Video From LNC’s Visit to LP’s New Building

Here is a video taken by Bruce Majors during the lunchtime visit to the Libertarian Party’s new building. It was taken Saturday, March 1, the weekend of the Libertarian National Committee’s quarterly meeting.

Here are some comments from some attendees:

From paulie
March 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm
Termination papers have been signed at Watergate, and bank has signed preliminary commitment

Starchild
March 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm
I was favorably impressed with the building space which we visited during lunch break — compared with my expectations anyway. It seemed nicer and cozier than the photos had indicated. Much less sterile than the current office space.

Relatively little possibility for external signage on the building, unfortunately. A brass plaque on the building is all, according to Robert, except for putting stuff in the windows. That seems like the main opportunity to get visibility for the LP with this location.

paulie
March 1, 2014 at 2:36 pm
Seemed nice, good and convenient neighborhood. Robert mentioned building has had 60-70k worth of improvements done (I presume since those photos were taken).

There was then some discussion of a recent purchase of a similar but larger building recently purchased by the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington DC.

That conversation can be found on the LNC meeting thread , starting at Starchild’s comment at 2:36.

42 thoughts on “Video From LNC’s Visit to LP’s New Building

  1. Richard Winger

    I salute the person who decided to make the video and to post it. The video would have been even better if at the beginning someone either showed a floor plan, or just described the general plan…is it two floors? or maybe three?

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Richard, I think there’s a whole lot more we’d all like to know. The video is incomplete, but definitely better than nothing. I’ll contact Bruce and ask if he’ll have an opportunity to do another one.

  3. Nicholas Sarwark

    It’s three floors total, including a finished basement. There are entrances in front and back, front steps go right on to Duke Street, back steps go to a shared parking lot. The upper level is open floor plan now, but there is a plan to build out offices.

  4. George Whitfield

    Thank you for filiming and posting. I like the new office building. It is bright and has easy access to the outside. I am pleased that I contributed.

  5. Nicholas Sarwark

    No elevator, only stairs. The building is grandfathered from ADA requirements unless the zoning purpose changes.

    Assuming this link works, that is the view from Duke Street. Both 1444 (the side of the building on the right with the staircase) and 1442 (the left side obscured by the light post) are for sale. The LNC is purchasing the right side, which has two dedicated entrances (front and back) as well as its own staircase. There is a connecting door on the middle level that will be removed and/or permanently locked to eliminate any connecting between the two sides.

    So, that’s a long answer to say that it’s not a free-standing building, but it is separate space in a configuration similar to a row house, which is fairly common in DC and its surroundings.

  6. Scott Lieberman

    I was on the above-mentioned tour of the possible new location of LPHQ.

    The current LNC Chair and the Immediate Past-Chair would have been fine if they had called it the “David F Nolan Memorial 1/12 of a Building Fund”, because that is exactly what they are trying to purchase for the Libertarian Party.

    The problem with us finding out about the MPP office acquisition a few days ago is that it brings up the question of why LPHQ staff were not able to come up with a similar “deal” in Washington, DC itself. If we are paying DC Metro area prices, we should be purchasing in the District of Columbia itself.

    We also found out that none of our employees live in MD, 2 live in DC, and 6 live in Virginia. And our possible new headquarters just happens to be in Virginia. There is nothing wrong with moving closer to where your employees live, but to my knowledge this was never mentioned by LPHQ staff as an overt criteria for the candidate sites that they were revealing to the LNC or to the LNC’s Executive Committee.

  7. paulie

    Thank you for filiming and posting. I like the new office building. It is bright and has easy access to the outside. I am pleased that I contributed.

    I like it too and I was also on the tour.

  8. paulie

    Is there an elevator for those that have some challenges with stairs?

    Good question. I do not remember seeing an elevator.

  9. paulie

    Is this a building? Or is it a suite in a building?

    One half building. I’m hoping we’ll be able to buy out the other half down the road.

  10. paulie

    l 1/12 of a Building Fund”, because that is exactly what they are trying to purchase for the Libertarian Party.

    I disagree. Having one single complex wall does not make the six buildings into one building. They are clearly six separate buildings and the LNC office will be a half building, not a twelfth.

    The problem with us finding out about the MPP office acquisition a few days ago is that it brings up the question of why LPHQ staff were not able to come up with a similar “deal” in Washington, DC itself. If we are paying DC Metro area prices, we should be purchasing in the District of Columbia itself.

    4k/month in various fees PLUS 35k/year in taxes at the new MPP, and that one really is just a first floor office in a large residential multistory building. Also, Adams Morgan is not convenient from Metro; Old Town Alexandria is much closer to Metro.

