Housing Complex

Howard Theater Set to Break Ground in August

Actually happening! (www.howardtheater.org)

Actually happening! (www.howardtheater.org)

A bit of news picked up from Shaw Main Streets president Alex Padro and confirmed by Chip Ellis: The long-brewing Howard Theater restoration is finally set to kick off on the 100th anniversary of its opening, August 22.

It seems like a quick turnaround. Back in March, Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham was saying that the Theater project "doesn't appear to be ready to move forward," and diverting $710,000 from its designated pot of money over to a relocation grant for the United Negro College Fund. Ellis had hoped to have the theater finished by the centennial, but it took longer than expected to convince banks to sign on–and then his fundraising consultant had to sue the non-profit that was overseeing the venue's redevelopment. But the combination of bank financing, tax credits, and private fundraising seems to have reached critical mass, and now the only thing left to do is for the Council to perform an alley closing, which it's scheduled to do on July 6th.

So, 2010: A big summer for Shaw.

  • vacant

    DC needs to stop giving tax breaks to these slumlords. The only 'break' they should get is the non-vacant tax rate when they redevelop their property.

  • Sued the non-profit?

    The DC gov't is the slumlord in this case, since they own the Howard.

    I think you have a fact incorrect here: Ellis didn't sue the non-profit, he is the non-profit that got sued by a fundraiser, IIRC.

  • Lydia DePillis

    According to the Business Journal, it was Ellis' fundraising consultant who sued the non-profit, which was associated with but separate from the Howard Theater Development Group. I've updated to clarify.



  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    It's about time!

  • Stevek

    Some historic preservation types associated with the Howard Theatre Preservation group are opposed to the Ellis Group's plan to modify the Howard from a theatre to a theatre/cabaret-nightclub with some seats removed (ala the State Theatre in Falls Church it sounds like).

  • vacant

    Doah, forgot the dc ownership and was more focused on the wonderbread factory and other buildings around the corner that I have to walk by every day. BTW, on that factory, Douglas has paid $0.00 in tax since 2008. If it was taxed at the old 5% vacant, that's over $300,000/yr the city would have, of course since it was douglas it was never vacant or blighted.