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Monday, August 03, 2009

Thinking About: Fourteenth Street Galleries Should Move to Shaw

On Friday, the Post reported that rising rents on Fourteenth Street are calling into serious question whether the cluster of galleries on the street can remain in place. In particular, notable art purveyors G Fine Art, the Curator's Office, Adamson Gallery, and Hemphill Fine Arts are all located in1515 Fourteenth Street, Northwest, and, after years of paying subsidized, under-market rent, face unprecedented rent hikes.

I think there is a strong business case for these galleries to move a few blocks east to re-establish themselves in the 1200 or 1300 block of Ninth Street, Northwest, or in the 1000 block of Seventh Street, Northwest in Shaw. Proximity to the convention center, the metro and two circulator lines, several white table cloth restaurants (and others in the pipeline), downtown Washington, and to their current Logan Circle client base make Shaw a desirable locale for the galleries. Rents in Shaw are lower than on Fourteenth Street, while the buildings exude character. Additionally, there are several available spaces clustered together that could mimic the synergy the galleries have on Fourteenth Street. For example, on Ninth Street, there is a fantastic space with great street frontage adjacent to Long View Gallery's upcoming new location at 1234 Ninth Street; The Nine has a fantastic, large new ground floor retail space; the second floor of The Exchange is available; and the former home of Long View Gallery at 1302 Ninth Street is now available.


Anonymous said...

Are you sure that the rent is that much more affordable in Shaw? Commense sense would say so but I wonder if places, such as the exchange or the Nine, don't have ridiculous rents. I know a studio in the exchange was going for $1500/mo - that's pretty much a Logan rate.

Shaw Rez said...

My observation is that rents are considerably cheaper on Ninth Street. For example, the former home to Long View Gallery (which closed on 7/31 and will reopen after buildout of its new, larger space at 1234 9th Street, NW, in late September) is available for about $3100/month. It is a ground floor retail space of about 1,000 square feet with a large bay window. Also for example, the asking price for the large ground floor space in 1314 9th Street was $2500/month. Comprable spaces on Fourteenth Street would be much more expensive (I think PlanB, for example, pays like 5k for its space).

I don't know what Douglas Development is asking for the second floor space in The Exchange, for the adjacent space to Long View Gallery in their new home at 1234 9th, or for the un-renovated row homes between Modern Liquors and Bell Architects. Likewise, I don't know what the Nine rental rate is. But it seems that market rate is lower on Ninth than on Fourteenth.

Anonymous said...

I think that the retail space at "the nine" is going for $40 a square foot. I was shocked to find that out on the klnb website.