  11. Scott Lieberman

    “none of our employees live in MD

    Scott Lieberman”

    “paulie March 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Bob Johnston lives in Baltimore.

    Paulie”

    Bob Johnston is an independent contractor for the Libertarian Party. He works out of his home. Therefore, where he lives is irrelevant in terms of trying to figure out if LPHQ staff filtered the offices for sale that were presented to the LNC’s Executive Committee by leaving out offices that were not in Alexandria, VA.

    *************************************************************************

    “1/12 of a Building Fund”, because that is exactly what they are trying to purchase for the Libertarian Party.

    Scott Lieberman”

    “paulie March 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I disagree. Having one single complex wall does not make the six buildings into one building. They are clearly six separate buildings and the LNC office will be a half building, not a twelfth. ”

    Sorry, Mr. Frankel. Although some legal definitions describe a single office townhouse unit as a “building”, common sense tells you that most people think that even if a structure is subdivided into separate “units”, that all the units put together are a single building.

    To make this easier to visualize, consider a strip mall. Would you ever consider the dry cleaner in that strip mall to occupy a separate “building”? Of course not.

    “http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/strip+mall

    strip mall noun

    a retail complex consisting of stores or restaurants in adjacent spaces in one long building, typically having a narrow parking area directly in front of the stores.”

  12. Nicholas Sarwark

    The property at 1444 Duke Street is a fee simple with a common wall with 1442 Duke Street and $165/month in fees to cover upkeep for the complex. It’s pretty standard architecture for the neighborhood and by no stretch a strip mall.

    I’m truly intrigued by the argument that the LP would be better off with a co-op with huge fees that is only a floor of a building and without parking, but that the same people can make the argument that the problem with the Duke Street property is that it’s not a standalone building.

    I’m going to hazard a guess that most of the nattering nabobs of negativism who have come out of the woodwork after a purchase commitment has been signed have never actually acquired office space in a dense metropolitan area.

    I’ve lost plenty of fights within the LP in the last 15+ years and I’ve never found it productive to try to poison the well afterward. The past is past, how we move forward is what matters.

  13. paulie

    Sorry, Mr. Frankel. Although some legal definitions describe a single office townhouse unit as a “building”, common sense tells you that most people think that even if a structure is subdivided into separate “units”, that all the units put together are a single building.

    1442 and 1444 are one unit. From there, you are are looking out across air at other buildings.

    null

    Google maps street view shows the gap between the buildings if you zoom in; I don’t know how to post that here.

    To make this easier to visualize, consider a strip mall.

    Nope, that would not make it easier to visualize. I’ve been at plenty of strip malls and I’ve now been at 1444 Duke. They are not similar.

    It’s more like a rowhouse, but with a small space in between adjacent buildings. They are not under one roof.

  14. paulie

    I’m truly intrigued by the argument that the LP would be better off with a co-op with huge fees that is only a floor of a building and without parking, but that the same people can make the argument that the problem with the Duke Street property is that it’s not a standalone building.

    Agreed.

  15. Thomas L. Knapp

    Well, it’s certainly a lot closer to being a “building” than was that one property which was just an a single suite within a large office building. It seems more like the kind of thing that those who advertised a “building” in fundraising could plausibly defend, anyway.

  16. Nicholas Sarwark

    I demand to know why the LNC was not presented with the property Mr. Kane has linked to! Probably because it’s not in Virginia.

    Thank you Bruce for taking the time to present context and other options that were available. I don’t know of a real estate buyer in the world who hasn’t seen other properties after a contract has been signed and wondered if they were better. That’s typical, but there’s no benefit to debating what was better after a choice has already been made.

  17. Scott Lieberman

    “Bruce Majors (@BruceMajors4DC) March 4, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Here is a little context and controversy to go with the video:

    http://dclibertarian.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-preview-of-new-libertarian-party.html

    HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    I did have an LP member in California who sells commercial real estate look at the purchase documents, and did the same with an LP member in Georgia who works in the commercial real estate business. Both of them found no major flaws with the purchase agreement, but both of them did strongly advise the LNC to pay off the mortgage before the balloon payment comes due.

    However, neither of them could provide the local perspective that Mr. Majors gives us in the article that he wrote.

    It isn’t too late for the LNC to rescind the purchase of the Alexandria property and move into a cheaper rental space in DC or Arlington County. You would think that would solve the “problem” of paying too much money each month for occupancy costs, unless the principle reason for purchasing an office was political rather than practical.

    I do admire Mr. Sarwark’s advocacy skills. I bet he could have gotten a not guilty verdict for Jack Ruby.

