16th and L
Ever go down 16th Street and see the old Firestone Building at L Street and go: I wish they would do something with that building, it's on such a visable corner of downtown that is really seeing a lot of urban development in the surrounding area.
Well, here it is:
I must say I was somewhat disappointed at this. I had originally heard about a year ago that the owners were talking with developers Opus West about using the site for a mid-rise building that would hold about 100 for-sale condos and ground floor retail.
As you all know by now, I am HUGE on bringing as much housing to downtown as possible.
While the new restaurants, and from what it looks like a new club, will def keep the expanding nightlife and vibrancy going in that part of the city, I feel that an opportunity was missed to add some housing that would have had amazing views of Capitol Park.
I know there were preservation issues with the building and that they would be required to preserve the buildings first floor since it was so historic...*cough* OLD *cough* My feeling is that they were not able to build up and expand the project without doing some serious changes to the building, and preservationist would have probably flipped at that thought.
The design of the building is very boring, but as I said, I don't think they would a have been able to change much about the building without an upheaval from the preservationists in the city. I'm all for saving historic building that have a reason to be saved and can still be used economically, but I'm not sure this was one of them
Along with The Park that is being built on 15th and L, this is going to bring the nightclub number to 6 within a 10 block or so radius in a couple of years. It's going to be a very active area at night.
K Bar - K and 13th
Avalon - H and 15th
The Park - L and 15th www.theparkdowntown.com (I'm really looking forward to Mason's!)
Firestone - L and 16th
East End Gateway Club - O and 16th
Empire - R and 15th
I've also heard that the owner of Aioli Bodega Espanola is opening a wine bar at either this location, or in the small building that is next door. Yes!!!
Even though there could have been something much grander here, this is still going to continue the renaissance of 16th Street into a great, great urban street. Within the next couple of years, we will see 16th Street from H Street all the way to P Street filled with loft living, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife all within a walkable scale.