by Tom Hay
After a three-year lull, condo and apartment development along 14th Street — from Logan Circle to the blocks north of U Street — has blossomed at a frantic pace. (See list of related stories at bottom.)
Work is well underway at several sites and many and others are slated for groundbreaking soon. Most properties will be considered mixed-use, usually in the form of ground floor retail and residential units above.
YWCA National Capital Area (Young Women’s Christian Association) and Beta Academy will occupy the spaces after build-out is complete. YWCA agreed to a 15-year lease and hopes to open in January 2012. Beta Academy will have a 10-year lease and has a target opening of third quarter 2011.
YWCA will be relocating from their current headquarters near Gallery Place. Their 15,000-square foot View 14 space will operate as a health and wellness community center and will host a variety of educational, fitness and empowerment services for women.
Beta Academy (Body Efficient Tactical Arts) is relocating from a church in Columbia Heights. Beta’s 9,000-square foot, lower level space at View 14 will operate as a mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training academy.
In a press release, David Franco of Level 2 Development said, “With the redevelopment of the YMCA at 14 and W Streets NW currently underway, the YWCA’s relocation and expansion plans will nicely create a ‘brother and sister’ relationship that properly serves its surroundings.”
Franco is a local resident and owner of the Universal Gear men’s clothing store located at 1529 14th Street NW in Logan Circle.
The View 14 site had been an auto body shop before Level 2 started construction in November 2007. Early marketing for the property pitched the units as condominiums. The property opened two years later as luxury apartments, which offer some of the the best views — and highest rents — in the area. The Washington Business Journal recently reported that the View 14 building is being sold for a price in the neighborhood of $100 million.