The wide lot has frontage on both Naylor Court and on Ninth Street. There is a very old brick structure on the back of the lot fronting Naylor Court (the building is known as "old Abate building "). The old Abate building is in poor shape and is not likely a highly contributing building from an architectural historic perspective. That said, the old Abate building sits in the Naylor Court Historic District and is one of a collection of buildings that are protected by federal law.
I recently heard that the lot has been leased to someone planning to use it as a twenty four hour a day, seven day a week valet lot -- a place where valeted cars will be parked while their owners dine or drink nearby. I certainly see the value in such a lot, given the parking constraints around the convention center. There are two controversial aspects of the plan, however:
First, the lessee has supposedly expressed a desire to get a curb on Ninth Street for easier access. I believe that ANC2F must be given the chance to weigh in on any new curb cut applications, and I am not aware of the ANC having yet had a chance to consider the issue. Without the curb cut, Naylor Court will be negatively impacted by increased traffic in the alley. On the other hand, the curb cut eliminates valuable, publicly available street parking.It will be interesting to see how this plays out. What do you think of the plan for a valet lot? A curb cut? Razing the old Abate building?
Second, the lessee has supposedly expressed an interest in demolishing the old Abate building to maximize the number of spaces available for surface parking. I have heard that the current plan is to keep the structure for now, and possibly to stabilize it for the short-term. Neighbors and those who value alley dwellings and their unique contributions to the character and authenticity of our city and of unique places like Naylor Court are understandably concerned. For now, however, it sounds like the structure is safe.