The old Evening Star Building will become the centerpiece of a major office and retail development, according to plans outlined yesterday to directors of the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corp.
Ian Woodner, owner since 1960 of the Star's former offices and production plant at 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, said renovation and expansion of the building is expected to begin late next year with completion in 1984. Its prime tenant will be Time Inc., by coincidence the current owner of the newspaper, now called The Washington Star.
The Star project, which entails the demolition of a sandwich shop and a variety store just west of the 86-year-old newspaper building, will fill the last remaining gap in the reconstruction of Pennsylvania Avenue between the FBI Building and the Treasury -- assuming that the reconstruction of the old Willard Hotel goes ahead as planned. The Star Building, one of the largest and most impressive private structures in the city when it was built in 1895, is an official historic landmark.
Robert J. (Jerry) Karn, vice president of Harry Weese & Associates, architect for the project, said a building as tall as the 10-story Star building and linked to the latter will be built on the sites of the two demolished buildings. He said a roof-top restaurant with a spectacular view of the entire avenue will be a major feature of the project.
Stuart Golding, selected as redeveloper of the Willard Hotel, assured the board that he has construction financing available to begin work by a June 7 deadline and that, despite setbacks in obtaining permanent funding, he has not given up on the project. The board did not press him for details, although PADC Chairman Max N. Berry later said Golding "was a little vague on his financial commitment."
The board voted to approve the placement of a plague at Seventh Street and Indiana Avenue NW honoring Joseph B. Danzansky, who died in 1979 following a heart attack after presiding as chairman over a PADC board meeting. Funds for the plague will be privately raised.
Cadillac Fairview Corp., a giant Toronto-based real estate development firm, told the PADC board that it has acquired 82 1/2-percent ownership of the Lincoln Square office and retail project planned on the PADC-controlled block across 11th Street from the Star Building, bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, 10th and 11th streets and E Street. The firm's plans to join in the project were previously reported.
The board granted preliminary approval to the National Press Building Corp. for a $40 million renovation of its structure at 14th and F streets NW, including the construction of an interior atrium, a retail shopping mall and remodeled quarters for the National Press Club.