Rendering: TEN Arquitectos
The long-awaited West End Library and Fire Station redevelopment has finally broken ground, some seven years after it was first proposed.
Mayor Vincent Gray hosted the official groundbreaking ceremony on Monday for the $150 million mixed-use project, which consists of two sites on the 2300 blocks of L Street and M Street NW. Developer EastBanc, along with several partners, is building a new 21,000-square-foot library and 7,300 square feet of retail, topped by 164 market-unit rates — 71 condos and 93 rentals. There will also be a new fire station topped by 55 affordable units, along with Squash on Fire, a squash facility with eight courts and a restaurant. Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos is designing both complexes, which are being built as a public-private partnership between the District, EastBanc, The JBG Companies and Clark Enterprises.
Back in 2007, Mayor Adrian Fenty chose EastBanc to redevelop the District’s West End Library, Police Special Operations Building and Fire Station. The decision, made without a competitive process, proved controversial, and the redevelopment process was halted, the Washington Business Journal reported. Two years later, EastBanc made a competitive bid and was selected again in 2010.
Then, an activist group affiliated with consumer advocate Ralph Nader sued to halt the development. The DC Court of Appeals ruled against the group in 2013 and denied a request for a rehearing in April, the Washington Post reported.
The project — which is on our list of top 10 DC developments of November — is slated for completion in 2017.