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City Selects Finalists for Redevelopment of U Street School

by Lark Turner

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Grimke School

DC has narrowed down the list of competitors for the Grimke School to two: Community Three Development/Torti Gallas and Partners and Roadside Development/Sorg Architects.

The former school at 1925 Vermont Avenue NW (map) is in an attractive location near 14th and U Streets NW, and the companies bidding on the property have offered similar proposals for its reinvention, which is required to include about 10,000 square feet of space for the African American Civil War Museum. A third proposal by The Grimke Partners, which floated turning Grimke into a charter school, was rejected by the city.

Roadside and Community Three each have strong motivation to fight for the property, led mostly by the architects on each team. Grimke is basically adjacent to Sorg Architects’ offices, and Sorg representatives have said at community meetings that they have a strong desire to lead the project. But Silver Spring-based Torti Gallas has been eyeing the Grimke building for years with hopes of moving into DC proper, and turning a portion of the school into its headquarters.

Each have proposed tearing down a gym facing 9 1/2 Street and replacing it with townhomes, as well as bringing in some nonprofit partners and ground-floor retail to the space. The Best and Final Offers (BAFO) process is a small victory for neighbors of the development, who have been advocating for a non-school use for the property for years and requested that the city proceed with a BAFO to choose between Roadside and Community Three. The development teams’ final offers are due by December 19, 2014.

See other articles related to: grimke school, grimke

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/city_selects_two_finalists_for_grimke_school_redevelopment/9301

1 Comment

  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 7:04 pm on Monday December 8, 2014:

    Not that many years ago, the mention of Torti Gallas being the architect for a project would have brought a grimace to my face.  They were one of the prime practitioners of the cheesy quasi-historicist style that urbanites immediately recognize as “suburban.”  But they’ve really upped their game in recent years, with several very respectable DC projects, such that the idea of welcoming them to move from Silver Spring to DC brings a smile to my face!  Nothing against Sorg, but the idea of growing our economy, by attracting suburban companies in, is very appealing.

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