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Shining Stars Montessori Academy has reversed a decision to move to Glover Park this year, the Northwest Current reports. The public charter school, which earlier this month announced an imminent move from Columbia Heights to 2461 Wisconsin Ave., will instead sublease part of a school building in Northeast. Shining Stars’s hoped-for Glover Park location is a vacant corner building owned by the International Union of Operating Engineers.

According to Current reporter Brady Holt, “Shining Stars representatives said that [the move to Glover Park] fell through due to the union’s liability concerns,” but that the school still aims to lease the corner building later on. “The school is currently working with a prospective buyer of 2461 Wisconsin, who would in turn grant it a 10-year lease of the space,” Holt writes.

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2140WisconsinIn1985ByRobertStoessenFacebook user Robert Stoesen posted a 1989 photograph of Wisconsin Ave. to the “Old Time D.C.” public group. The onetime site of Murrell’s Television and Video Rentals, 2140 Wisconsin Ave., is now the location of the under-construction Elyasi Place Condominiums.

For comparison, here’s what the block looked like this morning:

2100 block Wisconsin, 6/27/2014

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Adapted from the May 2014 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

Local 99 of the International Union of Operating Engineers may be moving to Largo, Maryland, if the group can find a buyer for its headquarters building at 2461 Wisconsin Ave., says business manager Michael R. Murphy. “If it’s not the right price, we’re not opposed to staying there,” Murphy says. The union already owns space in Largo, where it moved its evening training classes last September, he adds.

IUOE is soliciting bids for the 12,000-square-foot Glover Park space through the end of July. The building, of 1970s vintage, was formerly owned by Georgetown University for its dental school, according to Murphy. The Georgetown University School of Dentistry closed in 1990.

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Rendering of 2140 Wisconsin CondosFrom the May 2014 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

The luxury condo building going up at 2140 Wisconsin Ave. now has a name: Elyasi Place Condominiums. The building is scheduled for completion in late summer. According to developer Zak Elyasi, asking prices for the six units will run from $400,000 for two ground-floor units to $1.1 million for two penthouse units with private rooftop decks. Above and below are architects’ renderings, courtesy of Zak Elyasi.

 

Interior, 2140 Wisconsin Ave

Penthouse deck, 2140 Wisconsin

 

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Earlier this month, the Board of Zoning Adjustment approved a variance that would allow a new apartment building to be constructed on Wisconsin Ave. with no dedicated parking spaces for tenants. While the plan does call for the construction of two parking spaces directly behind the building, the owners were still working on securing a legal right to access the spaces via an adjacent office parking lot.

The building, to be built on the long-vacant lot at 2140 Wisconsin Ave.—just south of W Pl.—would contain eight dwelling units. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B supported the developer’s application, and no one appeared at a July 9 BZA hearing to oppose it.

Though parking is painfully scarce in the area, lot owners AE Tower LLC and RE Opal LLC made a compelling case for the variance in a written statement to the board. The narrowness and location of the lot do not allow for underground parking, the statement notes, and a front curb cut would create only one or two spaces—plus potential traffic hassles as parkers backed onto busy Wisconsin Ave. The large parking lot at the rear of the building is reserved for the office complex from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, though apartment dwellers would be able to park there after hours. The property is adjacent to several bus lines and is a few blocks from a Capital Bikeshare station.

Adding apartments, even without parking, would be preferable to leaving the lot vacant, the statement argues: “The proposed project would convert a long-vacant ‘eyesore’ property to a vibrant residential use. The design will greatly improve the appearance and character of this block.”

A building permit application is under consideration by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

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Max’s Best Homemade Ice Cream (2416 Wisconsin Ave.) will remain open for the next few months, according to shop owner Max Keshani. “Yes, I’m here through summer time,” he tells us. Rumors of a lease extension deal have been flying for days, but lawyers for Keshani and landlords Gail and Barbara Bassin have so far declined to comment. (The two parties had previously announced that they would not comment during negotiations but would issue a joint statement on the end result.) Keshani confirmed to us that his lease had been extended, but he did not specify an end date; the rumor we heard was that the extension ends September 30. (Update: it ends October 31; see attorneys’ statement below.) Keshani says he hopes to negotiate a further extension after this one expires: “I’m working harder and harder to stay longer and longer.”

Keshani was formally notified in May that his lease would not be renewed when it expires June 30, and next-door neighbor John Snedden of Rocklands (2418 Wisconsin Ave.) soon announced that he would expand his barbecue shop into the vacated ice cream space. But Keshani, who believed he had been in the process of negotiating a lease extension, was shocked by his ouster, and friends and supporters rallied to his defense, urging the Bassins to reconsider and allow Max’s to remain. Some vilified Snedden, blaming his expansion plans for the end of Keshani’s lease. But the Bassins insisted that their decision to end Keshani’s lease had nothing to do with Snedden.

Snedden, for his part, says he has not received formal notification that his lease on the Max’s space will not begin on July 1, as agreed. But he has not brought in an architect to plan for the expansion, let alone applied for any building permits, he says. When the uproar over Max’s lease first erupted, Snedden told the Bassins he’d be willing to delay the start of his lease, and he has been operating on the assumption that they would take him up on the offer. In the meantime, Snedden says, he has been devoting his time to launching another project: the Right Proper Brewing Company, a Southern-themed brew pub at 624 T Street in Shaw, set to open this fall.

UPDATE: Shortly after midnight on June 28, attorneys for Keshani and the Bassins issued the following statement:

Max’s Best Ice Cream will continue in business at 2416 Wisconsin Avenue through October 31, 2013.  Max and Gail and Barbara Bassin, the owners of the property, have agreed that this represents a fair and reasonable outcome for all involved.  It gives Max and the community the benefit of having Max’s Best Ice Cream in Glover Park for the entire 2013 summer and part of the fall.  We are grateful to John Snedden and Rocklands Barbeque without whose active support this arrangement could not have been achieved.

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The attorney for Mahmood “Max” Keshani, owner of Max’s Best Homemade Ice Cream (2416 Wisconsin Ave.), says lease negotiations between Max and his landlords are ongoing, despite the landlords’ earlier decision not to renew Keshani’s lease when it expires on June 30. “Max and the landlord are in productive discussions and have agreed that there are not to be any statements issued to the press until the discussions have been concluded,” says the lawyer, who has asked that his name not be published. “At that time a joint statement will be issued by the parties.”

Previously, the attorney told us that Keshani had “no intention” of vacating the premises on June 30. He told the Georgetown Current, however, that Keshani might not have the heart to wage a long-term battle to hold onto the building indefinitely. “Max would like to stay in business long enough to pass it down to his [baby] grandson,” the attorney was quoted as saying. But given “how long that process would play out … [and] the stressors involved, it’s probably settling in a different way.” We’ve been told by someone not involved in the negotiations that the attorney hopes to extend Keshani’s lease through November 30.

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