    From Wikipedia: “At 11:21 am CST — while authorities were escorting Lee Harvey Oswald through the police basement to an armored car that was to take him to the nearby county jail — Ruby stepped out from a crowd of reporters and fired his .38 revolver into Oswald’s abdomen, fatally wounding him. The shooting was broadcast live nationally, and millions of television viewers witnessed it.

  18. Nicholas Sarwark

    It isn’t too late for the LNC to rescind the purchase of the Alexandria property and move into a cheaper rental space in DC or Arlington County. You would think that would solve the “problem” of paying too much money each month for occupancy costs, unless the principle reason for purchasing an office was political rather than practical.

    It’s not too late in a temporal sense, but there would be penalties to be paid for breaking a purchase commitment, two sets of relocation expenses, changing letterhead etc. for a short period, then a subsequent purchase also subject to Monday-morning quarterbacking.

    Not that any of that matters, since the votes aren’t there to back out of the Duke Street purchase, especially without a concrete alternative. Those opposed to either a building purchase in general or this particular building purchase have lost and would probably be better served to move on.

    I do admire Mr. Sarwark’s advocacy skills. I bet he could have gotten a not guilty verdict for Jack Ruby.

    Thanks for the compliment.

  19. Thane Eichenauer

    I don’t see that there are any particular advantages to having the national LP located in either DC or Maryland. If someone were to ask me where I would want to live or work if I had three choices including Virginia would be Virginia. I am thankful that IPR is available to cover interesting LP news bits such as this post. Go IPR!

  20. Shane

    There really are no advantages to being in or near DC.

    The RNC and DNC are located on the Hill as members have active roles in each organization.

    If the LP spent more time lobbying — maybe it would make sense. Even then it would still not be necessary.

    Regarding Bruce’s write up, it’s appreciated but I don’t think those are viable. Parking in Adams Morgan is notoriously bad — it is swanky and perfect for MPP. The “top contender” on 12th is twelve blocks from Union Station. To put that in perspective, it’s a 15 minute walk from Union Station’s parking deck to 2nd street — one very long block away.

    I agree that D.C. would be a better investment — but at the cost of dealing with D.C. traffic, parking woes and being generally not a fun place to work (at least to those not infatuated with working in the nation’s capitol).

    As far as the accusations that staff picked VA because they live there . . . probably true. Those who live in VA would not consider working in MD and prefer to avoid DC — for good reason.

    Crossing into DC typically doubles your commute time at least. Going into MD is a deal breaker for those who live in VA or DC.

    If the LNC was going to stay in the area and retain current staff, VA is the best option for a number of reasons (although I’m clearly biased).

    If they would have looked further south, salary requirements drop by 30% and real estate by much more. You can also be equidistant to DC and Richmond, providing access to a ton of talented workers and students — along with a reverse commute for current staff.

    But that was just one option.

    The decision has been made and congrats to the LNC for moving forward on a big vision.

  21. Andy

    “Shane March 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm
    There really are no advantages to being in or near DC.

    The RNC and DNC are located on the Hill as members have active roles in each organization.

    If the LP spent more time lobbying — maybe it would make sense. Even then it would still not be necessary.”

    I’ve wondered the same thing. It is not like the LP is busy lobbying Congress or having any influence on any legislation. Outside of Libertarians, and people who pay attention to minor parties and independent candidates, both of which are small percentages of the population, not that many people even know that the Libertarian Party has its headquarters in Washington DC. I’ve been to the office in the Watergate building, and I guarantee you that hardly anybody knows that it is there, including a lot of people who live and work in the Watergate building, as well as people who shop there regularly.

    So let’s just be honest here, and say that having the office in Washington DC, or in the Washington DC metropolitan area, is all about image. It is a case of style over substance. Functionally speaking, there are a lot of parts of the country where the LP could have its headquarters and the building cost would be much cheaper, and for a that matter, the cost of living would be cheaper for office staff as well.

    I assume that a majority of Libertarian Party members support the image that comes with having an office in Washington DC, or at least in the Washington DC metro area, over the practicality of having the office some place where real estate is cheaper.

  22. Scott Lieberman

    “paulie — March 4, 2014 at 7:51 am

    1442 and 1444 are one unit. From there, you are are looking out across air at other buildings.

    Google maps street view shows the gap between the buildings if you zoom in; I don’t know how to post that here.”

    YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

    Don’t take my word for it. Look at Google Maps using the greatest amount of “zoom”. Our unit is the westernmost unit in a single building that is approximately 300 feet in length. No, it’s not a “strip mall”. But – the general look of the building with its component units is similar to what you would see in a strip mall.

