City Desk

Art Monk and Charles Mann Sell Former City Property for Millions, Bail On Anacostia Job Training Center

A decade ago, Art Monk and Charles Mann came to a neighborhood meeting in Anacostia and said they were going to open a job training center in one of the city's neediest neighborhoods.

They never followed through on that pledge.

The former Redskins raised millions of dollars, both in federal grants and private donations, after saying they would locate the center at the old Carver Theatre building.

The DC Government gave control of the property, at 2405 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, to the Good Samaritan Foundation, a non-profit group fronted by Monk and Mann, in the belief that it would house the job training operation.

After initially leasing the historic theater site to the foundation,  the city sold it outright to Monk and Mann's group in 2004 for $255,235.

For years before and after the sale, the old theater lot sat vacant, despite all the do-gooder dollars thrown at it.

Neighborhood leaders wondered why such a prime real estate location, near the Metro stop and on the main drag in the business district, went unused and was left to go to seed.

The Good Samaritan Foundation held at least three groundbreaking ceremonies at the site, and put on several fundraising galas and celebrity golf tournaments, with proceeds allegedly earmarked to pay for the job training center.

Construction on the theater stopped and started many times. And through it all, group officials, including the ex-Redskins, insisted the opening of the training center was imminent.

But it never opened.

And it never will. The Howard Road Academy, a public charter school, now houses its middle school campus in the Carver Theatre building. The school newsletter says it opened for classes there last week, with 130 students.

And, according to the school's business office, Howard Road Academy now owns the building.

Earl Murray, president of the Howard Road Academy's board of trustees, says the school paid "just under $3 million" to the Good Samaritan Foundation this summer to buy the site.

"It's a great location," says Murray. "We were looking to expand in the neighborhood, and they were looking for a buyer."

Neither Monk nor Mann have anything to do with the school, Murray says.

The Good Samaritan Foundation is no longer in operation. Monk and Mann now front a group called the Youth Power Center.

So, what happened to the job training center that was promised to the neighborhood by Monk and Mann in 1999?

What happened to the millions of dollars of taxpayers and golfers' money given to Monk and Mann specifically to make the promised job training center happen?

Will that money be returned now that, by all appearances, the Good Samaritan Foundation cashed out on its real estate investment in Anacostia?

What happened?

Cheap Seats Daily is awaiting calls from the Youth Power Center.

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  • WOW…hot button issue

    Geez...you guys are really going at it huh? Strange to me that neither of you have anything to do with any of this yet you both have such strong opinions about it all.

    I have to say this has been great reading....aside from all the name calling and swearing over each other.

    Seriously, there is only one thing worse than when someone breaks a promise----when somebody then takes that opportunity to make everybody feel worse about it.

    If the powers behind this promise ended up not keeping their word (and no we dont know what all the reasons are).... why kick the community when they are already down by making it ugly.

    Dont ever be a parent Billy....because one day your wife will tell your child that she is going to take them to the zoo..and she will get stuck at work and not be able to make that happen. What are you going to do...tell your kids..."mommy didnt take you because she didnt love you"..... or maybe..."mommy didnt take you because she never really wanted to take you to being with"...

    You don't know why this didnt happen for SE DC. I don't know why. Chances are Mr. McKenna in is infinite wisdom doesnt know either. If he knew, he'd be writing about why it didnt happen instead of just merely pointing out that it didnt.

    Thanks for stating the obvious and getting everybody worked up Mr. Dave. When you can tell us what happened based on information you got from the people responsible themselves, then maybe you'll do a follow up and give us answers instead of hypothesis'.

    You guys should all be ashamed of yourself for missing the main point in all this.....people didnt get something they needed....

    but really...if we cant enjoy the civil liberties we all should be afforded..including the right to face your accusers and the premise of innocent until proven guilty..then whats the point of putting up a building to teach people skills in the first place?

    I sure as heck wouldnt want anybody here (but perhaps Mr. Williams and Arrogant or whatever the hell their names are) teaching my kids anything at all.

    They seem to at least make some sense in their desire to see truths uncovered.... not created....

    and they both did a complete and beautiful whackjob on you too....which was much deserved if you ask me.

  • Dave McKenna

    WOW: you love ellipses! just like Charles W loves ellipses! and as much as JoeBlow,Arrogant Much and Amused loves those dots, too! i don't have to call CSI to crack your code, you dumbass. in boxing, tomato cans have to come up with a lot of names so they can get sanctioned to fight again after taking a whupping. you're a tomato can, Charles W et al. Just go away, and take all your phony names with you. come back when you can tell us where all the money went...

  • Truth Hurts

    Collectively, the 50 comments on this post suck (except for a few that seriously address the topic).

  • The whole posse.

