November 06, 2013 - 11:19 am

Shaw Giant reopens Nov. 22

City Market at O

In 16 days the Giant at 7th & O Streets in Shaw will reopen after closing for redevelopment in 2011. The new store occupies 78,000 square feet, making it the largest grocery store in the District, and the closest grocery store to LeDroit Park.

Unlike the previous Giant, which was situated with its back to 9th Street, the new Giant will occupy the former historic market building along 7th Street.  LeDroit residents can easily access the Giant by foot, bike, or the G2 bus, which runs along the north side of the store along P Street on its way between Georgetown and LeDroit Park.

The store is part of a larger development, City Market at O, which includes 182 hotel rooms, 407 market-rate apartments, and 90 affordable apartments for seniors.

Giant isn’t the only store opening soon.  The new Trader Joe’s at 14th & U Streets is set to open early next year.

Store Location Distance (mi)
Giant (opens Nov. 22, 2013) 7th & O Streets NW 0.6
Trader Joe’s (opens early 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
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September 06, 2013 - 9:44 am

Three new restaurants and one beer garden open in Shaw

The opening of new restaurants on 14th Street has been prolific enough to merit attention from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.  These papers might want to turn their attention to Shaw, which is seeing three new restaurants and one beer garden open within a two-week period.  All of these new places are within a mile of LeDroit Park.

Dacha

In time for Oktoberfest, Dacha beer garden opened Wednesday at 1600 7th Street to serve a variety of American, German, and Belgian beers.  Dacha, like the Garden District beer garden (née Standard) on 14th Street, will close for the winter.  After Dacha closes for the season, the owners will start construction on a permanent building to house the kitchen and bar.

Dacha is open weekdays from 4 pm to 10:30 pm and on weekends from noon to midnight.

Tomorrow from 2 pm to 3 pm, Mayor Gray is cutting the ribbon for three other restaurants, Mandalay, Thally, and Baby Wale.

Mandalay

After you finish your beer at Dacha, walk two blocks to Mandalay at 1501 9th Street, a site that has been in the works for several years.  Though the building has been finished for some time, the restaurant, which sits on the ground floor, will open Sunday night for dinner.

Mandalay serves Burmese food, including many vegetarian options.  The restaurant will serve eight family-style dishes at seatings at 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm Tuesdays through Sundays.  Bring your wallet, though, as the prix-fixe menu is $40 on weekdays and $50 on weekends.

Thally

If you’re not in the mood for Burmese food, walk two blocks south on 9th Street to Thally (1316 9th Street), which opened last week.  The restaurant, pronounced like ‘tally’, serves “modern American” food.  First course items range from $8 to $10 and include peach and prosciutto soup, fancy BLTs, and crab roulette.  Main course items range from $17 to $28 and include roasted duck, delmonico steak, and rockfish.

Thally is open from 5 pm to 11:30 pm Tuesdays through Sundays.

Baby Wale (I hope that’s not a menu item!)

If you’re more in the mood for wine and snacks, continue walking two blocks south to Baby Wale (1124 9th Street), a project of the Tom Power, who started Corduroy next door.  Baby Wale, which opened last week, is far more casual than its upscale neighbor and serves soups, salads, sandwiches and “upscale bar food”.  As for alcohol, the place serves specialty cocktails, 80 different bottles of wine, and six draft beers.

Baby Wale opens at 5 pm Mondays through Saturdays.

It’s amazing how quickly new restaurants are opening on Shaw’s primary main streets.  Even more food options are on the way as Progression Place’s storefronts continue to fill and as the new Giant opens in November at 7th and O Streets.

3restaurants1beergarden

 

Name Address Distance Cuisine
Dacha 1600 7th St 0.6 mi beer garden
Mandalay 1501 9th St 0.7 mi Burmese
Thally 1316 9th St 0.8 mi Modern American
Baby Wale 1124 9th St 1.0 mi wine and bar food

 

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September 13, 2012 - 9:28 am

We may be in store for another grocery store

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:

Store Location Distance (mi)
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.

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July 08, 2012 - 11:56 am

Time lapse video of CityMarket at O

You already know about Trader Joe’s plans for 14th & U Streets next year.  In Shaw the CityMarket at O project will bring a 60,000-square foot Giant that will be LeDroit Park’s closest full-service grocery store.

The project covers two city blocks bounded by 7th, O, 9th and P Streets. Construction is well underway and the construction company has installed a cellphone camera across the street to track the construction progress.  Here’s a time lapse video of the project so far:

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July 07, 2012 - 6:43 pm

Trader Joe’s coming to 14th & U

It looks like 2013 will be a harvest year for LeDroit Park residents as two new grocery stores open nearby. DCist broke the news that Trader Joe’s will open a store at the Louis building now under construction at the southwest corner of 14th and U.

