Dave Chappelle on U Street? Here are the new redevelopment pitches for D.C.'s Reeves Center.
"The developers vying to redevelop D.C.'s Reeves Center are breaking out the big names to land the lucrative project."
"A Dave Chappelle Comedy Club, a home for the Washington Jazz Arts Institute and a D.C. Central Kitchen outpost, along with hundreds of residential units and a new headquarters for the NAACP highlight two competing visions for the 2-acre project, which will replace the 97,000-square-foot D.C. government building at 2000 14th St. NW constructed under the Marion Barry administration more than 35 years ago.
The finalists in the long-running competition presented their plans during a public hearing Thursday night, nearly two months after the District reissued the request for proposals. It's the D.C. government's second attempt to kick-start the redevelopment, which will reshape the high-profile 14th and U street intersection.
The two teams are largely the same that responded to an initial RFP in 2021 — one led by MRP Realty, CSG Urban Partners and Capri Investment Group and the other led by Dantes Partners, the Menkiti Group and investment firm EB5 Capital.
Reeves CMC Venture
Operating as "Reeves CMC Venture," MRP and CSG's team now totals 535,955 square feet, including 108,000 square feet of office, 322 units of mixed-income housing, a 116-key "residential hotel," 44,000 square feet of arts and education space, 22,500 square feet of retail and a plaza and amphitheater.
"Our proposal supports the long-standing Duke Plan by embracing the idea of development opportunities that are clear expressions of African American arts and education through programming and urban design," said Simone Goring Devaney, co-founder of CSG, in the public hearing.
The retail space includes Chappelle's comedy club — the comedian has sought to build another like it in his current home town of Yellow Springs, Ohio — as well as a new restaurant concept that would be led by Carla Hall of "Top Chef" fame. Chappelle is a graduate of D.C.'s Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
The arts and nonprofit space includes a permanent home for the VIVA School — formerly known as CityDance DREAM — a satellite location of the Ailey School, a recording studio and training space for the Washington Jazz Arts Institute and a child development center run by Christian Tabernacle. It pitches 366 parking spaces.
The team's last proposal also included some affordable for-sale units fronting V Street NW in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and the Douglass Community Land Trust. Those aren't in the current proposal but negotiations continue, Goring Devaney said. She added it would take about 40 months to build the project."
For a look into CSG’s and MRP Realty’s vision for the Reeves Center Redevelopment read our highlights here in the Washington Business Journal.