Tuesday, April 1, 2008

artomatic 2008: cloud behind the silver lining?

now, i try not to be pessimistic about things, but i can't help seeing things from a glass half-empty point of view sometimes. it's been a point of pride and excitement around the neighborhood that artomatic is going to be coming to noma swampoodle next month. i'm all for it too. i'm a real DC partisan...better that it's going to be here than across the river in arlington, i say.

here's the problems though. there are two:

1) how much of an economic boost can it give to the neighborhood? not much, i say. given that there aren't a ton of restaurants for people to frequent before or after visiting the show, outside of pound coffee on 2nd street. unless you go to mcdonald's or wendy's, and i don't consider that edible.

2) the building it's located in, 1200 first street NE (pictured above and to the left). it's great that there's a TON of space for an arts show. a whole first class office building! wait a minute, you're saying class-A office space, not a warehouse? what's an entire class-A office building sitting vacant for?

that's my biggest question here. sure, we have the DOJ, ATF, and NPR moving into noma swampoodle, but they're all government agencies (or quasi-government, in the case of NPR). don't we need some more big private money to make the investment in the neighborhood for it to thrive? yeah, harris teeter is coming too, but this big-old office building has been done for a long time now (at least a year, i think) and no one has moved in. i would think that the owner of the building, at least, is concerned.

maybe i'm just blowing smoke here, but do you think we should see this office space filling up more quickly?


John W DC said...

The building management may be looking for a mega lease and not allowing smaller offices.

Or quite possibly the price per sq foot is too high. They'll probably get it once the Harris Teeter is opened.

Anonymous said...

Hey just a note: Busboys and Poets will be a Lounge Sponsor and will program the space with lots and lots of poetry.

Alan Page said...

will they include busboys and poets food with that poetry? man cannot live on prose alone. :-)

Anonymous said...

When the EEOC was looking for space (and ended up in the One NoMa Station building) Capital Plaza was the other finalist.

Anonymous said...

apparently, they're close to announcing a tenant.

and yes, it's a "mega lease".