EDA Purchases Office Building on Central Ave

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EDA Purchases Office Building on Central Ave

To help advance redevelopment along Central Ave, the City of Columbia Heights Economic Development Authority (EDA) has purchased the NE Bank Building located at the intersection of Central Ave and 40th St. The six-story structure has stood empty for more than four years.

The EDA purchased the property from 500, LLC for $2.9 million with the intention to sell it to a private developer within the next six months.

“The City Council and EDA had a vision for the property’s future, and it became clear that in order to realize that vision, the City needed to have site control,” said Aaron Chirpich, community development director. “Owning the building allows the EDA to control the process and timeline and gives them the freedom to select the development partner they want to work with and the kind of project they want to see.”

The existing building at 3989 Central Ave NE will likely require demolition, Chirpich said. The idea is to replace it with a six-story luxury apartment building that houses a restaurant and/or coffee shop and a pocket park on the ground floor. The park and cafe would be open to the public. The existing parking ramp, already owned by the City, would be replaced with underground parking. The site is also being considered as a possible location for a new City Hall.

The City Council approved the acquisition on July 22. The purchase was finalized on July 31. The EDA plans to confirm a development partner at its Aug 5 regular meeting.