Some of you may have read Steve May’s Open Letter to the Community stating that due to lack of open support from civic leaders and civic associations, the opening of the Fire House will be delayed.
Steve has been a tremendous resource to our community and is working closely with North Capitol Main Street (I currently serve on the Board of NCMS) and opening the Fire House so that NCMS may have a spring fund raiser at the location. Steve and his team have made great efforts in working with multiple community leaders. Steve May nor any of the development team have approached the Bates Area Civic Association for a letter of support.
Why have letters of support from other Civic Associations and Civic Leaders been issued?
Steve May nor his team have provided sufficient information for a letter of support to be issued. As the facility will have a liquor license and seeking to have live music, details are essential before extending support. Originally, the plan was for the Fire House to operate until 3am; this was not well received by members of the community. The Fire House has not given community leaders the details of operating hours, hours in which liquor will be sold and hours for live entertainment or music.
There is community concern that given a letter of support to a project we don’t know all the details to may come back to bite us badly. A member of the development team has worked on projects on U ST and has developed night clubs with a food as a secondary business. There are concerns we may end up with a night club disguised as a restaurant. Those are the main reasons Civic Leaders have withheld letters of support.
I am confident letters of support will be issued, once all the details of the project are revealed and if those details are consistent with the economic development the community is seeking.
Geovani A. Bonilla
President, Bates Area Civic Association
Engine Company 12™
1626 Fire Station LLC
1626 North Capitol Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
May 11, 2011
An Open Letter to the Community
Re: Scheduled Opening of Engine Company 12
To all local residents,
Due to the lack of open support from community leaders and local civic associations, it has become necessary to delay the opening of Engine Company 12 from July 1, 2011 to September 1, 2011. We have tried for the past several months to garner letters of support from local area civic associations and the Advisory Neighborhood Commission without success. Without these letters the process to obtain an alcohol license from the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration is drastically slower. Operating a restaurant of this size without an active ABRA license would be financially unfeasible.
Representatives from Engine Company 12 have been attending and presenting at local area civic association meetings and hosting meet and greets off and on for the past four months. It is unfortunate that this philosophy of open communication with local residents and civic leaders has not garnered the support necessary to yield letters of support from local groups.
If we are unable to obtain letters of support from the local civic associations and the Advisory Neighborhood Commission in the next 30-45 days the opening date will need to be delayed until after the start of the New Year. I apologize for this and we are still working diligently to get this project up and running as quickly as possible.
Steven M. May Jr.
Engine Company 12