Since January, 2003
 Sliding from Before to After

ANC 6D voted on Monday night to support the historic landmark nomination of the old Market Deli at 1st and L, lending their "great weight" to the application to save the wood-framed building constructed in 1885, which 6D07 commissioner David Garber (who helped prepare the nomination) has described as being the only remaining wood frame corner store in existence south of the freeway.
In moving the motion, Garber mentioned "vocal" support both for and against the nomination; two of the three 6D07 residents in the audience who spoke to the issue were against saving the building, with the third supporting it as long as it doesn't mean the building will just sit there in its current state (all of them live in the Velocity condo building across the street). Also speaking from the audience was an employee of Akridge (Dodd Walker a Mr. Walker, whose first name I didn't catch), which now owns the lot. He indicated that Akridge is not in favor of this nomination, and mentioned that there were surveys done of historic buildings in the neighborhood back when the ballpark was first proposed that went through the Historic Preservation Office and the DC Preservation League, and there was no move at that time to landmark the building. (I should note that I do not recall any studies like this, but if they happened anytime before 2006 I was not steeped enough in the city's planning and preservation processes to have necessarily been aware of them.)
Commissioner Roger Moffatt was unhappy that the Akridge rep didn't bring any copies of these reports, and Garber was skeptical that they existed at all (referring to "these supposed reports"). Commissioner Andy Litsky felt that if these reports are available, the ANC should be able to study them in order to have more information before taking a vote that would throw the fabled great weight of the commission behind the application.
Michael Stevens of the Capitol Riverfront BID spoke to agree with Litsky, saying that the commission should take time to look at all the available information, and that perhaps a community meeting to discuss the nomination should be scheduled (if the Historic Preservation Review Board could postpone the April 28 hearing). Stevens also mentioned that he was historic preservation officer for the city of Dallas for five years, shepherding many landmarking cases through the city's process, and that he does not believe that the Market Deli would qualify for landmarking status.
[Adding this after initial posting, because I missed it in my notes but didn't want to not include it.] Commissioner Ron McBee mentioned that he knows of one restaurant (unnamed) that is interested in buying the building, which would speed the process of getting the corner perked up (since as of now Akridge has no immediate plans to develop this site). McBee also said that he's not a historian, and would vote the motion forward so that the Historic Preservation Review Board could act on the nomination.
In the end, the commission voted 5-0-2 to support the nomination, with commissioners Litsky and Bob Craycraft abstaining.
The Historic Preservation Review Board will hear this nomination on April 28--the staff recommendation on the nomination should be available on the HPRB web site on April 22. I'm also trying to track down the studies mentioned at tonight's meeting.
If you're just joining us, this nomination has already sparked some pretty, ahem, spirited debate. You can see the application, along with the HPRB hearing notice, and read about the city's landmark designation process.
(I'll have more from the 6D meeting over the next few days, but figured I'd start with the item that is probably of most interest.)
[UPDATED here and there to clean up some messiness.]
UPDATE II: According to a source I've talked to in the Office of Planning, apparently the survey referenced by Mr. Walker of Akridge was an informal ("windshield") survey done of buildings in the ballpark area by the Historic Preservation Office to look for any buildings that might be candidates for landmark designation, and no written documentation was created.
Comments (49)
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Eric says: (4/12/11 2:24 AM)
If someone doesn't act to turn it into something, tear that ugly thing down. How long will that rat dump sit and fester unused?

James says: (4/12/11 8:49 AM)
"the only remaining wood frame corner store in existence south of the freeway"

Is this even true?

Glenn says: (4/12/11 9:02 AM)
Much ado about "something"?

vahoya says: (4/12/11 9:10 AM)
I just don't see how this should be deemed a historic landmark. Based on what I've read on the site, it's not terribly historically significant and isn't going to have much economic use given the scale of the Akridge site. I haven't seen renderings of what they're planning, but my guess is it will stick out like a sore thumb in juxtaposition to whatever is put there. I'm all for preservation, but let's preserve things that are really worth preserving.

