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Zoning commission to consider 11-story office/retail project at 1000 F Street NW

Jemal's Up Against the Wall

View from down the street

An 11-story office and retail building is planned near Ford’s Theater at 10th and F Streets NW. The Douglas Development building will be home to about 90,000 square feet of office space and about 7,800 of retail--likely apparel.

"We were instrumental in bringing apparel to F street," says Norman Jemal, principal and senior vice president of Douglas Development. "We’ve seen a strong and continued interest from other apparel retailers."

Douglas Development has already brought J.Crew, Anthropologie and Zara to the Chinatown area, Jemal adds, and residents and shoppers can expect more of the same caliber apparel to move into the new space by spring 2015. Completion date for the project is set for about 18 months from construction start, which will be about mid-2014.

"It’s a magnificent project of terra-cotta brick and glass; a high-end building, it’s going to help clean up the street a little bit more," says Jemal. "The area has come a long way and this will go a long way to continue the renaissance of that street."

The Zoning Commission will hold a hearing May 2 regarding the proposed building, which falls within the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site. While the project has already obtained the Historic Preservation Board Review’s approval, the Zoning Commission will  hear Douglas’s proposed modifications to the original design. One of the biggest proposed modifications entails reducing the underground parking garage from four to two levels and converting the remaining parking to valet only.

The building has been dubbed Jemal’s Up Against the Wall, which is also the name of the subsidiary of Douglas Development overseeing the project. While some online have speculated the name is a reference to the 2006 FBI raids on supposed brothels running in two of the buildings Douglas obtained for the project, Jemal says that is not the case.

"The name had nothing to do with brothels," he says. "There used to be a retailer in there, Up Against the Wall, an apparel retailer there for a long time."

Read more articles by Lisa Spinelli.

Lisa Spinelli is Elevation DC's development editor as well as a freelance journalist, copy editor and mother of two. After receiving her Master of Science in print journalism from Columbia University in 2004, Lisa worked across the country and in Italy as a journalist, editor and Web editor. Her website LisaSpinelli.com has links to a smattering of her published clips.
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