West End firehouse development opens

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Mayor Muriel Bowser was among the officials to speak at the May 12 ribbon-cutting for the new West End firehouse. (Brian Kapur/The Current/May 2017)

A West End building seven years in the making opened this month with a brand-new fire station, a squash club and affordable housing at 2233 M St. NW.

The project began with the EastBanc firm winning a city solicitation to redevelop two separate parcels in the West End: the neighborhood’s library and fire station. Today, the fire station housing Engine Co. 1 occupies 15,000 square feet on the ground floor of the new mixed-use building. On top are 52 units of affordable housing for households at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), three permanent supportive housing units for those at or below 30 percent AMI, and six market-rate units, according to a city news release.

The squash portion of the new building, dubbed “Squash on Fire,” is sandwiched between the fire station and the housing. Developer Anthony Lanier of EastBanc told the Washington Business Journal that the 19,700-square-foot squash facility — which cost $20 million, well over the initial budget — includes eight courts, a pro shop, a restaurant and full-service bar.

The building features a ground-floor firehouse, the “Squash on Fire” squash facility, and 61 apartment units. (Brian Kapur/The Current/May 2017)

The project’s affordable housing component won public funding from a mix of sources, including the Housing Production Trust Fund and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the release says. “This unique project is the result of extraordinary collaboration between DC Government agencies and our partners, and now that it is open, Washington, DC is safer, stronger, and more affordable,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in the release.

The mayor, along with several other city officials, attended the May 12 opening of the West End Square 50 property. The library component of the EastBanc project, in West End’s Square 37, is expected to open this fall with 164 housing units.