Bob says: (4/12/11 9:41 AM)
Bad move by Mr. Garber. And I had such high hopes for him but he doesn't seem to be taking his job and the welfare of the neighborhood seriously. Those of us in his SMD need to start studying candidate recruitment. We who bought in the area have too much invested to allow for non-serious representation.

G says: (4/12/11 9:54 AM)
Doesn't anyone care that the rats under that joint may be displaced?????????

monkeyrotica says: (4/12/11 10:04 AM)
The real tragedy is that HPRB wasn't around to protect the only remaining wood frame outhouse in existence south of the freeway.

R.I.P. Poopshack.

Sam says: (4/12/11 10:23 AM)
I normally error on the side of preservation, but this is a beat up old house too far. Unless Mr. Garber wants to open a business in this place or knows someone who does, he should focus his attention on attracting retail and restaurants to one of the many vacant spaces in the neighborhood.

F says: (4/12/11 10:36 AM)
David Garber accepted this bad idea before checking with his constituency, and then did not have the courage to admit he made a mistake when they voiced their opposition.

I hope he enjoys his only term.

JDbutnotthatJD says: (4/12/11 10:39 AM)
"Unless Mr. Garber wants to open a business in this place or knows someone who does, he should focus his attention on attracting retail and restaurants to one of the many vacant spaces in the neighborhood."

100% agree. I was extremely excited when it was reported (here at JDLand) that Akridge was obtaining raze permits to finally clear this block. Now, thanks to Mr. Garber, I'll look forward to staring at this rat infested dump every time I step out my front door.

Needless to say, if it's still a rat infested dump by next election day, Garber has lost my vote next time around.

MJM says: (4/12/11 11:01 AM)
Not defending David here but if you are basing one thing on whether or not to vote for him you should go to the ANC meetings and see what he has brought forward and hopefully the soon to be improved crosswalks, etc. But remember the vote was 5-0-2 not 1-6-0.

I'm looking for a retail space for a business (retail) I'd like to open but with CHT ground floor off the market and 909 too (just no push by those folks to bring retail - who knows what they are holding out for) there aren't too many retail spaces in the center of Near-SE. If it could be fixed-up and restored and someone moves in there then it could be a nice place. I think there is other interest out there but it is a big IF. If it can be saved, so be it, fix it up, make it look presentable, if not tear-it down.

There probably aren't too many rats with the stray cats out there. But if there rats then they have plenty of dog poop to eat since a lot of dog owners don't clean-up after their pups.

For those people whose days are ruined everytime they see Market Deli - you need to turn your passion for the hood to the bigger eyesores in the hood like the rubble pile near the old Wendy's, the metro shacks near the chiller, the taxi repair shop(s), the monument hole in the ground, the vacant lots/parking lots and the best eyesore of them all the GSA warehouse.....this building is not life or death but crossing the streets in Near-SE on game day or just on a daily basis can be a matter of life and death.

Mark says: (4/12/11 11:11 AM)
Sigh, I supported Mr. Garber the last time around, but it is clear that he is unwilling to listen to his constituents as he cast a vote based on his personal whims rather than on what the vast majority of his neighbors and the relevant developer believe to be in the best interests of our neighborhood.

Sadly, I will be joining the chorus of those seeking a replacement candidate for Mr. Garber the next time around - we need to find someone who is serious about his position and what it means for the community and who won't use his position to support what one poster referred to as "hipster nonsense," which saving the Market Deli clearly is.

Kitty Loyd says: (4/12/11 12:44 PM)
For all those interested in seeing this nomination voted down, please email There is plenty still left to do to ensure that this non-historical building be razed and NOT labeled a historic landmark.

Charles says: (4/12/11 1:26 PM)
Like many of you I am deeply disappointment that Mr. Garber did not see the error in his previous attempts and reverse course. To that end, I highly encourage anyone that agrees with Kitty Loyd to email her at the

There is a relatively large and growing group that has come together in opposition to the nomination. This group has spent a tremendous amount of time and effort, which we hope will persuade the Historic Board. The good news is that the heavy lifting is done and it will require very little to no time expenditure on your part.

