D.C. Allen Makes $25,000 DC Center Donation

Crew Club owner's gift targets LGBT center's upcoming relocation

By John Riley
Published on April 4, 2013, 3:18am | Comments

Washington businessman D.C. Allen, owner of 14th Street's Crew Club gay gym and spa, on April 2 announced a donation of $25,000 to The DC Center, the city's LGBT community center, to assist with its upcoming relocation into the Frank D. Reeves Center Municipal Building at 14th and U Streets NW this summer.

In December, Mayor Vincent Gray (D) announced that The DC Center had been selected to occupy space in the District-owned Reeves Center for a period of at least 15 years.

The Center will pay a starting rent of $4,500 per month, with an annual increase of 2.7 percent, for a 15-year lease. The community center also offered $30,000 of its own money to make renovations to the space, but Michelle Ross and Michael Fowler, members of The DC Center's relocation committee, estimate that the remaining cost of renovations to the Reeves Center space could range from $75,000 to $100,000.

''We essentially have to bring it down to the studs and then build it up from scratch,'' Fowler says. ''With the kind of world-class community center we're hoping to build, it can get pricey.''

''We're going to have a dual effort of fundraising and make an effort to attract high-dollar donors,'' Ross, the vice chair of The DC Center's board of directors, adds.

Ross says the LGBT center expects to complete the renovations in order to be able to move in sometime after Capital Pride, in mid-to-late June, which is when its current lease for the space at 1318 U St. NW expires.

Speaking at a ''DC Center associates'' – dedicated monthly donors – reception held Tuesday at TTR Sotheby's International Realty on 14th Street NW, Allen presented David Mariner, the center director, and Michael Sessa, center president, with a $25,000 check.