Stevens Elementary—Officially the Most Contentious Development Deal of the Year?
Yeah—I think so!
That little downtown building up there is causing a lot of trouble.
Here is a brief history:
- When the legendary Stevens Elementary School closed down, nine companies from around the country bid to take over its West End campus. (That was the greatest number of offers generated from any other school redevelopment opportunity in recent history, except for Hine Junior High School.)
- Then the city selected a developer, but didn't publicly announce its pick because the choice caused such an uproar.
- Then, locals started speaking out, even asking the chosen developer to abandon its plan, and just go away.
- Then—and here's the big news of the day, courtesy of the Washington Business Journal—one thwarted developer, a finalist for the project, announced he was so fed up with the current Adrian Fenty-run administration, he may just run for mayor himself! That man is Don Peebles. Here's some information on this potential challenger! (from the WBJ.)
A graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School who grew up in parts of Northwest and Southeast D.C., Peebles resides in Florida but has a home off of Massachusetts Avenue NW in Ward 3. Although he spent much of the real estate boom doing projects in the South, he has been more visible in D.C. in the last year or two. In town Oct. 17 for the annual gala of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, he said if he were to run for mayor he would not spend his time in Florida. “If I was going to run for mayor of Washington, D.C., that would not be a question,” he said.
Peebles has built a number of multimillion dollar luxury hotels and resorts in Miami Beach, as well as office properties such as 10 G St. NE, making him one of the country’s richest African-Americans.
Image by APK, Wikimedia Commons