For those that believe the building is not historic and should be razed, please join Kitty at and use this opportunity to make sure your voice is heard.

Ryan says: (4/12/11 1:27 PM)
Mjm- you mentioned that the retail space at CHT is no longer available. When and who did it get leased too? Thanks

BillP says: (4/12/11 1:46 PM)
Ryan - curious about that myself! Available retail space appears to exist at many locations, including 20 M ( link 80 M ( link 100 M ( link and 55 M. Somebody from the BID could probably give us updated information.

BillP says: (4/12/11 1:49 PM)
replacements for my bad links above:
- 20 M: link
- 55 M: link
- 80 M: link
- 100 M: link

Lester says: (4/12/11 2:38 PM)
Honestly, I'm not sure why everyone is so up in arms over this. If the building is restored, it will become an asset to the neighborhood. There are several examples of small areas "cut out" from large buildings in the area (look at the Courtyard). And take a real close look at the detailed original woodwork at the top of the building - it is quite beautiful, though in desperate need of repair and refinishing. If it weren't for the horrible tiles on the outside of the building, I think most people would feel differently. I live directly across the street of the Deli, by the way. I also don't think we need a 14 story building to consume 100% of every block in this area.

I wish we could have prevented new monstrosities such as the BAE building across the street from being put up. It will be there, in its present condition, for a long, long, long, time, unfortunately. It is one of, if not the, ugliest (large) new buildings I've seen in SE/SW DC. And it is a much larger blight than the deli. Don't even get me started on how they allowed them to build such a tiny (non-ADA compliant) new sidewalk along Cushing Place, and then put street lights and parking meters in the middle of it - leaving not much more than a foot of width in several places. So much for a transit oriented development.

I wish more energy went into getting land owners to clean up some of the blighted lots (with partially demolished structures) and/or areas fenced off with chain link. Not sure why the property owners get a pass on that (seeing how in other areas, DC is much more aggressive at abating blight).

Andrew in DC says: (4/12/11 3:13 PM)

"If the building is restored, it will become an asset to the neighborhood."

I think you've found the opposition's first sticking point. That's an awfully big "if". With so much real estate available in the area far easier to develop or get into, how long will it be before someone takes on this challenge? Why would they bother?

We've already given historic status to a failed church and now we're giving historic status to a failed corner store? Have we lost all concept of what "historic" should signify? Simply being older than the surrounding buildings isn't enough. And for as "detailed" or "beautiful" as the original woodwork is, the simple economic fact is that no one is going to invest in fixing the building when cheaper options exist in proximity. Capital, like water and electricity, generally takes the path of least resistance.

Lester says: (4/12/11 3:31 PM)

I would argue that most people's sticking point is much simpler: "It's ugly, tear it down."

While there may be examples of brick and stone buildings that are structurally dilapidated, but still beautiful, you will find very few examples of wood frame buildings like that. They just don't age particularly gracefully when they aren't maintained. Fortunately, they are also usually less expensive to restore. But if we allow all of them to be torn down because they are "ugly," we will lose an important part of our history.

I would argue that the primary reason we have historical preservation laws is to protect buildings that aren't economically viable. After all, why would someone tear down a building if it was economically viable.

However, the (larger) parcel in question is sufficiently large for Akridge to recover the cost of restoring the Deli, and still have sufficient square footage for a viable development while offering competitive rents. It will cost more than simply dozing the building, but if the building is declared historical, then this is simply the cost of doing business (although I suspect if they play their cards right, they may be able to get some additional consideration towards increasing density in other areas on the parcel).

tall-boy says: (4/12/11 3:54 PM)
Anything that can be done to prevent the neighborhood from looking like identical office buildings is perfectly fine by me. There is too much 12-story cookie-cuttering. When the building is fixed up it will be fine. I hope the HPRB accepts the nomination.

tall-boy says: (4/12/11 4:00 PM)
I would add that none of the yuppies in the area will be complaining when this turns into a cute little cupcake bakery.

