July 1, 2020 at 5:54 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. LGBT Center has two years to find new home
Reeves Center, gay news, Washington Blade
The Reeves Center will likely be torn down for a new NAACP national headquarters building. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The D.C. Center for the LGBT Community is among the numerous tenants, including D.C. government agencies, that will have to vacate the Reeves Center municipal building at 14th and U Streets, N.W. in about two years or possibly a little later, according to John Falcicchio, the D.C. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.

Falcicchio told the Washington Blade about the city’s plans for redeveloping the Reeves Center following news this week that the NAACP, the iconic African-American civil rights organization, plans to move its national headquarters from Baltimore to D.C. at the site of a redeveloped Reeves Center.

The D.C. Center for the LGBT Community moved into a ground floor suite of offices at the Reeves Center in November 2013 under a 15-year lease agreement with the city. Also currently operating one floor above the D.C. Center at the Reeves building is the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs.

The D.C. Center and the Mayor’s LGBTQ office along with more than a dozen other D.C. government agencies will be relocated to other buildings between now and the next two or more years, according to Falcicchio, to make way for the redevelopment of the Reeves Center.

“What we envision is the building would come down entirely and a new building would be put up,” said Falcicchio. “It probably would be put up in a couple of different components, definitely an office building, likely a component of housing, retail, and potentially even as some have said a hotel,” he said.

Falcicchio said Mayor Muriel Bowser wants the office component of the new building to include space for city agencies and community related organizations. He said although it was far too soon to confirm who would move back to the new building, it was possible that the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community and the Office of LGBTQ Affairs could be among those returning to what city officials are calling a “reimagined” Reeves Center building.

The NAACP, which will be considered the “anchor” of the new building, will occupy about 50,000 square feet in the new building that will have a total capacity of 380,000 square feet, Falcicchio said. He said the current building has a capacity of just 260,000 usable square feet.

“We are happy to hear the NAACP will be relocating to the Reeves Center,” said Rebecca Bauer, a spokesperson for the D.C. Center. “We’ve been in conversations with members of the D.C. Council regarding the D.C. Center’s office space options,” she said.

“We have also been talking with DGS [the D.C. Department of General Services, which oversees city buildings] about the renovation project,” Bauer said. “We look forward to continuing these conversations to find space that sets the D.C. Center up for an exciting and successful next chapter!”

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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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