Washington, D.C.’s LGBT Center Faces New Hurdle in ‘Permanent’ Home

After being housed in two temporary locations, the D.C. Center thought it had finally found a permanent home, but potential redevelopment may put a crimp in those plans as well. From The Washington Blade:

The D.C. Center for the LGBT Community announced late Friday that it has put on hold the renovation of the space into which it planned to move in September in the city’s Reeves Center municipal building following news one day earlier that the building will likely be demolished in three years.

Mayor Vincent Gray and at least three of his top aides said the city would help the D.C. Center find a new location if and when the Reeves building closes.

Gray’s comments came during a news conference on Thursday in which Gray announced that the Reeves building at 14th and U streets, N.W. would be given to a private developer in exchange for land to build a new soccer stadium in the Buzzard Point section of Southwest D.C.

The soccer stadium would be for DC United, Washington, D.C.’s professional soccer team, which has been playing in the aging RFK Stadium.

The D.C. Center had been expending time and energy with volunteers on demolition of the first floor space of the Reeves Center in order to get it ready for what they initially thought would be a 15 year lease:

D.C. Center Executive Director David Mariner noted on Thursday following the mayor’s news conference that the Center’s 15-year lease at the Reeves building requires the Center to spend at least $70,000 to renovate the first-floor, storefront space to get it ready for occupancy.

Mariner said the demolition part of the renovation has been completed through the help of volunteers from the community. With the sudden news that the Center’s stay in the building is likely to be two or three years rather than 15 years or more, Mariner said the Center’s board must decide whether it still makes sense to move into the Reeves building.

“I don’t think we are prepared to invest the time, energy and labor on a massive renovation project if you can’t guarantee that we’ll be there for more than two years,” Mariner told Brian Hanlon, director of the D.C. Department of General Services (DGS) in a conversation following the news conference.

Read the full article

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