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sounds to me like someone wants to make sure the streetcar tunnels under dupont are used for anything OTHER THAN running streetcars.

after decades of nobody caring about those tunnels, it JUST SO HAPPENS that the moment DC takes delivery on shiny new streetcars, suddenly people are so eager to develop the streetcars tunnels under dupont circle in such a way that would prevent streetcars from being run through them. It JUST SO HAPPENS that they are in a big rush to do something with the tunnels in a big huge hurry that would make running the shiny new streetcars under dupont in streetcar tunnels impossible.

Yes, just totally a coincidence!

From GGW: "Some people asked about the possibility of restoring the space as a streetcar station in the future. Goradia said that ODMPED is talking with DDOT about their plans and may go for a shorter-term lease to accommodate that.

DDOT has no plans to build a streetcar on Connecticut Avenue, and with a Metro line there, the need has diminished a great deal since a streetcar last ran under Dupont. Still, this was built as a streetcar station and if a streetcar ever comes back to the area, it should certainly use the station. "

Letter I sent to the Deputy Mayors Office with suggestions on developing the Dupont Down Under.

Dear Deputy Mayors Office, April 7, 2010

I’m writing concerning the “Dupont Down Under” and what will become of this location in the future.

Approximately 2 months ago, I submitted to Paul Williams, Executive Director of “Historic Dupont Circle Mainstreet” who was compiling suggestion from local residents of Dupont Circle to deliver to your office, some well thought out suggestions of what I felt would be good use of the location making it a major in city attraction for years to come, while generating an opportunity for up & coming Artist, Crafters & Designers to take the next step to become established new business owners.

At that time, I referred Paul to a similar project in NYC named The Limelight MarketPlace, which is still underway, but due to hold the Grand Opening in late April. The LimeLight MarketPlace will be located in NYC's Chelsea section. The LimeLight is a Huge Old Church that was in past years one of NYC's hottest gay/straight nightclubs. It then closed and sat vacant for several years. It is now being converted into a Boutique Market Place - giving preference to up and coming Artist, Crafters & Fashion Designers at an affordable price. By affordable, I’ve been told that they have structured a POS System for all merchant vendors to tie into (required) and the merchant vendors would pay their lease fees based on their sales volume each month, making this an affordable venture for any up and coming start up Artist, Crafter & Designer. This is something that I believe would work very well in the Dupont Circle area, while giving an opportunity to up and coming Artist, Crafters & Designers in the DC area. I myself am a well established and still up and coming Handcraft Jewelry Designer. I've currently been looking for a location to open a store in this area and have become very frustrated with the over inflated leasing rates. Here's a couple of links to the LimeLight MarketPlace websites if you would like to check it out.



Additionally, a friend and well known local Belt & T-Shirt Designer, Jon Wye, who started out at Eastern Market several years ago…has signed a lease at the LimeLight MarketPlace in NYC and is in the process of preparing for his store opening late in April. He actually has some pictures of his proposed store build out on his website that might interest you, since it’s a similar project as to what I’m suggesting for the Dupont Down Under. Pictures are on the Home Page of his website….just page down. Exciting times for a local DC Designer that ended up opening his first store in NYC and not in DC due to the high lease rates and little opportunity for up and coming business owners to find affordable opportunities to get started here in the District of Columbia.


As far as leasing requirements for the “Dupont Down Under” Project, I would suggest that there would be strict leasing guidelines that would need to be established & met to ensure that NO national & commercial chains be permitted to lease space in this venue. Additionally, I would suggest that a jury committee be tasks with reviewing & interviewing each lease candidate for quality and proper balance & fit for this venue. This would ensure continuity throughout this project…such as not too many vendors in any specific category, giving an even balance of categories throughout the Artist, Crafter, Designer Market Place.

I would also make these permanent lease agreements, perhaps in 1-year contracts, making it easier for start up vendors. The space would not be your usual large store spaces, but smaller spaces to afford more variety for shoppers throughout this market place like setting. The LimeLight Market Place was able to get 80 smaller store spaces out of their location. There is a floor plan on their website.

I would definitely not make this a place where the vendors rotate weekly or anything like that. We have plenty of open-air markets throughout the DC Metro area for those types of vendors. This venue would be an opportunity for those vendors that would like to take the next step towards becoming an established new business owner.

OK, I’ve covered the Artist, Crafter & Designer Market Place Portion, but I understand that there are several sections to the “Dupont Down Under” and my suggestions for the remaining sections are as follows. Make a quaint, up scale, eclectic Jazz, Blues, Martini Lounge section…not nightclubs or just bars. This is something that would definitely be a draw to the area. Other things to consider for other sections would be…..NY Style Deli’s, Wine & Cheese Market’s and places like that. Also, I understand that a one time back when the old “Dupont Down Under” was being proposed, there was a Gym that was interested in the East Section and I think that this might also be something to consider.

Now, here’s probably the most important part of all this. Once the decisions have been made and all starts to move forward, there must be established 1 and only 1 Grand Opening date for all sections of the entire “Dupont Down Under” with a heavy hitting advertising campaign, which is heavily endorsed by not only the city, but by the Arts community and other related sponsors. This is a must to ensure the total success of this type of project for years to come. It must be something that is advertised as the place that everyone wants to be and the place to go in DC for years to come. It needs to make news in order to be successful. Also, all 9 entrances need to be open for access to all areas of the Down Under and these entrances should all be designed for maximum exposure to the “Dupont Down Under” so that people see these coming from any direction in a way so that even someone driving by will notice and ask….”What’s the “Dupont Down Under”. MAXIMUM EXPOSURE!

As a patron, I know I would frequent a place like this. Actually, I thought that the original attempt of the Dupont Down Under was suppose to be more like this....so, you can imagine my disappointment the first time I went there upon opening several years ago....only to find mostly fast food chains...UGH. We have plenty of them around already. Let’s not make that same mistake again.

OK, I know this was long, but I’ve live in DC for many years and feel pretty strongly about this particular project. I’ve seen this city make so many mistakes with various projects over the years and I’d like to see this one become something that will revive the Dupont Area and keep giving people another reason to come here to Dupont for years to come, while supporting the Arts, Crafts & Designers & up and coming start up businesses at establishing themselves.

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