- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2003

District planners issued a request for proposals to redevelop the site of the Franklin School building at 13th and K streets, NW.

The D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development said it is looking for a developer to propose a creative new use for the school, while preserving its historic nature. The school, which sits on about 15,000 square feet of land, has been vacant since 1989. It was used as an emergency homeless shelter on cold days in the winter. Homeless also occupied the school through the summer of this year before it was closed, to the dismay of many homeless advocates.

Planners said they were “highly interested” in receiving proposals from educational groups and universities, but would also consider suggestions for a mixed-use complex with housing, office and retail. The site is already zoned for high-density business and retail, but any changes to the site would have to be approved by the District’s Historic Preservation Review Board. The 135-year-old building was designed by Adolph Cluss, the architect of many buildings in Washington, including the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building.

The push for redevelopment of the property is part of Mayor Anthony A. Williams campaign to revitalize neighborhoods and attract 100,000 new residents to the city in the next decade.

The District said it will maintain ownership of the land and not respond to offers to buy it. Those developers wishing to build on the land will be graded on a 95-point scale, with emphasis on qualifications and quality of the proposal. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31.

Planners said they will continue to use the school as an emergency shelter through next winter and until a replacement shelter is found.

Ground broken for new “hybrid” center

Johns Hopkins University broke ground yesterday on the third building at the university’s Montgomery County Campus, which will be used to foster collaboration between university and government researchers and businesses.

About half of the 115,000-square-foot building will be set aside for classrooms and university research. The remaining space will be leased to scientific or technology-oriented firms looking to work with the university. The new campus is expected to offer improved opportunities for turning government and university research into commercial success.

Real estate services company Spaulding and Slye Colliers is the developer of the campus, and New Boston Fund is a venture partner for the third building.

In other news…

cRedevelopment of the Tivoli Theater complex in Columbia Heights will likely be delayed after the Federal Transit Administration said it would not allow the use of $2.5 million set aside for the project. The FTA said the money must be used to encourage the use of public transportation. The developer, Horning Brothers, said the money was earmarked for the construction of a parking garage to serve Giant Food store customers.

cTranswestern Commercial Services was awarded the leasing and management for 1801 Rockville Pike, a 175,817-square-foot building in Rockville.

• The Missile Defense Agency signed a lease for 144,552 square feet at 5611 Columbia Pike in Falls Church. The agency formerly occupied the Naval Annex near the Pentagon, which is being torn down for the construction of the new Air Force Memorial. The agency will occupy the building in December.

Property Lines runs Fridays. Tim Lemke can be reached at tlemke@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-4836.

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