There are several upcoming LeDroit park events.
As part of the annual WalkingTown DC event, I will lead two free walking tours of the neighborhood. The tours will be on Sunday, September 30 at 1 pm and again at 3:30 pm. Meet me at the arch at 6th Street and Florida Avenue NW. The tours are free and open to the public.
Monday: Monthly LeDroit Park happy hour
Come for drinks, free appetizers, and chat with your neighbors Monday, October 1 from 6 to 8 at Nellie’s (9th & U Streets NW). Nellie’s owner, a LeDroit Park resident, has kindly donated appetizers for the event.
Flooding, student behavior, and Capital Bikeshare are on the agenda for Tuesday’s civic association meeting. The meeting will be on Tuesday, September 25 at 7 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church.
Here’s the full agenda:
- Howard University’s plan to address student behavior in off-campus housing
- An updates from the Flooding Task Force
- The new Capital Bikeshare station coming to LeDroit Park
- Public Safety in our neighborhood: How to keep our streets safe and clean
- Neighborhood events and activities
Everyone is encouraged to attend.
If local developer JBG has its way, a Harris Teeter may be coming to a parking lot near the 9:30 Club. The proposal is only in the preliminary stages and requires the District to sell an unused parking lot to the company.
JBG owns the lot immediately to the south of the District property and would like to combine them into a single project. The two adjacent properties are labeled “DC Gov” and “JBG” on the middle-left portion of the map below. While JBG does not yet control the District-owned site, the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development will offer the site, along with several others, for sale this fall. For all we know, the District could select another developer.
As you may recall, Chevy Chase-based JBG is one of the biggest developers on 14th Street and U Street. They’re current constructing or entitling (seeking permits, zoning relief, etc.) several nearby projects. At the southwest corner of 14th and U, the company is currently building a multifamily project that will include a Trader Joe’s. On the 700 and 800 blocks of Florida Avenue, the company is preparing to build two modernist multifamily buildings. On the northwest and southwest corners of 8th and V Streets, the company recently revealed its drawings for a condo building and an apartment building.
Besides JBG, many new developers are including grocery stores in areas that have long suffered a lack of good grocery options. The forthcoming Giant at 7th & P Streets will become our closest supermarket when it reopens next year. If the proposed Harris Teeter ever gets built, it will be the second closest supermarket to LeDroit Park:
|Giant (opening 2013)||7th & P Streets NW||0.6|
|Harris Teeter (proposed)||Florida & Sherman Avenues NW||0.7|
|Trader Joe’s (opening 2014)||14th & U Streets NW||0.9|
|Safeway||5th & L Streets NW||0.9|
|Harris Teeter||1st & M Streets NE||1.0|
|Whole Foods||1400 blk. P Street NW||1.1|
But wasn’t Howard Town Center, about a block away, supposed to include a grocery store? The proximity of a Harris Teeter might scare off a competitor from signing on with the still-unbuilt Howard Town Center. This could further delay the long-stalled project.
Developers like to have leases signed before construction since the leases show investors and lenders that the project will produce an income to repay the loans. For some development proposals, the lack of a lease can scuttle the project entirely.
JBG’s announcement of its agreement with Harris Teeter is somewhat unusual. National grocery chains typically keep their prospective sites secret. That JBG announced the agreement without even controlling the land is unusual.
Another interesting twist to the case is that the District used to own the Howard Town Center site and Howard used to own the parking lot JBG wants to buy. The District and the university swapped the properties many years ago out of convenience to each other. How ironic it would be if the government-owned site is the site that gets redeveloped faster.
How was LeDroit Park established and who built all those unique homes on U Street? Why did the neighborhood start as exclusively white but become so important to black history? As part of the annual WalkingTown DC event, I will lead two free walking tours of the neighborhood.
The tours will be on Sunday, September 30 at 1 pm and again at 3:30 pm. Meet me at the arch at 6th Street and Florida Avenue NW. The tours are free and open to the public.
- The neighborhood’s founding
- Relationship with the Howard Theatre
- Architectural history
- The Park at LeDroit
- Walter Washington
- Ernest Everett Just
- Robert & Mary Church Terrell
- Anna Julia Cooper
- William Birney
- Edward Brooke
- Octavius Williams
- Oscar De Priest
- Griffith Stadium
It’s that time again! Come for drinks, free appetizers, and chat with your neighbors Monday, September 10 from 6 to 8 at Nellie’s (9th & U Streets NW). Nellie’s owner, a LeDroit Park resident, has kindly donated appetizers for the event.
