Potential Wal-Mart landlord accused of hosting massage parlor
A prominent landowner who could soon host the city's first Wal-Mart is being targeted by city officials who are accusing his company of allowing an illicit massage parlor to operate in a downtown building it owns.
Jerry Schaeffer and brothers Andy and Dave own the parcel near New York Avenue and Bladensburg Road NE that the mega retailer is eyeing for a 126,000-square-foot store. The Schaeffers, long major players in the city taxicab industry and in real estate, have entered into a 60-year ground lease with a developer that is working with Wal-Mart to open a store next year.
A Jerry Schaeffer-owned company also owns a building at 1215 Connecticut Ave. NW, where "Spa Sky" operates. A Jan. 5 sting resulted in arrests of two Spa Sky employees on solicitation charges, according to court documents (warning: explicit language therein). A civil lawsuit filed by D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan this week alleges that the company is "allowing the operation of a house of prostitution."
On Jan. 14, the complaint says, the city notified Schaeffer's company that he had a bawdy house on his premises. But there was no response, and the suit holds that Schaeffer "has not taken any steps to abate the prostitution-related nuisance activity at the Property."
The city is requesting a judge to declare the parlor as "nuisance property" and immediately shut down Spa Sky. It also asks that Schaeffer's company pay damages and bar any future business on the premises that "provides physical therapy, spa, massage, nail salon, or any other services which would require the physical touch of another person, including disrobing (partial or otherwise), touching (i.e., skin-to-skin contact), or the treatment or application of any lotion (prescription or non) to any area of the body."
Reached this afternoon, Schaeffer rejected suggestions that he didn't move swiftly to get rid of the illicit business and vowed to fight the lawsuit. "We started eviction as soon as we found out about it," he said. "We're in the process of eviction now."
| February 25, 2011; 5:22 PM ET
Categories: The District
Save & Share: Previous: Patrick Mara is indeed a Republican, says Web site
Next: D.C. summer jobs program filling up quickly
Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | February 26, 2011 4:43 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: blasmaic | February 26, 2011 5:55 AM | Report abuse