The June 13 annual meeting of the Georgetown Business Improvement District featured two business newcomers, several community-award winners and Council member Jack Evans, who spoke about Georgetown and Metro (not in the same sentence).
Evans’s good news/bad news report touched on how D.C.’s budget hit $14 billion with over $2.5 billion in reserve, how Metro was once a marvel, how today is the golden age of Georgetown (he says this all the time, but it’s true) and how nice it is to have Kalorama in his ward, with the Obamas, the Trump people and Jeff Bezos.
Problems? Public education, affordable housing, the homeless. Evans as Metro chairman? “I was standing there, and everyone stepped back,” he joked. But there’s no joking about deferred maintenance for 15 years. The Red Line? With a tunnel done on the cheap, now leaking.
The BID report started with a slick video showing CEO Joe Sternlieb reading and wincing over such “mean tweets” as “Your gondola cars look like pregnant telephone booths.” The group saluted its departing treasurer Jay Freedman, who pegged the BID budget at $4,059,208 with total expenses at $3,844,302 (program costs of $2,970,625 plus operations costs of $873,677).
There was a casual discussion with newcomers Jessica Sands (Glass) of Basil Street Management, which has brought eateries to 3210 Grace St. NW, and David Cohen of Thor Equities, which will soon reconstruct the Latham Hotel property at 3000 M St. NW. Both of them said they fell in love with Georgetown. “It’s got character, legacy and authenticity,” Cohen said. Sands, who said she always asks if a new venture is “Amazon-proof,” mentioned that the firm fixed up the cobblestone alley off Grace Street. “People have zigged,” she said. “We’ve zagged.”
Expect the two-year Latham property construction to begin in July, Cohen said. The shuttered La Madeleine restaurant will be demolished to make a larger retail space next to the hotel, which will have a restaurant looking out onto the National Park Service’s mule yard at the C&O Canal.
Not mentioned at the meeting per se? That the convenience store Wawa has plans for a Georgetown corner operation (but that’s a whole other story).
Awards and New Board Members
■ Georgetown BID Community Leadership Award: Jessica and Ezra Glass, Basil Street Management — For their Outstanding Work on 3210 Grace Street
■ Georgetown BID Community Leadership Award: Alafongis Family, Robert Bell and the Mizrahi Family — For their Outstanding Work on Wisconsin Avenue
■ Georgetown BID Clean Team Ambassador of the Year Award: Derek Metcalf
■ New board members: Tenants (one-year term): Paul Monsees, Foley & Lardner; September Rinnier, Tuckernuck; Kathryn Moore, Athleta. Owner (three-year term): Kennett Marshall, Friends of the Legal Services Corporation.