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District Fenty Administration Breaks Ground on Historic Georgia Avenue Restaurant Redevelopment

Friday, January 29, 2010
Historic Georgia Avenue Restaurant Redevelopment

(Washington, DC) - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty today joined Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) Valarie Santos, developers and community leaders for a ceremonial groundbreaking on the redevelopment of 3813/3815 Georgia Avenue, NW, in the Petworth area. This project will convert two empty District owned properties into a first class restaurant on the historic site of what was once Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood and Steaks.

“The administration is pleased to bring neighbors and developers together to create a fitting commemoration to this historic site and bring it back into the service of the community,” said Mayor Fenty. “This project brings the best of the city’s developers and restaurateurs to fulfill the wishes of the community in what promises to be an outstanding contribution to the District.”

DMPED issued a Solicitation for Offers for these properties in April of 2008. The community expressed an interest in preserving the legacy of the former Billy Simpson’s restaurant and returning the site into the service of the dinning community. Donatelli Development and Mosaic Urban were awarded the property in the fall 2008 after an RFP/competition and agreed to build a restaurant. Donatelli Development and Mosaic Urban are scheduled to renovate the property over six months. Owners of U Street’s Gibson and Marvin restaurants, Eric and Ian Hilton will be opening the new restaurant. The restaurant’s name and menu have not been determined yet.

“DMPED is committed to the revitalization of DC’s neighborhood commercial districts and to encouraging small businesses,” said Deputy Mayor Valarie Santos. “This project will add value to the surrounding neighborhoods, provide a service to residents and preserve a segment of history in the District.”

Billy Simpson’s originally occupied the space on Georgia Avenue in the 60s-70s. In March of 2009 the site was named to the National Register of Historic Places. It was a favorite oasis for Civil Rights leaders and meeting place for an informal political forum known as “Round Table 9.” The “Round Table” held meetings to discuss development in the District including strategies on Home Rule for DC and the creation of the University of DC.