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At the end of the month, the Funky Fleamarket‘s lease at the Gallaudet University-owned parking lot on 6th Street NE is up. They’re hoping to relocate to another parking lot owned by Howard University on 8th Street NW, not because Gallaudet hasn’t been happy to have them: Rather, that site is now “targeted for development” and the school plans to “change the use of the lot.”
Of course, the site has been targeted for development for some time now. Back in 2006, the Council approved support for a $1.2 billion project to turn the 24-acre site into the “New Town at Capital City Market,” with condos, restaurants, and a warehouse district. In 2009, they approved a Small Area Plan for the neighborhood, which seemed to disregard the New Town plan completely.
The parcel to the north of the Funky Flea Market’s parking lot is jointly owned by J Street Development and Edens and Avant, and it’s still in limbo. “Separately, Gallaudet is in continuing discussions with a developer that owns property adjacent to Gallaudet’s property on 6th Street regarding the future plans for that location,” said Fred Weiner, Gallaudet’s director of program development. “At the moment, no specific plans for that area are in place.” (A J Street spokeswoman deferred to Gallaudet).
One X factor here is the impact of newly-minted Councilmember Vincent Orange‘s impact on the market: He was the main force behind the New Town project, which would have helped property owner Sang Oh Choi, a big-time backer of Orange’s failed mayoral bid. The planned unit development for Choi’s land was approved in 2008, but hasn’t moved since.