    Hey Dave...how about YOU tell us where all the money went.....you are the one afterall that is levying the false and slanderous allegations. Well, technically, you don't have the balls and/or facts to actually be in a position to make any allegations, so you just throw out a little barb and hope the masses jump right onto the hook/crapstorm you wish to create.
    Your slight of hand is cute and actually quite amusing, but without facts, you're just another little bitch that cries wolf to have their useless voice heard and appreciated by those ignorant enough to beleive the call in the first place.
    Keep writing your bullshit, you've been at it for years now and no one gives a damn anyway, so keep on throwing out your opinion...call it fact.....and a few idiots will surely follow the pied piper. Be proud. You have spent years chasing your story, and there is no story...it was the cities building to sell, it was bought, and it was the decision of the buildings subsequent owners to sell it when the original desired purpose for the building fell through.

    No one owes you or anybody else an explanation for anything.

  • Dave McKenna

    Mr. Posse: you got what it takes to be an Inspector General in DC."it was the cities building to sell" and "no one owes you or anybody an explanation" are gold.

    but you want to hear about money, mr. posse? ok. here's a cut and paste of a few paragraphs i've written too many times about the public and private money donated for a center in anacostia that, we now know, never opened: In November 2000, Monk and Mann announced that a host of local companies, including Andersen Consulting and Clark Construction, had “committed $1 million” toward the creation of the center. Also in the fall of 2000, Mann wrote a piece in the Good Samaritan Foundation newsletter that quoted a proverb (“Hope deferred makes the heart sick”) and asserted the center would open in 2001. Also in 2000, Monk and Mann said the Accenture Celebrity Golf Tournament had donated $120,000 to the cause, and in 2001, they put out a press release boasting that another $100,000 from that year’s Accenture event could be “used for a new training and outreach center for the group."Monk and Mann got tax dollars by promising to build the center, also. The federal budget for fiscal 2003 contained a $500,000 payment to the Good Samaritan Foundation “to acquire and renovate a building to expand outreach and mentoring services to at-risk District of Columbia youths.” In the 2004 federal budget, they were given another $275,000 earmark for the same purpose.

    In June 2001, because of Monk and Mann’s purported plan, the D.C. government had leased the Carver Theatre property to the Good Samaritan Foundation, and Monk and Mann immediately announced construction on the center would begin that August. That didn’t happen. In fact, Monk and Mann had done nothing at the site other than hold groundbreaking ceremonies by 2004, when the city sold the property outright to the group."

    years after taking over the building, Mann told me the construction was going to cost $2.3 million. Monk and Mann bought the site for $255,235 in 2004 after telling the city and everybody else for years that they'd open a job training center there. Monk and Mann sold the property for about $3 million about a month and a half ago having never opened a job training center there.

    all these figures except the $2.3 million construction cost, which i got from Charles Mann personally, come from monk and mann's press releases or public documents, such as the congressional record. if you see anything inaccurate, Mr. Posse, please pass it along and i'll correct what's been written.

  • BillyBobBush

    Dave,

    You're my fucking hero man. I agree with Truth, that alot of the comments here completely miss the point, many of them, my own. However, you did a fantastic job of pointing out to Charles and his posse or just Charles, that regardless of the name calling, personal stings, or whatever, it came down to a broken promise that resulted in a huge monetary upswing for these guys. I don't how it can be different no matter how many ways we all try to slice it... Keep up the good work.

  • No active investigation

    If there is sooooo much to this story, how come there is no actual investigation taking place? I'm guessing that no criminal activity has taken place here? If so, why are you guys wasting so much time and energy on it anyway?
    Everybody wants to blame blame blame.

  • NoHeDid-int

    Shit, I'm late to the party. I don't think there is an investigation because no one is claiming they did anything illegal, as far as I can tell. Everyone seems to think they did something immoral, which in this City doesn't mean much. They aren't as bad as Fenty, but still shady fucks as far I can tell.

  • danielle

    You all are so sad and judgemental. Why dont you ask art and charles what happen. There Is nothing shady about either one of them. Art monk especially Is an extremely solid man. Its sad that you just relieve everything you read, and i hope that you are judged for judging them. You all are ridiculous.

  • Former GSF employee

    I wish you had interviewed me when I worked there. I could tell you that the stories were true. We worked with high school youth. And we did have a 100 percent graduation rate from high school. Many of students went off to college, joined the military or became gainfully employeed. The problem was you had an organization doing great things with limited to support from its board. Mindy Lyle was perhaps the only board member aside from Monk and Mann who interacted with the young people (and that was only like once or twice). The late, great former executive director worked as hard as he could to rebrand and rebuild the organization and he stayed with it until it closed. He certainly didn't want the building to be sold but the organization could no longer afford the building and the work nor could it stay operational so it was no choice. Had the other board members worked harder maybe the promises would have been fulfilled.

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