October 02, 2015 - 9:44 am

JBG will extend W Street as a woonerf

945 Florida Avenue NW

JBG revealed more plans for the residential development it plans to build at 945 Florida Avenue NW. This is the site abutting the 965 Florida Avenue, which is slated for a Whole Foods. 945 is slated to be a multifamily building, which is not surprising, but the developer has opted to extend W Street one block from its current terminus at Florida Avenue NW to Ninth Street NW.

The W Street extension has been a long-standing goal of neighborhood planning efforts as there are currently few east-west connections between that section of Florida Avenue and Georgia Avenue. Smaller street grids make walking easier as there are fewer “superblocks” to walk around.

The new one-block extension will be privately built, owned, and maintained. It will be constructed as a woonerf, a street where automobile and pedestrian traffic share the same space.  The best example of a woonerf in the area is Cady’s Alley in Georgetown.

Cady's Alley NW

The developer is building the project matter-of-right.

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October 01, 2015 - 12:25 am

JBG reveals the locations of the new retailers opening this fall

Atlantic Plumbing rendering

The four mixed-use buildings on Eighth Street near the 9:30 Club are about to open.  The quartet is the product of prolific Washington area developer JBG, which recently released the layout of the ground-floor retail tenants. The retail spaces include small retail shops, a few restaurants, a small movie theater, and art galleries.

The Shay retailers

The Shay is a duo of apartments on the 700 and 800 blocks of Florida Avenue NW.  Retailers include

  • Riide – A DC-based electric bike company (9th Street)
  • Serv U Liquors – A liquor store that previous stood on the development site (9th Street)
  • Warby Parker – Purveyor of hip spectacles (9th Street & Florida Avenue)
  • Aesop – An Australian retailer of sustainable skincare, haircare and other personal care products (800 b/o Florida Avenue)
  • Chrome – A San Francisco-based bike bag purveyor (800 b/o Florida Avenue)
  • Le Labo –  A French perfumery (800 b/o Florida Avenue)
  • Benrus – A Rhode Island-based clothing retailer (800 b/o Florida Avenue)
  • Steven Alan – Casual clothing for men and women (8th Street & Florida Avenue)
  • An unnamed restaurant from Tim Ma, owner of Water & Wall in Arlington and Maple Ave. in Vienna (8th Street)
  • Frank & Oak – A hip, Montréal-based men’s clothing retailer (8th Street)
  • Glen’s Garden Market – The second location of this DC-based grocer will also serve beer. (8th Street)
  • Compass Coffee – The second location for the coffee shop that currently operates on 7th Street in Shaw (8th Street)
  • Read Wall – DC-based menswear retailer selling knits, outerwear, custom suits, and neckware (8th Street)
  • Lettie Gooch – A clothing boutique moving from U Street (8th Street)
  • Kit and Ace – A retailer selling clothes made of a sturdier cashmere (8th Street & Florida Avenue)

JBG is still actively leasing three retail bays.  The Shay’s grand opening is today from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Just north on Eighth Street at V Street, JBG has sold numerous condos at 2030 8th Street and has nearly completed the larger Atlantic Plumbing apartments on the north side of V Street. The company has released the retail layout of both buildings.

Retail layout

The retailers include

  • Hazel (probably) – A new restaurant from Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which currently owns Birch & Barley and Bluejacket (V Street)
  • Declaration Pizza – A new pizza shop from the owners of Lincoln and Teddy & the Bully Bar (8th & V Streets)
  • Landmark Theatre – A theater featuring independent films in six small-screen mini-theaters (V Street)
  • An unnamed ramen restaurant from the people behind Daikaya in Chinatown (8th & V Streets)
  • Tasty Burger – The first DC-area location of this Boston-based burger chain (8th Street)
  • Bazaar Spices – The second location for this independently owned herbs and spice shop, which also sells at Union Market (8th Street)
  • Cherry Blossom Creative – A graphic-design studio that will also offer original works for retail purchase (8th Street)
  • Foundry Gallery – An artist-run gallery that will move from Dupont Circle (8th Street)
  • Typecase Industries – A locally-based letterpress and design studio (8th Street)
  • Washington Project for the Arts – The headquarters for a non-profit arts support organization (8th Street)

All shops will be open by the end of the year.

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July 07, 2015 - 11:04 am

110 units proposed for Wiltberger and T Streets

monument_realty_600boT

UrbanTurf reports that a 110-unit apartment building may be coming to T Street next to the Howard Theatre.  The project would replace the warehouse on Wiltberger Street and the stretch of buildings on T Street from Flava to Zenebech Restaurant (see photo below).

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 9.51.01 AM

The project would also include 8,000 square feet of retail and 50 parking spaces. According to UrbanTurf, the project developer plans to build the project matter-of-right, meaning the project will not require any historic design review and will not require zoning relief for things like height, rear yards, parking, etc.

The map below shows the zoning context of the project site.

wiltberger-site-zoning

The site lies just outside the LeDroit Park and Greater U Street Historic Districts (brown dotted area). The site also lies within the C-2-B zone, which allows

  • office, retail, and residential uses
  • maximum lot occupancy of 80% for residential uses and 100% for all other uses*
  • maximum FAR of 3.5 for residential uses and 1.5 FAR for other permitted uses**
  • maximum height of 65 feet.
  • rear yard requirement of fifteen (15) feet
  • 1 parking space for every 3 housing units + 1 parking space for every 750 sq. ft. of retail over 3,000 sq. ft.

As long as the project stays within these constraints, the developer is entitled to receive building permits.


* This calculation applies to different floors of the building based on the floor’s use. If you have ground-floor retail, you can cover 100% of the lot for that floor. If there are residential floors above that, each residential floor cannot cover more than 80% of the lot.
** This calculation is separated by use, meaning you can have 3.5 FAR of residential uses on top of 1.5 FAR of commercial uses. This would give the building a total of 5.0 FAR.

