Arts Desk

HR-57 Plans to Build Its New Location in Shaw

hr57 newAfter announcing earlier this month that his 25-year-old jazz club, HR-57, would close on August 9, owner Tony Puesan told Arts Desk that he planned to reopen the club in Northwest in early 2015 but was still deciding on an exact location. Now, as reported by CapitalBop, Puesan and his team have set their sights on a new space: a vacant, city-owned lot at Florida and T streets NW near the Howard Theatre and Duke Ellington Plaza.

Puesan will submit his proposal to the D.C. government and, if it's accepted, he plans to build a large, one-story building that will allow for more daytime programming and space for musicians to work. In a previous conversation with Arts Desk, Puesan expressed a desire for more foot traffic, which shouldn't be a problem on a block that sits yards from Metro and bus stops and already houses a brewery and restaurants.

He's already got a boost from the community (the LeDroit Park Civic Association voted in June to support his plans), but the success of the venture hinges on funding. Puesan estimates construction costs at around $600,000 and has already raised about $85,000. The rest, he hopes, will come from a Kickstarter campaign, donations, and some government grants. In the meantime, Puesan will continue to search for an interim spot that would allow him to continue presenting performances while the new site is approved, funded, and constructed.

UPDATE Aug. 18, 11:40 a.m. An earlier version of this post implied that the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) had already issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 625 T St. NW. Chanda Washington, director of communications for DMPED, clarifies that while the city is looking into developing that lot, an RFP has not been issued and DMPED is not in negotiations with Puesan or any other parties regarding the space.

Image of 625 T St. NW via Google Maps

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  • Allyson

    $600K seems low for a ground-up new construction, even if it is just one story. It'll be interesting to see if he can pull this off without any private financing.

  • MLD

    Literally 600 feet from a Metro entrance, and the building is going to be ONE story? Come on.

  • How cool is that?

    Government grants for a, ah, never mind.

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  • Bob

    As much as I want HR-57 to succeed, a new one story building this close to the metro is horrible public policy. I hope that whomever is issuing grants realizes this.

  • Showmethemoney

    Could we ask for a full accounting of all the government grant money that HR-57 has received in all its different locations?

    Why would the taxpayers of DC give them any more money?

    How much of the owner's money is going into the project?

    Just asking.

  • Hillman

    Government grants for one story buildings this close to a metro is terrible policy, as others have pointed out.

    And why exactly are we giving them grants anyway?

    Do all clubs get this?

    Or just ones specific officials like?

    I'm a fan of jazz and 'institutions' as much as the next guy, but at some point we are picking winners and losers, and that's not really wise policy.

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