Posts Tagged ‘Guest DC’

From the November 2010 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

At 2136 Wisconsin Avenue—the blocky tan apartment house formerly known as The Vixen and Wisconsin Overlook—a caretaker has taken up residence, at least part-time. The uncompleted building has been vacant and for sale since its former tenant was evicted last spring, but lately neighbors have been noticing a car parked there overnight. “There are no tenants or squatters,” says Steve Loewy, an attorney for the owner, Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union. “The only person ‘living’ in the property is someone who is simply watching the property to keep it free from vandalism and squatters.”

Meanwhile, former tenant X*, who held multiple paid, open-bar parties at the property last year, is still facing one misdemeanor charge of selling alcohol without a license. Though his case was dismissed in July because the prosecutor had a scheduling conflict, the Office of the Attorney General immediately re-filed the charges. X’s arraignment in the revived case is scheduled for November 3, but a summons sent to him in September was returned as undeliverable.

* Name removed 12/15/18

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From the March 2010 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:

In a lawsuit over who should possess 2136 Wisconsin—the erstwhile party house known as “Wisconsin Overlook” and “The Vixen”—tenant X* failed to appear in court on February 12. As a result, his motion to assert his own claim to the six-unit condo building was denied. [X has since re-filed the motion.] X has said that building owner Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union is unfairly holding $20,000 of his in consideration of buying the property. The credit union says no such payment was made by X or anyone else.

Now, Mid-Atlantic is taking legal steps that could end in X’s eviction. On February 17, the credit union filed an affidavit to assure the court that X’s property-management firm, GreenLight International LLC, is not a person and therefore not in the military.

X has pled not guilty to a charge of selling alcohol without a license during a party on September 19, 2009. No trial date had been set at press time.

* Name removed 12/15/18

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From the February 2010 Glover Park Gazette:

Point, Mid-Atlantic. Three months after foreclosing on 2136 Wisconsin—the big tan box near Holy Rood Cemetery—Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union won a court order ending the possessory rights of its former owner and its former management company, GreenLight International LLC. On January 14, a judge ordered resident X*, the CEO of GreenLight, to provide Mid-Atlantic with “all keys and passkeys and passcodes” necessary to enter the building.

But X has filed a motion to assert his own personal right to possession of the building. X—who hosted multiple paid, unlicensed, open-bar parties at the property last year—has said that Mid-Atlantic is holding $20,000 of his in consideration of buying the property. Steve Loewy, an attorney for Mid-Atlantic, says that neither X nor any other potential buyer has given the credit union any amount of money in consideration of a purchase. X also alleges that the credit union violated protocol—and his rights as a tenant—while foreclosing on the property. Stephen Hessler, another attorney for Mid-Atlantic, calls those allegations “groundless.” The case goes to trial on February 12.

In a separate matter, X appeared in court on January 20 and pled not guilty to a charge of selling alcohol without a license during a $25-per-person party on September 19. (The building’s former owner, a bankrupt corporation owned by developer David Cameron, has yet to pay $4,000 in fines resulting from the same party, according to a spokeswoman for the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.) X faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail plus a $1,000 fine. A status hearing in the case is scheduled for February 19.

Meanwhile, X and Cameron are defending themselves against accusations of misbehavior in the complex bankruptcy filing of a D.C. day care center. The center, Nation’s Capital Child and Family Development, alleges that with X’s help, Cameron angled to unlawfully evict the center from its Northeast D.C. headquarters, after Cameron used a secret mortgage scheme to draw money out of that property for construction at 2136 Wisconsin. In legal pleadings, Cameron and X deny these allegations. A pre-trial conference in the case is scheduled for February 23.

The property at 2136 Wisconsin first caught the neighborhood’s attention last April, when a bash there billed as “the grand opening of Wisconsin Overlook” drew hundreds of well-dressed revelers (at $10 to $25 each), as well as police responding to noise complaints.

By September, invitations were labeling the venue “The Vixen,” and now we know why: X had set up part of the six-condo building’s interior as a private clothing showroom affiliated with The Vixen in Centreville, Virginia, a retail clothing store. [Below: the trademarked “Vixen” logo on a wall at 2136 Wisconsin.] Some of X’s parties included fashion shows and clothing sales, according to invitations and attendees. The building has none of the permits required to function as any sort of business, a DCRA spokesman has said.

X did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

* Name removed 12/15/18

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From the January 2010 Glover Park Gazette:

The lender has taken title to 2136 Wisconsin; now, it’s trying to take possession. The drab tan apartment house near Holy Rood Cemetery was foreclosed on in October, but the former owner did not turn over the keys. Nor did tenant X* move out. X was the host of a series of paid, unlicensed open-bar parties at the building last year, for one of which the former owner, a corporation called 2136 Wisconsin LLC, has been fined $4,000.

Now the lender-turned-owner, Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union, has filed suit against both the former owner and the former property-management firm, GreenLight International LLC, of which X is CEO. The case will be heard on January 13. If Mid-Atlantic prevails, it can file papers to have X evicted.

The D.C. Office of the Tenant Advocate told us previously that after a foreclosure, any tenant must be offered the chance to stay on at a fair market rent. But Stephen Hessler, an attorney for Mid-Atlantic, says that law may not apply in this case, in part because there is no known, legitimate lease. “The bottom line is this: there is no authorized or recognized or proper residential tenant at that property,” Hessler says.

Reached via email, X declined to comment.

