Shakespeare Theatre and its developer continue to ignore the neighborhood’s many and varied concerns about a high-rise at 501 Eye Street SW. Today, Shakespeare Theatre distributed a Notice of Intent to File a Zoning Application, the end result of which would be two buildings at the site, and at least one of them would be 7 stories tall.
Shakespeare Theatre had $81 million in assets in 2010 and only $17 million in liabilities. They bought the Southeastern University property, which is as big as half a city block, at the foreclosure price of $6.5 million. Instead of doing any fundraising to buy the property, Shakespeare Theatre partnered with a developer, who said they needed to build 136 market-rate high-rise apartments on the site to recoup the cost of giving Shakespeare Theatre 3 below-ground levels. These numbers don’t add up.
Sitting less than half a mile from The Wharf development, 501 Eye Street SW is some extremely valuable property. Don’t believe for a moment Shakespeare Theatre’s only option is to build a neighborhood-killing high-rise at 501 Eye Street. Greed and a lack of respect for the neighborhood are foremost in this project.