see the memorial lit up at night for all to see who visit our neighborhood and our nightlife venues.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Garrison Elementary to Remain Open

I am pleased to share good news with you about the Garrison Elementary is staying open!  Many thanks to Chancellor Henderson who listened to community leaders, including 2 ANCs, and parents and teachers.  Also thanks to Council Member Jack Evans who actively supported keeping this school open.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

JBG Presents Revised Facade Designs

The JBG Companies presented revised facade plans to the community at several forums this month.  You may link here to their site to view the revisions.  They are responding to comments made by the HPRB Board members who cited several concerns regarding the proposed facades for the PUD at 13th and U Streets.  Their representatives noted that the 13th Street side of the building had been trimmed after the board suggested that the building should step down to the residential 13th Street.  In addition, the affected residents along Wallach Place have expressed their concerns about the rear of the building which they will have to face once the project is completed and the board also shared their concern.  JBG architects have made some adjustments to the rear facade to reflect these concerns.  And last but not least, the HPRB spoke at the December hearing about the U Street facade at street level needing to be broken up so that it is not such a long stretch of flat surfacing.

The next hearing of the HPRB to review this project has not been scheduled as of this date.  Their report on the details of their decision following the December hearing follows:   The HPRB directed the applicants to: 1) continue studying the height, massing, setbacks and reveals, along the perimeter of the building and particularly on the north elevation; 2) revise the 13th Street elevation to better address the scale of buildings across the street and on Wallach Place; 3) provide further detailing to the retail base; and 4) further differentiate the retail and residential entrances. Vote: 6-0 (Casarella recused, Ally absent).

The PUD application is scheduled to be reviewed by the Zoning Commission on March 4. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

CM Evans Thanks Commissioners

At our December ANC meeting, Councilmember Jack Evans thanked me and the outgoing Commissioners for doing a great job serving the Dupont Circle community.  Jack gave each of us a Proclamation from the DC Council acknowledging our service (pictured at left).  I was previously honored by the Commissioners who appointed me as the ANC's Chairman Emeritus, after having served as Secretary, Vice Chair and Chairman for several terms.

I look forward to working with the new Commissioners, including Noah Smith who is succeeding me as our representative for SMD 2B09.   It was an honor and a privilege to have served as your representative for the past decade...your first Commissioner after our Single Member District was redistricted from Ward 1 to Ward 2.

I have developed some wonderful relationships with  community leaders, neighbors, and businesses in our neighborhood and the DC Government and I hope to continue my efforts to improve our quality of life here in 2B09.  See you in the neighborhood!