  23. paulie

    Here is a little context and controversy to go with the video: http://dclibertarian.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-preview-of-new-libertarian-party.html

    You write

    Both are near a Metro (subway)

    Adams Morgan location is significantly further from Metro.

    But the new LNC HQ is close to being a strip mall at the outer edge of exurbia

    OLd Town Alexandria is nothing like the outer edges of exurbia and the new office does not resemble a strip mall.

    For full disclosure let me say that I am a realtor with licenses in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and though everyone asked for my opinion this weekend, no one from either the LP or MPP asked for my advice or assistance in their property search.

    I’m pretty sure I did. At a minimum I know I recommended LNC do so.

  24. paulie

    I demand to know why the LNC was not presented with the property Mr. Kane has linked to! Probably because it’s not in Virginia.

    LOL

    there’s no benefit to debating what was better after a choice has already been made.

    Yes, but IPR comments always do that anyway.

  25. paulie

    It isn’t too late for the LNC to rescind the purchase of the Alexandria property and move into a cheaper rental space in DC or Arlington County.

    It is too late to avoid significant penalties for doing so, too late to avoid having to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor money and pledges and not a good idea. We (by which I meant a prior LNC, not me as a narrowly voted down buying a building across from Union Station in DC for about 140k around 1986.

    You would think that would solve the “problem” of paying too much money each month for occupancy costs, unless the principle reason for purchasing an office was political rather than practical.

    That’s only one of the problems, and yes it is a problem (why scare quotes?)

  26. paulie

    It’s not too late in a temporal sense, but there would be penalties to be paid for breaking a purchase commitment, two sets of relocation expenses, changing letterhead etc. for a short period, then a subsequent purchase also subject to Monday-morning quarterbacking.

    Not that any of that matters, since the votes aren’t there to back out of the Duke Street purchase, especially without a concrete alternative. Those opposed to either a building purchase in general or this particular building purchase have lost and would probably be better served to move on.

    Exactly.

  27. paulie

    There really are no advantages to being in or near DC.

    Disagree, and surprised to see you say that. Many other former (and perhaps current) staff have told me otherwise.

    If they would have looked further south, salary requirements drop by 30% and real estate by much more. You can also be equidistant to DC and Richmond, providing access to a ton of talented workers and students — along with a reverse commute for current staff.

    We want to be near metro for a variety of reasons, including ability to have interns working at the office as well as other factors.

  28. paulie

    So let’s just be honest here, and say that having the office in Washington DC, or in the Washington DC metropolitan area, is all about image. It is a case of style over substance.

    It’s not ALL about image – there are other reasons which were discussed at length in pror threads – but image is important to donors and media among others. Image is a big part of what makes political organizations tick.

  29. paulie

    Don’t take my word for it. Look at Google Maps using the greatest amount of “zoom”. Our unit is the westernmost unit in a single building that is approximately 300 feet in length. No, it’s not a “strip mall”. But – the general look of the building with its component units is similar to what you would see in a strip mall.

    No, it isn’t. Strip malls are under one roof; ours is only under one roof with one other unit, not the other ten.

  30. Scott Lieberman

    “paulie March 8, 2014 at 8:43 am

    “Strip malls are under one roof; ours is only under one roof with one other unit, not the other ten.”

    GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

    Mr. Frankel:

    1. I was there. I walked the entire western face of the building.

    2. I just re-checked the building on Google Street view. The unit that the LNC wants to purchase is 1 of 12 units that all share a side wall with one or two other units in the same building. The roof line is irrelevant.

    There is nothing wrong with non-profit organizations purchasing 1/12 of a building. The problem is that a large percentage of the down payment was raised under the moniker “David F. Nolan Memorial BUILDING Fund.”

    1/12 of a building is not a building, at least according the arithmetic I learned in elementary school.

  31. paulie

    1. I was there. I walked the entire western face of the building.

    Me too. I’m sure you remember.

    2. I just re-checked the building on Google Street view. The unit that the LNC wants to purchase is 1 of 12 units that all share a side wall with one or two other units in the same building. The roof line is irrelevant.

    That looks nothing like a strip mall. It has a partial height wall, more like a stone fence, that connects the buildings. Strip malls share a roof and floor, and generally a facade at same distance from cars/street.

    There is nothing wrong with non-profit organizations purchasing 1/12 of a building. The problem is that a large percentage of the down payment was raised under the moniker “David F. Nolan Memorial BUILDING Fund.”

    1/12 of a building is not a building, at least according the arithmetic I learned in elementary school.

    It’s half a building, to be fair. I am acknowledging that. I hope we buy out the other half or move in a few years when it becomes warranted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.