Quadrangle Development Corp. has contracted to buy Central Liquor Store and several other buildings on the northwest corner of Ninth and E streets NW, and plans to start construction of a new office building on the site by the end of the year, a company spokesman said yesterday.
Herb Rothberg, one of the owners of Central Liquor, denied a contract has been signed to sell the property, but he said he has bought several other storefronts along Ninth and E streets to assemble a single parcel for sale to a developer.
"No, we don't have a contract with Quadrangle," Rothberg said. "Development is still several years away for this area of town."
Sources familiar with the transaction, however, said the contract was signed and the closing of the sale is expected to take place later this month.
Quadrangle, a Washington company that developed part of the project that included the construction of the Shops at National Place and the restoration of the National Theater, is developing the block north of the Woodward & Lothrop store downtown.
Quadrangle President Robert Gladstone would not answer questions about the project at Ninth and E except to say that the complete parcel is 25,000 square feet and that the company has obtained architectural drawings of the building it plans to construct on the site.
There are 10 pieces of property that make up the site. In addition to Central Liquor Store at 518 Ninth Street NW, the site includes all the storefronts south along Ninth to the corner of E Street and around the corner to the edge of the Adam A. Wexler Auction building. The Wexler building is not part of the property. All but one of the properties are listed in Lusk's D.C. Assessment Directory as owned by Central Liquor. The single property, in the middle of the block, is owned by 512 Ninth Street Associates.
The assessed value of the property is $7.3 million, according to Lusk's directory. Commercial real estate brokers said, however, that, as a single parcel, the property probably would sell for about $650 a square foot, or about $16.25 million.
Neither Quadrangle nor Rothberg would say what will happen to Central Liquor if the property is redeveloped. Rothberg, who said his store is the largest-volume liquor store in the city, said he has not considered whether to relocate. "We're an institution in the city, and I haven't really even given it any thought," Rothberg said.