Friday, February 22, 2008

Waffle Shop: A Moving Story


Yesterday, the Zoning Commission approved Douglas Development's 1000 F Street project for proposed action. This leaves the project to be reviewed by the National Capital Planning Commission on March 6th before Zoning can make their final decision.

For the unenlightened, Douglas had submitted a Consolidated P.U.D. for the 11-story, 91,000 s.f. office with 6,000 s.f. of ground-floor retail back in the third quarter of 2007 (see original blog). The L-shaped corner project, which will sit in very close proximity to the Metro Center station, will also include the renovation and relocation of the two-story "Waffle Shop" now on the site - not just the business, but the entire building will be transported. Douglas is heading up the shop's location change thanks to the Art Deco Society of Washington, the DC Preservation League, the Historic Preservation Office and the Committee of 100 on the Federal City's requests to save it in all its historic glory. HPRB had initially granted Douglas's request to destroy the eatery, despite the dearth of retail downtown and the vacant storefronts which attend to so many of Douglas's retail spaces in Penn Quarter, but the community's ire motivated the city to reconsider the issue. No space has yet been designated for the store's relocation.

Douglas will also incorporate another historic commercial building into the new development, keeping its facade and all of the other 'pretty parts' to lend some historic credibility to Douglas' new office building. The renovation and construction will be guided by architect Shalom Baranes.

11 comments:

Scenic Artisan on Feb 23, 2008, 11:17:00 AM said...

north capitol would be a good spot for the relocation.....

; )

Anonymous said...

Douglas, are you listening?

Anonymous said...

He'll listen...if there's lots of money in it for him, and only then. And don't count on that being the case on North Cap, its going to be some time before signs of life appear there...

Anonymous said...

Doug Jemal is a developer who has always taken historic preservation seriously. We can thank him for the elegant, revitalized strip of storefronts along 7th Street opposite Gallery Place, as well as several other challenging projects, including the preservation of the historic Car Barn in Georgetown and the landmark Park & Shop in Cleveland Park.

For those not in the know, the Park & Shop was the first strip shopping center on the East Coast. For 20 forlorn years, the deteriorating center lay dormant and vacant on Connecticut Avenue, and was considered for demolition more than once. But Jemal saw something worth saving and in 1991 the historic center was reborn and has been an integral part of Cleveland Park ever since. This was Jemal's first project in Washington, DC. It also signifies how far the re-energized District has come in only 17 years.

Other notable Douglas Development projects include the redevelopment of the downtown Woodies Building and the Avalon Theater in upper northwest.

poo poo said...

when i grow up, i wanna be just like jemal!

which probably won't happen cuz i'm 38 years old...

bummer.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous at 10:38 pm. Very nice writing style, for comments on a blog. You wouldn't happen to a PR person for Mr. Jemal's companies or something similar, would you?

DG-rad on Feb 25, 2008, 12:35:00 PM said...

I wonder when Jemal will start redeveloping his assets in Historic Anacostia along Martin Luther King Ave...

Anonymous said...

Re: The Feb 24th, 6:24 comment and my earlier comment

First off, please let me express clearly that I have no connection whatsoever, past or present, with Jemal or his development company, in any manner or form.

Once, about 10 years ago, Jemal and I were stopped side-by-side at a traffic light on Reno Road (at Van Street, I believe) on a bright sunny day. Jemal was in a spiffy BMW roadster, the top turned down. I looked over at him and he at me. The light then turned green. That's about it as far as any connection goes.

I have, however, followed Jemal's career over the years in the news and trade journals. (And, no, in case you're wondering, I'm not in the development business nor am I in real estate.)

In many respects, Jemal is not your typical developer. Like others in the development trade, he thrives on the deal and desires, of course, to make some money doing so. But he also seems to possess a deep civic commitment in adding value and substance to the community. Many of Jemal's earlier projects--some of them quite challenging in terms of feasibility and financing--wouldn't even command a second glance from others more established in the development field. He took risks that others viewed as risky, but trusting his keen insight and working hard, has been more successful than not. His projects have changed Washington, and for the better in almost every instance.

Who else would commit to moving the Waffle Shop to another location? Who but Jemal is capable of finding a suitable place to park that structure? There may be others, yes, but my faith and trust lies with Jemal. His steady commitment to historic preservation, whether in downtown DC or in the nearby neighborhoods, has been and is commendable.

Anonymous said...

Er, in the above comment, it should be "Van Ness Street" not "Van Street." My apologies for the error.

monkeyrotica on Feb 26, 2008, 12:34:00 PM said...

H Street NE, Florida and New York, Barracks Row, Navy Yard, there's any number of places where a new Waffle Shop would be profitable. And I'm sure the neighbors would welcome an affordable dining option that generates late night foot traffic.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I live in Eckington. Last week while driving South through NOMA we were surprised to see a 24-hour restaurant. When was the last time you took your date to a Greyhound Depot? Guaranteed to be your last! We are hoping that the new additions to the ATF are successful. I think it is only going to be a matter of time before voids are filled in between Big Bear Cafe and the upcoming Heidi's Deli. At the moment it is ungodly to think that the local supermarket on North Capital does not even carry sour cream. Instead there are a multiple of options of power drinks (sugar), non-name brand processed cheese singles, and canned whipped cream. When is someone (hint, hint, Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter, Wholefoods, etc.) going to realize that there is a middle class community nestled here and that the closest shopping options entail long treks and long lines. Even then, you are only left with a dozen different types of mild salsas to choose from at the Wednesday Food Ad stores.

 

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