The invaluable Michael Niebauer reports this morning that developer Jim Abdo is pulling out of a 16-acre, $1.1 billion mixed-use project on New York Avenue NE. The plan was approved as a planned unit development over two years ago, but the financing never came together, and Abdo is finally calling it quits. Instead, he’s helping owner Gerald Schaeffer find another use for the site, which will more likely go retail rather than residential.
“I think it’s safe to say the current credit market and the current economic climate do not make the vision of Arbor Place an immediate possibility,” Abdo said. “If our vision can’t be implemented, why not be a supportive citizen if it’s going to benefit our city? There’s no misgivings on our part. No animosity toward the Schaeffers. We just want to see something productive and positive happen.”
Gerald Schaeffer, a member of the Schaeffer family that owns numerous D.C. taxicab companies, First Washington Insurance Co. and a great deal of District real estate, said Abdo paid his “very sizeable” options on time, but his vision for work force housing there was “a little bit ahead of its time” given the busy intersection is more than a mile from the nearest Metro station.
More visions of what could have been over at DCMetrocentric.