Yesterday, GM wondered out loud why exactly the Jackson Art Center was on the ANC agenda. He found out. As he suspected, the matter relates to the lease between the artists and the city.
The Jackson School was used as an elementary school by the District until 1971. In 1980, the space began being used as artists studios. It has been used that way ever since, although the city still owns the building.
The lease between the art center and the city was apparently being negotiated recently when a third party came in with an unsolicited bid to buy the building from the city (presumably to convert the building into condos). This bid brought the lease negotiations to a halt.
The neighbors strongly support the artists’ continued use of the building. And apparently Jack Evans office has become involved to get the lease negotiations back on track.
As GM mentioned yesterday, this is exactly what the artists expressed concern about at the time the city was selling the Hurt Home (well not exactly, they feared that the city would put the building up for sale, not that a unsolicited bid would come in). GM is almost always in favor of adding more housing units to Georgetown, but not when it comes at the cost of eliminating a fantastic resource like the Jackson Art Center. Hopefully this will turn out for the best.