Charles says: (4/12/11 4:17 PM)
@Lester -

To echo @Andrew's statements, your if is a mighty big IF.

If you have not seen it, I might suggest you review a previous post I made on this topic that addresses the true financial realities:


Moreover, the nomination itself is replete with legal failings, segmented quotes falsely attributed to the subject property and sadly fails to identify any true historic significance.

Again, for those in opposition, I strongly encourage you to join with Kitty Loyd by emailing

My best,

Andrew in DC says: (4/12/11 4:24 PM)

I won't disagree that some folk take that view. It is not, however, a mutually exclusive point to the one I made.

I'm still waiting to hear the "important part in history" this building played or even adequately reflects. I read the application and I was pretty unimpressed.

I'm also pretty underwhelmed by your counterargument, which I could restate as: Akridge is going to make a ton of money, so let's force them to spend extra coin to restore a building that a substantial number of local residents don't really care for, but that's just because they don't know any better.

Investment isn't about "covering costs" it's about "return on investment". Profit is not breaking even.

Historical preservation's job isn't to "protect buildings that aren't economically viable". That would be a bizarre mission. Nothing would ever get torn down in that case! They are, however, to protect (and support - after all, there's money involved here, as the AUMP Church knows full well) the historical value of a building, structure or location -- the economic value of the building - or what it could be - is not really a consideration.

On that basis, I think that the case for the historic value of this property is really weak. I think the fact that it's connection back to "what this neighborhood was" is far less meaningful than some of the other structures down in the Navy Yard (and former Navy Yard) area which were saved. And I think that by "saving" it, all that will happen is the building will remain as-is. We've heard nothing from Akridge to the contrary.

MJM says: (4/12/11 4:30 PM)
Ryan - meant to say they are in no hurry to lease it out and I have asked about 1000 sq ft or smaller and they said they have nothing available. But also from others - they (papadapolis) are in no hurry to lease out - sorry for the confusion.

MJM says: (4/12/11 4:58 PM)
With Akridge maybe being less than truthful last night per JD's update, not sure I'd trust Akridge in this life or death struggle.

For what it is worth the Boilermaker was supposed to be torn down in the early 60s but was saved. Is that building anymore of an eyesore than Market Deli? They are both old, sitting there empty, maybe a rat or two living in there, one has busted windows, one has boarded-up windows, one has left over construction material behind a fence, one has a fence that used to have pepsi bottle trays and one has stray cats. The difference is one will begin to be fixed up 'soon' and the other may be torn down. Market Deli IF restored would make for a nice outdoor eating area or a live band (sorry Oynx residents for the noise) but it would be something different for Crystal City 2.0.

Does anyone think Akridge is gonna do anything before 2020? Look at Half St and look at their Union Station pet-project 9they've had that land for how long?). Those will go-up before square 740 so we get to look at a chain fence with rubble or maybe a new temp dog park for the next nine years.

lester says: (4/12/11 5:16 PM)

To quote you earlier "And for as "detailed" or "beautiful" as the original woodwork is, the simple economic fact is that no one is going to invest in fixing the building when cheaper options exist in proximity." To quote you most recently "They are, however, to protect (and support - after all, there's money involved here, as the AUMP Church knows full well) the historical value of a building, structure or location -- the economic value of the building - or what it could be - is not really a consideration." Perhaps you could explain what you mean with this seemingly contradicting statements; initially you indicate a major objection to the nomination is that it doesn't make economic sense. Subsequently you argue economic value has not role in determining if a building should be protected or not. My position is somewhat in between. In this case, if the Deli can be protected, without compromising the entire project (as I believe it can), I think moving forward with preservation makes sense.

I am well aware that Investment isn't about simply covering costs. However, when one purchases a lot with an existing structure, abatement costs and the costs of (potentially) restoring a historic structure need to be taken into account by the involved parties.

