That firehouse on North Cap you all love

There are a couple of emails floating around on the different listservs about the empty firehouse on North Capitol NW. On the Bloomingdale DC list the RFP for the firehouse was posted. The only concern I have for it was there is a historic designation pending. I worry that it may add costs and make it a little less attractive price wise. Other wise, make it retail and so they can share parking with Soul Day Spa on that spot on the corner of North Cap and Florida.
But what is more exciting came from the Truxton Circle dispatch yesterday via the Scot Robert’s Bloomingdale listserv (wait how many f*ing listservs does Bloomingdale have?)…. Mike Benson of Cafe Saint Ex, which a bunch of you like, is interested in the firehouse. WOOT!!!
Now if my coding works there should be a link to the email regarding the RFP for the firehouse…. (okay click on comments for full post)
The following was on the Bloomingdale Listserv:
Subject: Fwd: [BloomingdaleDC] RFP coming for the old firehouse at N. Cap & Quincy NW

FYI – Bloomingdale keeps stretching further and further!
Subject: [BloomingdaleDC] RFP coming for the old firehouse at N. Cap & Quincy NW
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 02:47:08 -0700 (PDT)

See the information sheet below from reSTORE DC about the upcoming request for proposals (RFP) for Bloomingdale’s old firehouse at North
Capitol Street NW and Quincy Place NW. Susan Cheng, Konrad Schlater, and John McGaw of the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development have been invited to this evening’s ANC 5C meeting to discuss the future of the firehouse. Tonight’s ANC 5C meeting is being held at Edgewood Terrace Senior Building, 635 Edgewood Street NE, 9th Floor (Crawford Hall). (Visit for more information.)
It’s exciting to see this attention over one of Bloomingdale’s beautiful buildings. Old Engine Company 12 Disposition: Information Sheet


The District of Columbia is seeking to sell or lease Old Engine Company 12, the historic firehouse located at 1626 North Capitol Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. The DC Fire Department determined that the firehouse is surplus property. In March, 2005, the Office of Property Management transferred the firehouse to ReSTORE DC, and any net sale proceeds will benefit the Commercial Revitalization Trust Fund, which assists in the retention, expansion and attraction of neighborhood-serving retail
stores. The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (ODMPED) is soliciting input on the disposition of the firehouse from the affected Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, community and civic organizations. After this process is completed, ODMPED will then issue the Solicitation of Offers, select a developer, and finally, introduce a disposition resolution to Council.

Firehouse Description
Old Engine Company 12 is a Spanish Colonial style firehouse located on North Capitol Street, NW, at North Capitol Street and Quincy Place NW. Designed and constructed by the municipal architect in 1897, it is one of the DistrictÂ?s 29 pre-World War II firehouses. These firehouses, dating from 1864 to 1939, were designed as landmarks for their respective neighborhoods. They are significant not only for their architectural merits and diversity, but also for their socioeconomic impacts on their neighborhoods, as the firehouses influenced subsequent residential and commercial development. Engine 12 moved into new quarters in 1987, leaving behind one of the finest firehouses the city has known. Today it sits vacant.

Building Properties

Property Address: 1626 North Capitol Street, NW
Legal Description: Square 3101/Lot 1 (the Â?PropertyÂ?)
Site Area: 5,000 square ft
Building Area: 12,500 square feet (estimated)

Floor-to-Area Ratio: The allowed FAR for the property is 2.5, of which no more than 1.5 can be for residential uses.

Current Zoning: C-2-A. By right development for this area is defined as a community business center district designed for medium density shopping, business, housing and mixed uses.

Historic Designation: Pending hearing

Environmental Status: There is no registered Underground Storage Tank System (UST). A 500 gallon gasoline UST was removed in 1999.

Potential Uses

Offerors have maximum flexibility in their development proposals to address the various selection criteria. Offers should address the disposition of Old Engine Company 12 as an historic building and include uses that will stabilize and enhance the neighborhood. Uses that are most desirable are those that will serve the immediate community, such as:

· Retail,
· Office,
· Housing and
· Cultural.

Of these uses, the ODMPED has a strong preference for ground-floor retail and cultural uses. These ideal uses would enable the building to retain its historic role as a community/civic landmark in the District as well as allow the building to be accessible by more of the public. Any proposal with a housing component must include a minimum 20% of housing gross floor area as housing affordable to households at no more than 80% of HUD Area Median Income. Any proposal with an office component will need a zoning text amendment, which the ODMPED would support. The ODMPED believes that office use on the upper floors would provide a greater
supply of daytime customers likely to support a ground floor retail business, especially if the proposed use of the space is for a restaurant.

Process: Tentative Timeline of Events


ODMPED will brief Councilmember Orange and staff.
ODMPED will brief ANC 5C.
ODMPED staff to conduct meetings/conference calls with community members and civic associations.


Issue solicitation by June 30 / July 1, 2005.


Responses to solicitation due by July 30, 2005.


Within 60 days of the selection of the developer, we will generate a Purchase & Sale Agreement for the property.


On behalf of Mayor Williams, ODMPED will introduce a disposition resolution to Council with the Purchase and Sale Agreement attached to the Committee of the Whole (COW).


Council holds a public hearing and votes on the Proposed Resolution by November 1, 2005.

Questions? Please contact Susan Cheng, Capital City Fellow, at 202-727-6880 or Konrad Schlater, Project Coordinator, at 202-727-6934.

Prepared by the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.

2 thoughts on “That firehouse on North Cap you all love”

  1. gah – we just had our 2 year anniversary in this house, and I didn’t know Bloomingdale had a listserve, much less TWO! MM, would you mind emailing that to N’s address?


    PS – LOVE Cafe Saint-Ex!

  2. i heard that office of planning already knows that some dc agency’s goin in there.
    i really hope that isnt true.

    also. bloomingdale , as such, only has one listserve.
    eckington overlaps the southern portion of bloomingdale. and truxton circle shares similar problems and the hopes of a revitalized north capitol!

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