Located at just under a mile’s walk from Anna J. Cooper Circle, the new store will provide another grocery option to area residents.

TJ’s prices are competitive with many other stores and the TJ’s specializes in unusual and somewhat exotic foods in addition to the usual staples.  TJ’s main weakness lies in its produce selection, which, judging from experiences at the Trader Joe’s in the West End, is limited.

The store’s opening next year will also be accompanied by the opening of the 60,000 square-foot Giant at the CityMarket project at 7th and P Streets in Shaw.  Once these two projects open, all the major grocery store chains in the area will be located no more than 1.1 mi. from LeDroit Park.

Store Location Distance (mi)
Giant (opening 2013) 7th & P Streets NW 0.6
Trader Joe’s (opening 2013) 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

Even still I dream of a full-service grocery store opening up at the long-stalled Howard Town Center project at Georgia Avenue and V Street.  The project, in the planning stages for many years, has been perpetually delayed by disagreements between Howard University and its development partner.

The UPO building on Rhode Island Avenue used to be a Safeway many years ago.  The site is large enough to be redeveloped into a modern, urban grocery store if parking is placed underground.  In fact the second floor could house UPO’s offices.

Until those dreams come true, the nearest full-service grocery stores are a long, but manageable walk.

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September 01, 2010 - 8:25 am

Three Projects Break Ground This Week

We’re back from our half-month vacation and LeDroit Park and Shaw are about to see some construction action starting today.

Wednesday, September 1 – 10:30 am

Just when we thought construction on the park on the site of the old Gage-Eckington School would begin, along came the parks scandal last October. Then in March, Harry Thomas Jr. (D – Ward 5) tried to prevent the mayor from appropriating money to the park project; he then reversed himself after an avalanche of constituent criticism.  The new contract was ready to go until Councilmember Marion Barry (D – Ward 8) put a hold on the contract in late July.  Mr. Barry’s delay procedure just expired and the mayor’s office will host a groundbreaking ceremony today at 10:30 am at Third and Elm Streets.

3:00 pm

Over in Shaw, the two block site currently occupied by Giant and a crumbling old market façade is about to start its journey to become a vibrant mixed-use development.  Join the Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), Mayor Adrian Fenty (D), Council Chairman Vincent Gray (D), Councilmember Jack Evans (D – Ward 2) and Councilmember Kwame Brown (D – at large) for the groundbreaking.

Thursday, September 2 – 10:45 am

After years of planning and promises, construction on the Howard Theatre begins in earnest.  Join the developer, ANC Commissioner Myla Moss, and other notables for the official groundbreaking.

We’re relieved to see these long-promised projects finally moving forward to construction.

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June 16, 2010 - 10:41 pm

Several Groundbreakings in August

Developers of several large projects in Shaw adhere to the Macbeth method when promising groundbreakings: tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

But this summer is shaping up— keep your fingers crossed— to be a constructive one for Shaw. After decades of disinvestment, decay, and neglect, much of Shaw’s physical environment has already healed.  Some star-crossed exceptions include the area around the Shaw Metro station’s north entrance, which emerges from the ground to a large empty lot, a row of boarded-up shops, a vacant Hostess factory, and a vacant theater.  A terrible first impression of Shaw.

If action is eloquence, then the poetry begins in August.

August 22, 2010 – Howard Theatre

After false starts and a tumbled marquee, the Howard Theatre’s renovation is expected to commence on August 22, 2010, the centennial of the theater’s opening.

August 2010 – UNCF Headquarters

It seems like only yesterday Radio One unceremoniously withdrew from the Broadcast Center One project to be built at the Shaw Metro’s north entrance.  Lo and behold, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) swooped in to fill the void.  The District cemented the deal by offering UNCF $5.1 million in tax abatement and relocation subsidies.  The project will include 50,000 square feet for UNCF’s offices, a college information center, as well as 180 (or 133?) housing units.  Work on the project will also commence in August 2010 and finish sometime in 2012.

September 2, 2010 – O Street Market

Just down Seventh Street between O and P Streets is the shell of a Victorian-era market designed by German-born Washington architect Adolf Cluss.  The project includes condos, apartments, senior housing, a hotel, parking, retail, and a new Giant to be built behind the extant walls of the old market (rendering above).  The project will also re-establish Eighth Street NW between O and P Streets NW.  Construction will begin on September 2 and the current Giant will close and be demolished early next year.

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