I have been thinking about this all weekend. Last week Grtr Grtr Wash (sorry for the abbreviation but it’s a long name) posted comments on an article from InTowner about the parking garage on Florida just west of 17th. The building is not that attractive and I had thought it was a utilities building until Planet Pet moved in there last year. The gist of the discussion is what is the best use of the space. Highest and Best Use as appraisers say. Would it be better used as residential units? I don’t think they are proposing eliminating the parking and the retail would definitely get more exposure than behind those brick walls. Neighbors in the cute block just south of there complain that having a 7 story bldg north of them would be intrusive. 7 stories sounds big but it would not block any light and besides increased traffic, would have little affect. I want to say it would be an improvement. That big ugly building does not need to be there and if it can provides parking and residential uses they should pursue that. I have a similar issue in my neighborhood. When I moved in, I could not wait for someone to buy and tear down the Howard Facilities bldg at 10th & Florida. But now that I have a dog, I appreciate the grass, it is a nice break from the row houses and condos and allows more light into the hood since it only takes up the Northeast corner of the lot. If a developer moved in, it would be built up from street to street. I guess I am a bit hypocritical. I think the bldg at 17th and Florida should be converted but the Howard bldg should stay. Although the Howard bldg does serve a useful purpose for the school. Here is another proposal to renovate a building for a better purpose. It looks like it could be a complimentary growth to the existing structure.
One note: Come to the U Street Film Series tomorrow night in Harrison Park. They are playing a documentary on the 930 club which I’ve heard is great.
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