We had a very large turnout in August. Aside from the usual suspects, I got to meet a neighbor five doors down and another neighbor around the corner.
LeDroit Park Civic Association President and ANC 1B01 candidate Marc Morgan has confirmed that our neighborhood is on the short list to receive one of the 15 new Capital Bikeshare stations this fall. The station will likely go at the Park at LeDroit on the Elm Street side.
The District and Arlington continue to buy stations and expand the system, filling in more gaps throughout the densest parts of both jurisdictions. Sure, we don’t quite match the richly bespeckled station density of Montréal or Paris, but local annual budgets include capital line items to purchase more stations.
Despite the fact the system is approaching its second birthday, many news outlets misunderstand the purpose of the system. The annual fee of $75 allows subscribers to rent the bikes at no additional charge for an unlimited number of 30-minute trips.
The 30-minute free period— there’s a charge for longer trips— is supposed to discourage riders from taking out the bikes for hours on end. In fact, the intended purpose is not joy-riding around town, but to facilitate trips that are slightly too long to walk and slightly too short for driving or transit.
For instance, I find CaBi to be to most convenient way to get between LeDroit Park and Dupont Circle. No need to wait for buses or trains, no need to transfer at Gallery Place, no need to hunt for parking.
Stations already exist near LeDroit Park, at 7th and T Streets NW and at First Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW. The new station will finally put LeDroit Park on the CaBi map.
An email exchange on the neighborhood listserv discussed lobbying DDOT to install a Capital Bikeshare station in the neighborhood. When DDOT, which oversees the bikesharing system, published its expansion plans for last year, we noted that the system had made it to the neighborhood’s periphery, but not its center.
But where could we fit a CaBi station in LeDroit Park? As one neighbor rightly noted, LeDroit Park’s sidewalks are typically too narrow to accomodate bikeshare stations. Indeed, most of the neighborhood’s sidewalks cannot accommodate bike states while maintaining the minimum 4-foot clearance for wheelchairs. Another neighbor suggested installing a station at the Park at LeDroit, which is District-managed property.
However, the easiest answer is sitting right under our wheels: the street!
In several tough places, DDOT has wisely moved the bikeshare stations into the parking lane. In the 600 square feet of public space it takes residents to park three cars, residents can dock 22 bikes. If managing scare public space means optimizing its use for the greatest number of residents, a bikeshare station is a clear winner in efficiency.
The City Paper reports that Bistro Bohem‘s mixologist (cocktail chef), Mark Reyburn, has defected across 6th Street to Shaw’s Tavern. Reyburn intends to infuse Shaw’s menu with Civil War-era cocktails befitting the venue’s namesake.
Considering that Bohem’s cocktails were exceptionally good when I reviewed the place in May, Reyburn’s new grog gig is sure to please.
The City Paper also notes that Shaw’s plans to add a roofdeck within two months. I have come to learn, however, that these build-outs typically take longer than even the most ambitious restaurateurs expect.
But even with Shaw’s salvo of a new cocktail list and roofdeck, Bohem isn’t ready to surrender so easily. Bohem is planning a Reconstruction of its own, in fact. The Bohem dominion is expanding into the space next door that used to be Zee’s Restaurant. The new Cafe Bohem will open on September 3 and will serve coffee and pastries.
The mayor’s news conference on the establishment of an anti-flooding task force drew a lot of media attention. All the local affiliates covered it:
Watch the videos below.
Read the rest of this entry »
Marc Morgan, currently the President of the LeDroit Park Civic Association, is running for the ANC seat that covers most of LeDroit Park. Mr. Morgan’s campaign kicks off tomorrow, Wednesday, August 22, from 6 pm to 9 pm at Shaw’s Tavern (6th Street and Florida Avenue NW). Everyone is welcome to attend.
Local notables in attendance include our current commissioner, Myla Moss, who has chosen not to seek reelection, and Patrick Mara, who is the Ward 1 member of the State Board of Education. Come on out, meet your neighbors, and meet the candidate.
The event is open to the public.