Landmark U Street Building Goes on Auction Block

Thanks to a reader for sending this link from Alex Cooper Real Estate announcing:

“Two-story commercial building with approximately 12,070 square feet of gross building area. Land area is approximately 6,232 square feet and is zoned CR within the Arts District Overlay which allows mixed use development.”

The reader writes:

“The building that houses Station 9 – or used to, don’t know if its still open – is going to Auction on June 3rd.”

This is located at 1438 U Street, NW just east of 15th St, near the gas station. I’ve never actually been inside but from the outside it looks like an amazing building. I think a Tryst type diner would do great here. What do you think would work best here?

Keep in mind that those bidding in the auction will need at least $280,000 just for the deposit… With the deposit that high any guesses as to what price this will probably go for?

21 Comment

  • Often it seems that properties are referred to Alex Cooper for auction, then a last-minute agreement with the lender/owner takes them off the block

  • It’s a marque property, but it’s in an awkward location and probably has a number of annoying building restrictions (i’ve never been inside).

    The building is going to be expensive which makes rent expensive which will make running a coffee shop profitably kind of difficult. A really nice restaurant could go there (I am thinking white linen), but then it’s U St which is a different crowd.

    • No, Chris, you’ve definitely been in there before. You and I used to tend bar there together back in the late ’90s.

    • I thought U st has a moratorium on new restaurants.

      • Nope. They increased the %age allowed for restaurants and are talking about increasing it even further at some upcoming meeting.

    • why a coffee shop? there are already 3 within a short distance – cake love, the gas station next to it (best coffee ever) and the other places just east. I’m thinking one business would find it hard to survive, the place is huge and the rent will probably be the same

      • Comparing Tryst to the gas station that has coffee is a bit strange. A Tryst-like place would rock there.

  • I was wondering when Station 9 was going to go out of business (wait, are they out of business?). That place was TERRIBLE.

  • I can recall when the building was first renovated about 10 years ago, the owners touted it as some sort of conference center and gave neighborhood tours (in a futile attempt to have neighbors consent to an ABC license). Problem was, the inside looked like a dance club, not a conference center. It didn’t succeed as a conference center, and apparently hasn’t as a restaurant. For the place to work as anything other than a club, it would need to have the interior entirely redone.

    • It was absolutely a club. The owners made a grand show of touting it’s non-club aspects prior to opening in order to get a liquor license, but walk by after midnight on Friday or Saturday. Income from the club financed whatever facade they had for the restaurant or whatever (food was godawful). I guess it didn’t bring in enough! It’s a beautiful building. Would work really well as a brewpub if DC code allowed them outside of the city core 🙁

      • +1 BREWPUB would be amazing there

      • “…. if DC code allowed them outside of the city core”

        they can only exist downtown?
        how is the “city core” defined?
        how many brew pubs do we have anyway? chop house and cap city are the only ones i can think of.

        • Chop House and Cap City (Union Station and Metro Center) ARE the only ones and there is a reason for it. I can’t dig up a good link, but my understanding is that zoning only allows for brew-on-premise operations in a very small footprint of downtown basically as far away from residential development as possible.

          There is a group trying to open an honest-to-god commercial brewery in DC ( I wish them good luck! It would likely be somewhere in NE or some other industrial-ish area where the property costs would make sense. Again, I don’t believe they are aiming for a brewpub, but a brewing/bottling operation.

  • I think it was a club a couple years ago.

  • I think it was a club too. I have a vague memory of a friend dragging me in there once, shortly after I’d moved to the area 5 years ago. He was fluent in Russian and there was some kind of Eastern European party going on.

  • It used to be a club called Cada Vez.

  • A Good Vibrations?

  • Wasn’t this the club that the crazy ANC guy went to and video-taped and harassed latino gays at? Also, the former Platinum club downtown (900 block of F street) sold for $10 mil; it’s got a similar facade, no clue which is bigger, or more desirable.

  • Yeah! we need some microbrew in DC!

  • It was bought for 4.2mil 3 years ago so I would guess its on the market for 4.5mil. That building could be a cornerstone to the 14th/Ust corridor.

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