Ultimately, there are a variety of factors that go into determining whether a building is historic or not - and these differ by jurisdiction. You mention something historic happening there (for example, George Washington being born). While this can support a nomination, it isn't a required element. In this case, the building is an example of a unique type of structure (wood framed building built in the late 1800's) in this area. I think that should be enough, and that, if restored, it would become a neighborhood asset.

It seems to me like much or your argument is that it would never be restored.

As far as whether or not Akridge chooses to restore the building, if it is designated historic, they may not have a lot to say about it. They could probably elect to stabilize the structure and not restore it. However, if they want to maximize the return on the remaining property (once they proceed with development), they'll have to end up restoring it. As I said, it's not about redistributing wealth, or minimizing profit. Things like this are the cost of business when you are a (re)developer, and a risk they should have been aware of when they purchased the land.

Charles says: (4/12/11 6:29 PM)
Could someone supporting the nomination describe, with specificity, the reasons they think the building is "historic"?

And by "historic", I mean actually historic. Not different from the other 12-story buildings, not pretty once restored, not merely old, but factually and legally historic.

Ed Kaminski says: (4/12/11 10:28 PM)
How bold is our ANC, fighting for our historic architecture! Using preservation to stop Akridge with the bravado of a 5-2 vote and … Like a political David the ANC fired their shot and wounded the Goliath developer, stopping the razing permit on a vacant building block and establishing the Capitol Riverfront's version of a "Nail House". Surprising how this "Nail House" was established in our community. Usually the owner of these "Nail Houses" hold out for money from the developer but in this case the former owner is gone and the ANC is holding the house for the community!


It was clear from the ANC meeting that most of the commissioners did not know where the "nail house" was located. Comments like " restoring this building will attract a restaurant from 8th street"; "They have torn down a lot of buildings I think we should save this one"; "we are going to vote on this resolution (recommending the building to historic preservation) but if you have evidence that it is not historic you should have brought it to the meeting"

I guess it is important to prove the negative but not important to prove the positive. and act without respect and with arrogance toward the opposition voices from the community. !

Andrew in DC says: (4/13/11 4:20 AM)

Not contradictory at all - we're talking about two separate processes.

The first is the economic decision by Akridge to develop a square in the neighborhood. Akridge has several squares to choose from (and plans already in the works for one) - so will they take on the square that's already been completely razed (1) or the one with the special-needs-lot (2)? They have limited funds over time to get invested in a finite number of places.

The second is the preservative decision by the Historic Preservation Board - which is NOT an economic decision but a historic one. It's outcome, however, impacts decision A) (above) by making lots (1) and (2) substantially different in the equation of the developer.

My point, initially, was that the risk of decision B negatively impacting decision A was entirely too high, especially given the very shaky premise decision B rested upon. I think that mere age and structure type is not a sufficient reason to make something "historic", because criteria based on those concepts are extremely wishy-washy and susceptible to blatant manipulation by people who simply want to stop redevelopment for their own reasons. I do think a more stringent requirement would be in order.

And yes, in short, my argument does boil down to: it may NEVER get restored. At least, not in a timeframe I'm comfortable with.

Also, "...a risk they should have been aware of"? I guess as a developer, you ought to expect everything, but as a lay-man, I don't think anyone in their right mind would see this as a risk in this particular case in 2005.

Klaus Daimler says: (4/13/11 10:10 AM)
I find it interesting that Mr. Garber's primary business is restoring 1,000-2,000 SF wood frame structures and flipping them.

Charles says: (4/13/11 5:10 PM)
Since no one, David Garber included, have responded to my earlier post, I thought I might try again.

Could someone supporting the nomination describe, with specificity, the reasons they think the building is "historic"?

And by "historic", I mean actually historic. Not different from the other 12-story buildings, not pretty once restored, not merely old, but factually and legally historic.

And for those that cannot and believe that the nomination is defeated, please join us by emailing a group that has formed in opposition. We have are circulating a petition to provide to the Historic Preservation Review Board and would appreciate your support.