* Name removed 12/15/18

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From the December 2009 Glover Park Gazette:

Everybody’s favorite unlicensed nightclub has been rather quiet lately. Ownership of the foreclosed apartment house at 2136 Wisconsin—known as Wisconsin Overlook and The Vixen, among other things—passed to its mortgage holder, Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union, in mid-November. But tenant X*, the host of a string of loud, all-night events at the property this year, remained ensconced. According to D.C.’s tenant protection laws, the new owner of a foreclosed property is required to negotiate a fair market rent with any tenants; renters cannot be evicted without cause.

Attorney Steve Loewy, who represents Mid-Atlantic, says the credit union plans to sell the building. True, there were no bidders at an October foreclosure auction, but Loewy says that’s because potential buyers were not allowed to examine the property beforehand.

* Name removed 12/12/18

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The club's latest incarnationFrom the November 2009 Glover Park Gazette:

The party building at 2136 Wisconsin has a new owner, but that doesn’t mean its tenant is moving. The tall tan apartment house near Holy Rood Cemetery—the site of multiple paid, all-you-can-drink parties held without benefit of liquor license—was temporarily protected from foreclosure this summer after creditors sued its then-owner into bankruptcy. [The club goes by various names, including “Wisconsin Overlook” and “The Vixen,” which is painted on a wall there (photo above).] But in September, a court allowed the mortgage holder, Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union, to foreclose, and the property was sold at auction on October 19. Several prospective buyers attended, but none would make the minimum bid of $2.4 million, so Mid-Atlantic bought the property for that price.

D.C.’s powerful tenant-protection laws mean that resident (and party host) X* can likely stay put. After a foreclosure, “the new owner is required to negotiate a fair market rent with you,” says Lennie Mitchell, a spokesman for the D.C. Office of the Tenant Advocate. “They can’t evict you” unless one of ten specific cases applies. These cases include nonpayment of rent; condo conversion; and a court’s determination that a tenant has done something illegal.

Phone number redacted for privacy.Speaking of illegal: following a September 19 party with a $25 cover that was broken up by police, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs issued two citations to the building’s then-owner, each with a $2,000 fine, according to DCRA spokeswoman Shana Kemp. One citation was for “unlicensed public hall”; the other, for operating without a certificate of occupancy. (Meanwhile, another party was advertised for September 26: a $30 fundraiser featuring Nuvo sparkling vodka and an open bar till 6 a.m. [Click to enlarge promoter’s Twitter feed at right.])

An Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration investigator has determined that alcohol was sold at the September 19 party without a liquor license, according to a preliminary case report. But because the building was never a licensed establishment, the case falls outside of ABRA’s jurisdiction, says agency general counsel Martha Jenkins. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has referred the matter to the Office of the Attorney General for prosecution, Jenkins adds.

Tenant X has reportedly charged that the September 19 police action was racist. Most of his guests that night were black, and a party next door with mostly white guests was not disrupted. Then again, we hear there was no cover charge next door. Reached by telephone, X politely declined to comment. He called previous Gazette articles about the property “borderline libelous,” though he wouldn’t name any specific inaccuracies.

* Name removed 12/12/18

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It's the big tan blob in the middleFrom the October 2009 Glover Park Gazette:

At 2136 Wisconsin, the heat is on … but so is the party. While creditors, neighbors, and city officials press to shut down Glover Park’s loudest unlicensed night spot—the awkward tan renovation near Monarch Paints—the building’s tenant continues to host all-night, all-you-can-drink events for hundreds of paying guests. The latest bash, slated for September 19 (tragically after our deadline), was billed on one website as an “exclusive networking extravaganza” complete with fashion show, DJs, and, of course, an open bar, all for $25. [Click here for promotional video.] The building has none of the licenses and permits required for such an event, city officials say.

Strangely, we were not invitedAt press time [i.e., mid-September], the police and license enforcement agencies were poised to swoop down on the party [invitation at left]. By now, David Cameron—who owns the property through a corporation called “2136 Wisconsin, LLC”—may have a bunch of fines to pay. But fines could seem like small potatoes to Cameron, who is struggling to hold onto the property. A recent appraisal set the building’s value at $2.7 million, but Cameron’s corporation is nearly $3.5 million in debt on a mortgage that came due in June, 2008. This summer, Cameron agreed to sign the property over to the mortgage company, Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union, to satisfy that debt, according to a legal pleading filed by Mid-Atlantic. Representatives of 2136 Wisconsin, LLC were scheduled to sign the papers on June 30, 2009, but they never showed up.

Instead, two of 2136 Wisconsin, LLC’s other creditors—an architect and a cabinetmaker—filed suit that day to force the corporation into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That action automatically created a “stay,” or freeze, on trying to collect the corporation’s debts or foreclose on the property. In a mid-July motion to lift this stay, Mid-Atlantic implied that Cameron may have encouraged the bankruptcy filing after having “a change of heart” over giving up the building. A hearing on whether to lift the stay was scheduled for September 15 (again, tragically after our deadline). Still with us? OK, then. Cameron also hadn’t been paying taxes on the property, so it was scheduled to be sold for back taxes at a government auction. But according to online city records, on July 2—that is, two days after the bankruptcy filing—someone paid about $75,000 $57,000 in taxes on the building, which got it off the auction block.

We couldn’t reach Cameron for comment, so we couldn’t ask him our most burning question: Why in the world didn’t he just unload this building in June?

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