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DC's Deal With Roadside On Grimke School Project Falls Through


Shaw residents upset over the delays of the Grimke School redevelopment are going to have to wait even longer. 

The District has parted ways with Roadside Development, the developer it had selected for the project, and will now seek alternative proposals, the Washington Business Journal reports.

Roadside had planned to renovate the historic school into 20k SF of offices, a 13k SF African American Civil War Museum and a 7,500 SF dance studio. On the same block, the plan, rendered above, would have built a 35-unit condo building, 3,300 SF of retail and seven townhouses.

Roadside had run into roadblocks with the project as it discovered the vacant building suffered decay and needed more work than expected, founding principal Richard Lake told Bisnow last month. The developer had also experienced difficulty financing the project, since many of the nonprofit uses couldn't have afforded higher rents.

The District is now considering the runner-up proposal from Community Three, which called for a 10k SF museum, 1,500 SF U Street Arts League space and 4,400 SF of offices for the project's architect, Torti Gallas. If a deal with this development team isn't reached by March, the District will likely seek new proposals. 

Roadside last week bought Fannie Mae's HQ for $86M and is formulating a redevelopment plan with its partner, North American Sekisui House, so the developer will have plenty on its plate without the Grimke School project. [WBJ]