Even though the Ontario Lakers failed to raise enough money to buy their rented community center head-quarters in Adams-Morgan, the new owner of the warehouse and lot says he will allow them to stay in another section, of the building.
David Victor Lee, owner of the Sundance Disco at 1875 Connecticut Ave. NW, bought the 30,000-square-foot warehouse at 1700 Kalorama Rd. NW for $350,000. He said he will move his catering business to the warehouse.
The Sundance, which is now located in the Empress Restaurant owned by Lee's father, primarily serves the Latino community as a rental hall and night club for receptions, parties and dances.
"I'd been looking for a larger hall within walking distance for the Latino community," Lee explained.
Lee went to settlement last week on the sale. He said he wants to spend "$100,000 on remodeling" before opeining in late winter.
Rents for the Lakers and other tenants in the warehouse -- Community Soap Factory and Standard Auto Body -- will be increased under Lee's ownership, he said.
"They will be set at the market rate," Lee said. The Lakers have been paying $500 a month Rent with money from grants from the D.C. Department of Recreation and the Redskin Foundation.
Perpetual Federal Savings and Loan Association had agreed to land the Lakers 75 percent of the $350,000 purchase price, contingent upon their raising $20,000 by Oct. 15 and a balance of $80,000 by Jan. 15. After the October deadline was not met, Tom Owen, president of Perpetual, said he was still interested in helping the Lakers and would review any plans they developed for financing the purchase.
Walter Pierce, director of the Ontario Lakers, said that the group had raised "over $3,000" to purchase the building. The money will now be put to other uses.
Earlier this month, Pierce had set up a committee of neighborhood residents and representatives from the University of the District of Columbia cooperative extension service and the District of Columbia Development Corporation to help with financing arrangements.
The Lakers are probably best known throughout the city for sponsoring the Ghetto Invitational Basketball Tournament each spring. They also sell Christmas trees at 18th Street and Columbia Road, sponsor a Christmas party for children, arrange field trips and offer sewing and creative writing classes.