The controversy-fraught Friendly estate is back on the market. This property, located at 1645 31st St., has been the subject of much turmoil for years. Neighbors likely hope that this step will finally bring an end to it.
The story begins in 2006 when ex-Washington Post executive Marc Teren purchased the property. He wanted to subdivide the property and build a second home (presumably to sell it). The request was repeatedly denied.
Despite the fact that his subdivision plans were thwarted, Teren moved ahead with dramatic renovation plans. Unfortunately, the construction for these plans has stretched out over years and has been repeatedly beset with work stoppages. It would appear that Teren simply ran out of money to complete the job.
And the neighbors have been displeased, as this protest poster that appeared on the property last February can attest:
Edith Schafer had an interesting article in this month’s CAG newsletter. In it she described the current situation of Scheele’s market. (Read this for a background on the situation).
When we last heard from Scheele’s, Marc Teren had agreed to buy the building and lease it out to a community group who would lease it back to Teren on the promise to maintain a market there.
Schafer offers a few more details on Teren’s plans than were previously available. According to Schafer, Teren would like to renovate the store and add a butcher and more fresh fruit and vegetables. He is also planning to take out the parking spaces and expand the store.
What role the Lees, who have operated the store for over 20 years, would play is still unclear. GM has even heard that they may leave as soon as Teren closes on the building, a result few around the neighborhood would be happy with.
Mike Peabody reported today that, as GM predicted, an agreement has been reached to save Scheele’s Market long into the future. The agreement involves an incredibly creative solution to the problem faced by the Save Scheele’s group: namely how can they come up with a legally binding way to ensure that a market will remain on the property without owning the building outright. The solution: they’ll lease it themselves. Peabody’s email explaining it all after the jump:
On Sunday night, approximately 35 people met at Mt. Zion Church to discuss their efforts to ensure that Scheele’s Market remains open. Additionally, they gave an opportunity to the potential purchaser of the property, Marc Teren, to discuss his plans for the property should his offer be accepted. The group’s plans and Teren’s presentation, after the jump:
As described yesterday, a group of Georgetown residents is organizing to help save Scheele’s Market. At yesterday’s ANC meeting, the group’s leader Mike Peabody spoke and solicited participation from the community. Mr. Peabody left too early for GM to get his contact information, but reader Jim McCarthy tracked it down for him. The background story and Mr. Peabody’s contact information after the jump:
In response to GM’s post about the possible sale of the Scheele’s Market building to resident Marc Teren, reader Jim McCarthy wrote:
Anyone relying on Marc Teren’s word as a sign of good news for Scheele’s, shouldn’t get their hopes up. His conduct over the last few years seems like one long, selfish parade of contempt for the historic character and integrity of our neighborhood.
GM can’t verify each of McCarthy’s complaints about Teren, but it does seem fair to say that there are concerns in the neighborhood about Mr. Teren’s promises to keep Scheele’s Market open if he successfully purchases the property. So is there anything the neighborhood can do to hold Teren to his word? There may in fact be. Find out after the jump:
As reported here, the building which houses Scheele’s Market is for sale. The Scheeles are pitching the property as an opportunity to convert it into a single family home. Not surprisingly, this has caused much consternation in the East Village. However, The Georgetown Current brought some reason to hope last week. But this burst of hope is coming from a very unlikely source. Find out why after the jump.