June 3, 2015 at 6:02 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Whitman-Walker to redevelop Elizabeth Taylor building
Federally Qualified Health Center, Whitman-Walker Health, gay news, Washington Blade

The Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center building at 1701 14th St., N.W., will be redeveloped. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Whitman-Walker Health has entered into a joint venture partnership agreement with Rockville, Md., real estate developer Streetscape Partners to redevelop the site of its Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center building at 1701 14th St., N.W.

A statement released by Whitman-Walker says the non-profit community health center, which specializes in healthcare for the LGBT community and people with HIV, will be the majority owner of the joint venture.

It says Whitman-Walker “will retain major decision-making rights over key issues such as future programming/uses of the site.” The agreement is undergoing final legal review and is expected to be signed in the coming weeks, according to the statement.

The Washington Business Journal reported on Wednesday that Whitman-Walker and its new partner haven’t decided exactly what they plan to do with the highly valuable property in the heart of the 14th Street entertainment and upscale residential district. But the Journal reports that “they aren’t ruling out some mix of commercial, residential and retail space” for the one-block long property.

Whitman-Walker officials were expected to formally announce the plans for the joint venture on Thursday during a dedication ceremony for Whitman-Walker’s new medical center building at 1525 14th St., N.W., which is located two blocks south of the Elizabeth Taylor building.

Most of Whitman-Walker’s staff and services moved into the new building in May, with administrative offices and a few medical related programs remaining at the Taylor building for an interim period, officials said.

“On the same day when we officially dedicate the new 1525 health center, we proudly announce this partnership with Streetscape to revitalize the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center,” said Don Blanchon, Whitman-Walker’s executive director.

“This agreement is more than another step forward in Whitman-Walker’s continuing journey towards long-term sustainability,” Blanchon said. “It is more than just another redevelopment announcement for the 14th Street corridor. It is a bold statement of Whitman-Walker’s enduring commitment to our patients and the community at large.”

D.C. real estate property records show that the Elizabeth Taylor building’s assessed value for 2015 is $6,815,320. The property records issued by the city’s Office of Tax and Revenue show that the property’s proposed new value for 2016 decreased slightly to $6,678,100.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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