How to Best Use Live-Work Space? A Local Contest Seeks to Find Out

by Will Smith

Developer Jair Lynch has launched an unusual campaign to explain the potential of its live-work units at SOLEA, a 59-unit condominium project at 14th Street and Florida Avenue NW. The firm is holding a contest to determine the best use of a 1,600-square-foot live-work unit with ground-level retail space facing Florida Avenue. Submissions are being accepted from the public, and the winning proposal will actually be implemented in the unit.

“We were looking at how we could effectively educate the market on the potential use,” Jair Lynch’s Julia Klaiber told UrbanTurf. “We’ve had all kinds of people come through and take a look. But because it is a live-work unit, it can be a head-scratcher to potential buyers. It is not your typical commercial space.”

The unit is two floors. The top floor is the retail space and is entered at the building’s ground level. The bottom floor is the living space, with a full kitchen, bathroom, and washer/dryer. The space between the floors is relatively open so the bottom floor benefits from the light that enters though the floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the unit. (See photos below.)

By “crowdsourcing” the best use of the space, Jair Lynch is not only soliciting ideas from the public, it is also asking the public to vote for the best of those ideas. They have set up a website, Define Live-Work, where voters will be able to rate their favorite ideas from among the submissions. The winner will receive $500 and see her vision become a reality.

“Crowdsourcing means we are opening it up to the creative people in DC,” said Klaiber. “And we’re not just talking about artists here.” The space could suit small businesses, entrepreneurs, therapists, yoga studios, or maybe even something as ordinary as an eye doctor or H&R Block, she said.

Jair Lynch is hosting a number of events at SOLEA to promote the contest, the first of which was held last night. Dubbed “mash-ups”, they aim to highlight the varied potential of the space by fusing seemingly unrelated themes into a single event. Last night’s theme, for example, was “Beer + Drag + Opera”. About 40 people were in attendance and 25 submissions for the contest were received.

The second event is slated for July 21st and the third for July 28th.

People interested in competing in the contest can submit their entry at the website mentioned above. There are few requirements for the submissions, which can be very simple or extremely detailed. “If the winner is just a seed of an idea, then we’ll farm it out to a designer who will turn it into something,” Klaiber explained. The deadline for submissions is later this month.

Jair Lynch is working on the contest with MOBFUSE, a partnership of creative professionals in DC.

Following are photos of the unit, whose street address is 1405 Florida Avenue NW (map). The price is $796,000, and it is one of three live-work units at SOLEA.

The street-level top floor
A full kitchen and washer/dryer on the bottom floor
The unit’s facade from Florida Avenue

See other articles related to: dclofts

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/how_to_best_use_live-work_space_a_local_contest_seeks_to_find_out/1111

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