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CAG Meeting March 23 on Holladay Corporation Conversion of Retirement Residence

A meeting with ANC representative Monica Roache and CAG President Robert Vom Eigen to discuss redevelopment of The Georgetown, a former retirement residence on Q Street, will take place at 12:00 pm Wednesday March 23,2016 at the Citizens Association of Georgetown (CAG) Office (Wisconsin and O St, 2nd Floor).

Background on the planned conversion and reason for urgent meeting:

When developers removed the remaining senior residents from The Georgetown in 2014 (without the benefit of Tenants' Rights), they were promised they could return after the renovation. That promise was reiterated at a meeting February 2015 at a meeting with the former residents and the developer owner.Demolition began immediately and then came to a screeching halt. There it has remained until some neighbors were invited to a meeting with Holladay Corporation (the building's owner) representatives at a local church in December.At this meeting the group was informed that the former retirement home would now be transitioned into a "luxury" rental building.

Judith Beermann
Judith Beermann

The 96 units primarily comprised of 350-535 square feet would be available for rent on a short-term basis (minimum 30 days). The luxury begins here--11 parking spaces for 96+ driving age residents. No gym, no pool, no party room and several basement apartments.The "luxury" $4 per square foot rent fees will no doubt appeal to some lucky students from both GW and GU who attend schools with limited dorm space and perhaps other young professionals who enjoy a new studio apartment. But this is not "luxury" as most would see it.Additionally, many in this target audience are also privileged to have cars. 96+ in a part of our town that already struggles with parking would be overwhelming.The respectable retirement home of many notable Washingtonians such as Art Buchwald, Betty Friedan and Walter Cronkite's mother Helen (Cronkite) will now be a micro unit mecca with a potential of 2400 moving vans per year--that's more than six per day. These trucks will be forced to use Q Street as the alley behind the building is too narrow for trucks. With potential multiple moves each day, the pullover area in front of the building will likely be overwhelmed and Q Street traffic (bus and commuter route) will be impacted.Georgetown residents implore the Holladay Corporation to make this building, with so much history and special Georgetown residents on its former rosters, a truly luxury 30-35 unit building offering a full third of its lessors coveted parking spaces (higher than the current average of 19% in Georgetown) and a more comfortable and stable environment with minimum 12 month leases.