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June 05, 2015 - 10:53 am

Have tea with your neighbors

Progression Place StorefrontsMeet your neighbors and explore a new local business at next week’s LeDroit Park happy hour.  This month we are going to Calabash (1847 7th St NW) on Tuesday, June 9 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Calabash is the new tea shop that opened by the Shaw Metro.

In other news, the Washington Business Journal has a good summary of the retail transformation of Shaw, which is attracting high-end and boutique retailers who used to set up shop in Georgetown instead.



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May 20, 2015 - 5:04 pm

Learn about street improvements; run for the civic association board

300 Block of U Street NW

Learn about DDOT street improvements, review a neighbor’s request for a variance, and vote for civic association officers at the next week’s civic association meeting.  The next meeting is Tuesday, May 26 at 7 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church (623 Florida Ave – enter at the rear).

DDOT will present its plan for installing green infrastructure to reduce stormwater flow into the sewers during storm events.  Such infrastructure can include rain gardens and pervious alleys that absorb water.

A neighbor at 2118 2nd St NW will present her plan to add a 90-square-foot addition to her house.  She will request support for a zoning variance to build her addition.

The association will also hold annual elections for officers. The positions are President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. All association members are eligible to run and vote.

President Golda Philip and Secretary Brian Footer, who is also our ANC Commissioner, have chosen not to run again. At least one person has agreed to run for each position, but we will open the floor to additional nominations (you may nominate yourself).

(Disclosure: I am now the Vice President and will run for President.)

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May 20, 2015 - 1:46 pm

Glen’s Garden Market coming to 8th & Florida

Glen's Garden Market in Dupont

Local grocer Glen’s Garden Market will open a second location on Florida Avenue just west of LeDroit Park.  Glen’s first store, which replaced the “Secret” Safeway on 20th Street in Dupont several years ago, is a small market specializing in locally grown food.

The new location in the new Shay apartment building at 8th Street and Florida Avenue will only cover 2,100 square feet.  Unlike the Dupont location, the new space will forgo the pizza oven and smoker, but will cordon off an area for a beer garden, presumably on the spacious 8th Street front.

Read the City Paper story for the full details.

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April 27, 2015 - 6:54 pm

Discuss transportation, McMillan, taxes, and more at tomorrow’s civic association meeting

Tulipmania

Learn about the McMillan development, DC property tax relief, and transportation fixes for LeDroit Park at tomorrow’s civic association meeting. The meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28 and 7 pm in the basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church (623 Florida Ave – enter at the back). Everyone is welcome to attend.

Here is the full agenda:

  1. Nominations Committee – Nominate yourself or someone else for the civic association board.
  2. McMillan Development – Background and Current status
  3. DC property tax relief
  4. Targeted incentives for homeowners
  5. Transportation survey report – Read the full proposed parking and pavement changes.
  6. Public safety report
  7. Parks report
  8. Community open forum and announcements

See you tomorrow!

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April 20, 2015 - 9:16 pm

The Royal brings wifi, Colombian food, and vermouth next month

Fifth Street NW

The Post reports that next month LeDroit Park will get an all-day cafe and restaurant that will morph into a bar at night. After many months of renovations, the Royal will open at 501 Florida Avenue (photo above, far left), and will be run by the Carlson family. The son, Paul, has run Vinoteca (1940 11th St) for many years.

The Royal’s menu will focus on Colombian plates like arepas, empanadas, blood sausage, and plantains and will serve Counter Culture coffee, which currently fills coffee cups at Big Bear Cafe, Peregrine Espresso, and Tryst.  If you’re tired of walking five minutes to Mockingbird Hill for sherry, consider stopping by the Royal for vermouth, which they will serve on tap.

The telework/freelancer set can also rejoice.  Paul Carlson tells the Post that the Royal will beam wifi into both floors during the day for neighbors who come in to work.  So if you find any typos in future posts, blame the vermouth!

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April 07, 2015 - 10:51 pm

President Obama comes to Howard, Wizards may come to Howard

President Obama visited the Howard University College of Medicine today to deliver a speech on the negative impact of climate change on public health.  I caught some footage of the president’s motorcade as it passed up 7th Street and crossed Florida Avenue.

In other news, the Wizards are considering constructing a practice facility as part of a mixed-use building on university land just west of Georgia Avenue.  No deal has been finalized and the team will likely seek a tax-exempt bond from the District Government to finance the building.

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April 02, 2015 - 2:24 pm

Whole Foods is coming!

Whole Foods on P Street NW, Washington, DC

The Washington Business Journal reports that Whole Foods is slated for a new development on the parking lot at Florida and Sherman Avenues.  The retailer’s arrival is typically a harbinger of soaring real estate values for surrounding neighborhoods. Whole Food is the latest iteration of potential tenants, which had before included Harris Teeter.

The Whole Foods is part of a proposed mixed-use development by developers MRP and JBG, the latter of which is finishing several development projects just a few blocks away.

The development proposal is far from final. Since the development involves the disposition of District-owned land, the DC Council will have to approve the deal.

Area residents have enjoyed a grocery renaissance over the past two years. A new Giant, the largest grocery store in DC, opened at 7th and P Streets in November 2013. A new Trader Joe’s opened at 14th and U Streets in March 2014.

Here’s an updated list of of LeDroit Park’s nearest grocery stores, as measured from Anna Cooper Circle.

Store Location Distance (mi)
Giant 7th & P Streets NW 0.6
Whole Foods (proposed) Florida & Sherman Avenues NW 0.7
Trader Joe’s 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

 

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