Please email us at

MJM says: (4/14/11 10:57 AM)
Charles, besides the economic impact to Akridge, which I don't care about - they hung available signs on those buildings and never returned calls or e-mails so I could care less about akridge - why if they planned to tear them down all along.

I personally don't care if it stays or if it goes but for all we don't know and we may not know - the wood work along the roof could be special and the only kind of architecture of its kind ever made (making that up).

But, besides being an eye-sore what is the opposition really against? If it is just because its an eyesore I have a few gmail addresses we can use to improve the riverfront :)


BTW - the front door was open yesterday and once Akridge cleaned it up (or someone) - it didn't look too bad in there. It needs work but doesn't seem that bad but I'm not inspector and the lights (not from the 1800s) need replacing.

And has anyone ever thought the historic nomination for the Church on Va Ave/5th is/was to prevent CSX from going ahead with the tunnel project?

Charles says: (4/14/11 2:30 PM)

Thank you for your response. I think that your email goes to my point. Specifically, there is little to no evidence or support to legally register the property as a historic landmark.

If this were an argument about what "could" happen and whether, with serious work, "might" the building look terrific - All hypotheticals I certainly concede. Yet, even if someone were to undertake such efforts, would the property be historic?

Once done it might be a charming building with lots of character. However, that is not the question before the Board or this community. The question is whether the building is worthy of a historic landmark. Why is this building worth preserving, receiving preferred tax treatments and possibly our taxpayer dollars?

As you know, historic landmark designation requires the property to meet certain legal hurdles. In the instant case, the building must be associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad pattern of Washington D.C.’s History or embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction.

The point in asking my earlier question was not rhetorical nor meant to mock those supporting the nomination, but to ask a honest question. Specifically and with factual details, what about this building do they consider meets the legal standard of "historic".

Thus far, the only response I have heard is that it is old and made of wood. True, but what about that is "historic"? It is not the responsibility of those opposed to disprove their assertion, but for those in support to prove their contention. Sadly, we are left to guess.

Bruce says: (4/14/11 4:42 PM)
While I admit that I do not much about the history of this wood building, what I do know is that it has been empty and rotting for years. It is also sitting on a prime corner that will be redeveloped.
I can see David's point about wanting to preserve history, but it's another to perhaps hinder forward progress.
We have plenty of structures being saved such as the buildings behind DOT.
This entire area has been transformed into what will be ( and is) one of the best areas in DC.
I now envision a " little red building" scenario that will take place here. The little red building is gone and a nice structure is under construction. Will someone step up and restore this structure to it's former glory (if glory is the right word)? Who knows.
Do not beat David up too much. Disagree, exchange opinions, etc but at least he cares about the area more so than his predecessor who was completely removed from everything related to Capitol Riverfront and has done more work during his short tenure than that other guy did for years...
We all can't agree on everything.
As to CSX, that project IS going to move forward. The church status will not change that. For those out there who think CSX will not happen, forget it because it will.

Bill says: (4/14/11 7:36 PM)
@Bruce: Running to David's defense does not change the facts over the eyesore. I agree that David is a better alternative to the individual that used to be in that seat, however, David's youth and clear ignorance of the community position in favor of his own shows he is not very politically smart. This one move may have motivated not just one but multiple people to run for the seat next time.

Sure, he might care. I didn't elect someone to simply care more than the previous guy. I elected someone to listen to our needs and represent the community... not his own personal taste. No worries. David Garber still can mature in his position. But this is a negative mark for him... you have to admit that.

As for CSX: Ill agree... the project will probably happen. Environmental needs must still be met though. I guess your response shows that you are not worried about the project or ensuring that the project does everything it can to protect the community from environmental issues. So your strategy seems to be "Rolling over and telling them to dig." Aren't you on the HOA for CapQuarter? I'm sure CapQuarter owners love reading how their own HOA board member just shrugged his shoulders on the impact to their community, property values, and lifestyle. With clear representation like that, good luck in your own election next time.

