Housing Complex

Italian Shirt Laundry is No More; Owner Settles Lawsuit With Architects

Remember that exciting new concept coming to the old shirt laundry building on 14th and Q NW? The would-be restauranteur, Whisk Group, has finally given up the fight after pouring more than $50,000 into preparation–only to decide that foundation upgrades, soil remediation, and renovation would cost more than he'd bargained for.

"At this point, we're backing out," says Whisk Group owner Mark Weiss. "I'd like to think that if it's meant to be, maybe things will change. We just have to be careful."

Also hitting Weiss in the pocketbook: A lawsuit over unpaid fees from architect CORE Group, which claimed in late February that Whisk owed them more than $125,000 for consulting on six projects, five of which are in the District. Besides Shirt Laundry, CORE billed tens of thousands of dollars on two prospective K Street projects that never saw the light of day, as well as $16,896 for services related to the ill-fated Diamond District Seafood.

Despite the extensive terms and conditions listed in their contract, Weiss says he disagreed with CORE's calculation of what he owes, and the two firms will settle for a sum less than $125,000, which he declined to specify.

"In the end of the day, we came to an agreement of what was fair," Weiss says. "When you go into projects together, and no real architecture has been done yet, or renderings, there's a certain amount of money that should be associated with it."

  • Chris

    Too bad for the parties involved. But, ultimatly for the best. A characterless, 1-story building is a poor use of valuable land. This site needs to be redeveloped as a 5-7 story mixed use project. Hopefully, this will push that along.

  • Ben

    So who owns the building at this point? It's become a complete eyesore--covered in graffiti and posters, debris getting blown off the roof, etc. Since it appears nothing is going to happen here for the forseeable future, it would be nice if the property owner were to engage in some minimal level of upkeep.

  • Rick Mangus

    The big trouble with building on this site is that it's contaminated from years of toxic chemicals and will cost a small fortune to eradicate!

  • Rick Mangus

    Maybe they could apply to the EPA and get a Super Fund grant to clean-up this mess!

  • Bob See

    About half of the CORE lawsuit document is blacked out, is it messed up or censored?

  • Joe Blow

    This is nothing, you should see the mess Whisk has left in San Francisco, they walked away from leases and have stopped paying rent, left more than one architect unpaid, in excess of $100,000, as well as a long list of unpaid, disgruntled realtors, consultants and engineers.....The house of cards is falling.