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The Takoma Theater May House Children’s Medical Center

by Nena Perry-Brown

The Takoma Theater May House Children's Medical Center: Figure 1
Rendering of the Takoma Theater upon completion

One of Takoma’s most recognizable buildings is inching closer toward being put to a new use.

After two years of marketing the property, Rock Creek Property Group has applied for zoning relief that would allow Children’s National Medical Center to use the Takoma Theater at 6833 4th Street NW (map) for satellite office and clinic space. The property is in the NC-2 zone, an overlay particular to Takoma that requires half the ground floor be occupied by a designated use that preserves or enhances what exists in the neighborhood.

Rock Creek Property Group has sought tenants in sectors like retail and the performing arts, even acquiring permits to create a second story that is currently under construction. However, the 10,795 square feet of ground floor area has been difficult to carve up into spaces that make sense for many tenants.

“The design and layout of the historic structure cannot be readily adapted into a multi-tenant retail configuration, which would otherwise be the most feasible way to lease that sizeable amount of space and provide the variety of uses contemplated for the zone,” the application explains.

Children’s National Medical Center has expressed interest in using the theater to provide a clinic that would house exam rooms and would administer behavioral services related to hearing, speech, autism and the like. The clinic would occupy 9,932 square feet of the ground floor and the entire second floor; the remaining 863 square feet on the ground floor would ideally be leased to a neighborhood-serving retail tenant.

Cunningham|Quill Architects is helming the design of the project. The Board of Zoning Adjustment has not yet scheduled a hearing on the application.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_takoma_theater_may_house_childrens_medical_center/13314

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