JT says: (4/14/11 10:24 PM)
I feel like we're not even arguing about preserving history but rather about fighting against the sameness of mass-produced contemporary architecture.

It is the romantic, wooden David against the glass-and-steel Goliath.

The character of nineteenth century America against the monotonous, buttoned-up, 21st century, mixed-use, cut-and-paste rectangular prism.

Think about it...

Charles says: (4/15/11 9:00 AM)
JT - Thanks for making the case that this is a zoning approval and design concept argument. Not an argument as to whether the building in question is actually historic.

Additionally, I think Bill's tremendous post perfectly summed up what a lot of people are thinking.

There are only three days left to get add your name to the petition in opposition! If you are interested in signing, there is still time. Just contact our group at

Eric says: (4/15/11 9:54 AM)
JT, I agree with your sentiments. I don't want Navy Yard feeling like Crystal City (so sterile!).

But that beign said, Charles is right. You're makign a design/zoning decision, NOT a historic one. There's no proof there's anything historic about this shed except being made of wood.

jenniferp says: (4/15/11 4:12 PM)
The only reason this property would be considered historic is because it's about a 150-year old wood structure. I went down to the site to take a look when everyone (including my husband above, who was less than pleased with my professional assessment) got so agitated, and boy it's wood alright. Although I'm sure they exist, I've never actually seen one in DC.

That's when I discovered the stray cat colony (very healthy and well-fed it appears) and have been trying to get in touch with feral cat organizations to catch and possibly adopt out the kittens, fix and relocate the older ones (as the site is being razed this is not a permanent solution for them). I haven't had much response, but if anyone is interested in helping with this endeavor please let me know. I know some senior people at Akridge and might be able to get access to the site to put out humane traps and such. Developers actually like to be neighborly contrary to popular belief.

But back to the topic. Don't cry for Akridge, they're pretty smart guys who have been local developers for a long time. There is no way they didn't know exactly what they were buying. Being they're smart, I'm somewhat surpised they didn't try to raze the site earlier, when there were alot less people around to notice or care - although this may have very well been the outcome anyway as they would have to disclose what it was on the permit application. So it might not be entirely right to blame it all on poor David Garber. I'm almost positive there is no way to incorporate the existing wood structure into a new project and unfortunately given the existing condition it will probably be expensive to bring up to current code (which would have to be done with any significant renovation). Luckily, the floor plate doesn't seem very big (if it's 1,500 SF they will lose maybe 18,000 SF or rentable space given a 12-story building). I know what they paid for the site and can approximate what they could probably build, but there are no specific plans as of yet so I have no idea how this would affect them financially.

And I don't mean to chide, but anyone who feels strongly about this (including the aforementioned husband) should go to the hearings and speak up. Two people showing up in opposition is not likely to sway the Commission or HPRB. Contact the representative from Akridge, I'm sure they'll be very grateful for the help.

Charles says: (4/15/11 5:20 PM)

You might not mean to chide, but I take pretty sizable offense if you mean to insinuate that my failure to appear at a hearing somehow translates into my actions failing to match my passion. However, sometimes peoples actual livelihood requires their attending to matters that pay the bills over matters that should not have ever consumed their time in the first instance.

I feel very safe in saying that those that have reviewed the Memorandum in Opposition know that our actions match our passion and our efforts have far exceeded even those of the nomination's sponsor.

I have been blown away by the time and efforts of so many despite their already insanely busy schedule. While I appreciate those that attend the meetings and encourage everyone to do so, I also applaud those that have come to our meetings, joined the discussion and signed our petition and the accompanying Memorandum in Opposition.

