A handful of projects in Shaw are nearing their one-year anniversaries of “breaking ground” without actually much or any making progress: A Burmese restaurant at 1501 9th Street NW, Shiloh Baptist Church’s Victory Village, and CityMarket at O (about which I’ll have more to share soon).
But another development across the city passed that mark a while ago. Donatelli Development’s mix of housing and retail at the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road in Ward 7 started demolition back in May 2010, saying they expected to start construction in the spring of this year.
Here’s the timeline of promises: In January, a Donatelli rep told me Minnesota-Benning “is a priority project and will break ground this year.” In March, the Post reported that Donatelli was seeking a ten-year property tax abatement worth $1.8 million, on land the city had given them for free. In the D.C. Building Industry Association’s August newsletter, principal Chris Donatelli has a short blurb entitled “Minnesota-Benning Coming Soon to Ward 7,” saying the project will start construction “towards the end of this year and into the first quarter of 2012.”
Meanwhile, next week the Council’s Committee on Economic Development will consider a bill that will give the developer another two years to get started. After that, Donatelli confirmed today, he still needs to get that $1.8 million tax abatement past the Council in order to make the financing work.
So, the answer: Maybe. If the Council goes along with Donatelli’s bid for more cash, and agrees to extend the lifespan of their claim to the land. Of course, there aren’t a whole lot of other good options, so they might just give Donatelli what he wants.