New DC Center Space Is Secure

David Mariner says rumored land swap reported by Business Journal has no bearing on June move

Rumors of a potential land swap that could jeopardize the June relocation of The DC Center, the area’s LGBT community center, were floated in an April 30 article in the Washington Business Journal, but the center’s executive director, David Mariner, assures that the new space is secure.

The Business Journal article included speculation that District government could be considering a land swap in which Akridge, a commercial real-estate company, would turn over its Buzzard Point site in Southwest Washington for a D.C. United Stadium, in return for rights to other city properties – like the city-owned Reeves Center, slated to house The DC Center. The speculation was offered by a ”city official on deep background.”

Mariner says such speculation has no bearing on The DC Center’s relocation.

”If anybody bought [the Reeves Center] from the city, our lease would remain in effect,” Mariner said. ”The new owners would have to honor the agreement.”

Mariner explained that The DC Center has signed a Reeves Center lease that will be in effect for the next 15 years, and that any land swap – particularly anything that would impact The DC Center – is ”all speculation.”

The DC Center is expected to move into the Reeves Center at 14th and U Streets NW in mid-to-late June, when the lease at its current location, 1318 U St. NW, expires, and after the busy LGBT Pride season closes.

The DC Center recently received a $25,000 donation from Washington businessman D.C. Allen, owner of 14th Street’s Crew Club gay gym and spa, to help defray costs of renovations, which are expected to range from $75,000 to $100,000.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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