Metro Weekly

Town 2.0 Sues to Terminate Lease for St. Phillip’s Church

Town 2.0 claims the building's owner breached its contract by failing to fulfill its obligations and complete necessary renovations.

"Town 2.0"
St. Phillip’s Church

The construction of the highly anticipated LGBTQ nightclub “Town 2.0,” which was slated to open in the former St. Phillip’s Church building on North Capitol St. NE, has indefinitely stalled, raising questions about whether — and when — the promised nightlife venue will ever open.

On April 2, Town 2.0 LLC filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court against Jemal’s Sanctuary LLC, an affiliate of Douglas Development Corporation and the owner of the former St. Phillip’s Church building. The lawsuit alleges breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.

According to the agreed-upon terms of the lease, Jemal’s Sanctuary was obligated to perform critical life safety structural work and other work on the premises.

However, four-and-a-half years after the lease was signed on September 9, 2019, Town 2.0 — the brainchild of longtime nightlife entrepreneurs Ed Bailey, John Guggenmos, and Jim Boyle — claims that Jemal’s Sanctuary has failed to fulfill its obligations, including but not limited to performing specific “Landlord Work” as required by the lease. 

According to Town 2.0, Jemal’s Sanctuary failed to meet load level requirements for the premises, neglected to repair and maintain the former church’s antique stained-glass windows; failed to complete the replacement of the building’s roof and related structural repairs; and failed to finish re-pointing the building’s brick exterior.

The lawsuit also claims Jemal’s Sanctuary failed to repair and replace cornices, chimney, and an exterior staircase; failed to assure the structural integrity of the building’s walls, foundation, and roof; failed to perform essential tasks, such as the leveling of the second floor and sealing the edifice; and failed to maintain a clean and sanitary environment inside the building, including areas that were “soiled by wildlife infestation.”

Due to this lack of progress and alleged failure to remedy the aforementioned potential hazards, Town 2.0 has sued to terminate its lease and is seeking damages for the financial losses incurred due to the delays in construction.

Due to the ongoing litigation, a spokesperson for Town 2.0 declined comment.

A spokesperson for Douglas Development was not immediately available for comment.

This is a developing story.

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