The D.C. LGBT Community Center, which expects to be displaced next year from its current location at 1318 U St., N.W., is applying for rental space at the city-owned Reeves Municipal Building located less than a block away, according to center executive director David Mariner.
Mariner said the center will submit a bid in response to a public offer by the city to seek tenants in various spaces in the Reeves Building. He said the space the center would like to rent is a first-floor “store front” space on 14th Street.
The building is located at the corner of 14th and U Streets, N.W., in a bustling entertainment and residential area where large numbers of LGBT people live and visit to patronize restaurants and nightclubs.
The center’s current location provides just 1,200 square feet of space, Mariner said. He said the space being sought at the Reeves Building would provide about 2,500 square feet of space. The building where the center currently resides is slated to be torn down to make way for a new hotel.
“This is an open and competitive process,” Mariner said, adding that the center is likely to be competing for the space in the Reeves Building with businesses such as stores or bars and restaurants. Such businesses have operated in the Reeves Building in past years.
Mariner said the center is calling on the LGBT community to urge city officials to approve its bid for the rental space on grounds that the center is a non-profit organization that provides services to city residents.
Gay activist Nick McCoy, a member of the center’s board, is coordinating efforts to win the bid to rent space in the Reeves Building through his role as chair of the center’s Relocation Committee. He said committee members will be meeting with members of the D.C. City Council and representatives of the mayor’s office to seek support for the bid.