Downtowner DC January 15, 2019

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Courtesy Trump Hotels.

FRIEDMAN TO BID FOR TRUMP HOTEL

Investor and developer Brian Friedman is planning to bid for the lease of the Trump International Hotel in the Old Post Office building near the White House, possibly in partnership with Hilton or Rosewood, according to the Washington Post. Friedman said the building is underperforming and President Trump would be smart to sell his interest while still in office.

COUNCIL MAY RESTRICT E-CIGS

The District Council held a public hearing earlier this month on legislation that would require a prescription to buy e-smoking devices or liquid and ban sales of flavored e-cigarettes and vaping devices in a quarter-mile radius of a middle or high school. Vaping industry reps argued that the bill would limit access to a means of quitting cigarette smoking.

LANES CLOSED FOR METRO FIX

Concerns that a Metro ventilation shaft under 17th Street between I and K Streets NW, near Farragut Square, are not structurally sound enough to support traffic led to a closure of lanes on Dec. 20. Metro has now initiated a project to replace the steel supports and grates and repair the shaft lining. One lane in each direction will be closed for approximately four months.

CAR2GO LEAVING D.C.

The tiny Car2Go vehicles seen around town will be leaving by the end of February. The German company called Share Now that runs Car2Go is exiting North America, where it also operates in New York, Montreal, Seattle and Vancouver. In Europe, the company will be leaving London, Brussels and Florence.

Courtesy Car2Go.

E-SCOOTER EXPANSION PAUSED

D.C. has put the kickstand down on its e-scooter plans. Rather than reduce the number of providers to four, which would then add thousands of vehicles in 2020, all eight companies currently operating will continue to do so through at least March 31. Some of the companies left out in last December’s winnowing decided to appeal; DDOT will now consider all valid appeals submitted no later than Jan. 2.

Courtesy Uber.

MASONIC TEMPLE HEARING POSTPONED

The mayor’s agent for historic preservation has postponed a hearing regarding plans for the Masonic Temple property at 16th and S Streets NW from Jan. 10 to Feb. 7. The 10 a.m. hearing, at 1100 4th St. SW, Suite E200, concerns a project to build apartments next to the landmark temple. The announcement was made without explanation.

4 MURDERS KICK OFF 2020

There was a violent start to the new year in D.C., with four murders in the first five days. Charles Robinson, 60, was found shot in the 2000 block of 19th Place SE; Dy’Mani Priestley, 22, was found with a stab wound in the 1200 block of U Street NW; Anthony Ward, 39, was found shot in a residence in the first block of K Street NW; and Xavier Tate, 26, was found shot in a residence in the 1400 block of Third Street SW.

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