MJM says: (4/18/11 11:09 AM)
Market Deli cats - someone mentioned that someone (rumor here since I haven't lifted a tail to check myself) that the cats were taken to the clinic and snipped and then released back there. Some of the first floor folks in Oynx feed the cats and have little beds for them. The reason they still hang out there is probably thats where they were born there and like being behind that fenced area.

jenniferp says: (4/18/11 2:28 PM)
Oh my goodness Charles - I certainly didn't mean to offend you. I'm unaware of where I presumed you didn't care about the subject. I actually assumed you were one of the two that went to the hearing. I was seriously just trying to be helpful. But, based on my experience you'll likely be most effective if you could testify in front of these committees and bring substantial numbers with you. I did this relative to the SEC project when I lived in NE Capitol Hill (in favor of), and although I was single woman at the time with just a couple of dogs and cats - I also did have a full time job, mortgage and bills to pay. Luckily there are really only a few important ones and they almost always occur at night after normal working hours. You seem to have put alot of time and effort into this and even if you can't attend yourself, as many of your group should. I write all sorts of real estate briefs and opinions for a living, and you'd be suprised how few of the people in charge seem capable of reading more than a page or two (despite degrees from Stanford, Princeton and such). Although I'm pretty sure David Garber and at least someone from the HPRB will. I do think testifying (as you seem very well versed on the subject) is really your best opportunity to get in front of these decision makers.

Thanks for the cat update. I toured the Onyx a couple of weeks ago and the property manager did tell me that the first floor tenants have taken an interest in the cats. The last I talked to the Spay-Neuter Clinic they didn't seem to know about them. I will recheck, and was able to find someone who is involved with feral cats to help if it hasn't been done yet.

Bruce says: (4/18/11 4:32 PM)
@Bill- I appreciate the feedback but your translation is not accurate nor do I understand how you arrived at it. Do you own, rent or just vent? First of all, I don't really support the idea of historical status for this building. I also agree that you do not vote for someone simply because he cares more. However, you cannot please all of the people all of the time. I believe that David will do fine as he settles into the job.
Remember that although he lead this charge, the ANC voted 5-0-2 in favor. Perhaps your beef is with the ANC as a whole. I prefer not to have another "little red building" on our hands ( although that structure was torn down and replaced with a better one).
There are enough structures in Cap. Riverfront being saved.
As to CSX, the project Will ( not probably) happen. Does that mean I shrug my shoulders. On the contrary, there is regular contact with CSX and the strategy is to do what is best for the community. I am well aware of what is needed prior to the start of the project and how it will affect all of us. As to the Board, nowhere in the bylaws does it mention CSX. Don't confuse the two. Residents get 110% dedication and commitment.
If you haven't done so, I suggest you contact CSX and let them know that you are annoyed over the project and that it should be scrapped. Let me know that works out.
Remember, there are those who do and those who don't. I Know which one I am and my shoulders aren't shrugging at all....

Charles says: (4/18/11 8:34 PM)

Thank you for your response and clarification. To follow-up on the points that you raised, I would be more than happy to forward you a copy of my Memorandum in Opposition. I am afraid that it is far from the page or two model and is a detailed analysis of the nomination's failings. I should note that thanks to the efforts of others, 40 people joined this motion and there are many more sending their own letters.

Should you like to review a copy, you can reach me and the rest of the team via the MarketDeli email address already posted ad nauseam.


Bruce says: (4/19/11 3:15 PM)
Charles: would you mind forwarding that to me as well. I do not really know what historic value this structure has. You are right in terms of getting to meetings. I attend many meetings but can't hit them all. Thank you for your input.

Kitty Loyd says: (4/20/11 12:50 PM)
For those interested in the Memorandum of Opposition, I am sending it to JD for her to post on Friday or Saturday. I will also be sending along some of the letters that have been sent to the Board by members of our opposition effort. Or as Charles mentioned, you can email

Charles says: (4/20/11 4:29 PM)
Bruce: Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but it sounds like Kitty answered your request. If you email the address she provided, we will be sure to get you a copy of the Memorandum. Best, Charles

Bruce says: (4/21/11 1:03 PM)
Thanks Charles!

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1300 4TH ST SE 1001   
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null / NA NA NA
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Dismantling of tower crane.
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Installation of up to six (6) 3-inch diameter direct-push Geoprobe borings to depths of up to 30 feet below grade as part of an environmental assessment.
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