The economy has taken a toll on the long planned redevelopment of D.C.’s historic Strand Theater, but the signing of a letter of intent with a discount retailer should get the project moving.
Plans remain to transform the former 600-seat movie house at 5131 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave. NE, in the Deanwood neighborhood, into a mixed-use office and retail center. They’re just going to take more time.
The D.C. Council on Wednesday gave the chosen developers, The Warrenton Group and the Washington Metropolitan Community Development Corp., another year to close the deal with city on the District-owned site. It’s the second one year extension that the project, first awarded in 2008, has received.
The developers were required to secure all sources of financing as a precedent to closing. But financing has been a struggle, as a result of the economy and strict lending requirements. One of those lender demands was the signing of a letter of intent with a retailer that would call the new development home.
That LOI is now in place with Family Dollar, the Washington Business Journal has confirmed. Family Dollar currently operates three D.C. stores, on Georgia Avenue NW, H Street NE and Rhode Island Avenue NE.
The Strand, along with an adjacent developer-owned property, will anchor a “commercial use project that will include vibrant, street-front retail, a community and office space and off-street parking,” according to council documents.