Friday, April 01, 2016

Local News Round Up: Artists, a Hotel, & a Bar Owner Fights Back

A studio in the Union Arts building

This week's Washington City Paper cover story A More Perfect Union? focuses on the Union Arts building (411 New York Avenue) and the artists who work out of it. The building, which for decades has been largely dedicated to arts uses, is slated to become a boutique arts hotel. In that More Perfect Union piece author Matt Cohen writes that the developers are now offering to lease the entire third floor (about 11,000 square feet) to the artists, but at the impossibly high rate of $95 a square foot (about $1,000,000). According to a recent Washington Business Journal article the artist currently occupy about 30,000 square feet of the space. In a separate piece the Washington Business Journal reports that the developers have offered a deal to the artists that "would extend a planned move-out date for the artists from Sept. 1 to Nov. 1, offer a cash rebate of two months rent and relocation assistance of up to $600 per tenant." That offer only applies if everyone accepts the deal.

The Washington Post reports that Tony Tomelden, owner of the popular H Street bar the Pug (1234 H Street), will hold a fundraiser to support the campaign of Cedar Rapids (Iowa) City Council member Monica Vernon in her quest to unseat Congressman Rep. Rod Blum. On March 21st Blum tweeted a photo of construction cranes in SW DC with a caption that read "Washington DC is booming. Tower cranes everywhere. Being built on the backs of US taxpayers. DC needs a recession." That rubbed Tomeldon the wrong way, and on April 14th the Pug will offer unlimited draft beer to those who pay $20 towards the effort at the door.

The AFRO has the article On D.C.’s H Street, Some Black Businesses Strive, Others Struggle, in which several H Street merchants talk about doing business along the corridor.

Joe Flood and DC Focused cover the work of photographer Bridget Murray Law and the recent opening of her show H STREET LIFE at Sidamo (417 H Street).

Photographer Amber Breitenberg shot some really awesome pictures of District Fishwife (1309 5th Street), which sells regional and sustainable seafood out of Union Market.

Artist Carlos Carmonamedina released a new illustration of H Street bar patrons heading home after Saint Patrick's Day.

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