Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tenleytown Gets Retail Improvements


Tenleytown is getting upgraded, a bit. Two new projects near the Metro will breathe some freshness into the retail scene in the neighborhood that has seen little new development and lost its library.


The first is not a big lot, but anything that adds retail to the under-served Tenleytown neighborhood gets noticed. The formerly vacant site above the Tenleytown metro entrance, hitherto a loitering spot of choice for American University and Wilson High students, has been fenced off in preparation for construction of a one-story, 3600 s.f. building, with a "decorative cupola" that will serve retail. Keystone Development, representatives of the property owner Circle Management, have begun work on the site but have not yet scored a retail client. Circle Management owned Tenley's Outer Circle theater, before it was demolished. Keystone has hired K3 Construction Group to build the structure. According to K3 representative Kathy McCormick, the site will be "very challenging" work for its proximity to the metro entrance and tunnel, a process that requires WMATA to sign off.

Down the street, Safeway, Inc. is finalizing plans to renovate the Tenleytown Safeway at 4203 Davenport St., NW. The building, with its back to busy Wisconsin Avenue is often overlooked by passersby and is long overdue for a facelift. According, to Craig Muckle, a spokesperson for Safeway, the company is working with the community to get input and make sure interested parties have a say in the design process. The plans should be finalized by mid-September.

Renovation of the Safeway will not start until the Georgetown Safeway, which started renovation work several months ago, is completed, to avoid closing two nearby stores simultaneously. The Georgetown store is on schedule for completion in March of 2010. Muckle was unwilling to share other details of the project, saying that it would be "unfair" to spoil the surprise. Renovation and design will be overseen by Torti Gallas. The new designs will incorporate Safeway's "lifestyle" branding - the grocer's move to incorporate urban design principles into their stores by improving pedestrian friendliness and adding more diverse retail into the shopping experience.

7 comments:

Ralph D Bredahl on Aug 28, 2009, 12:08:00 PM said...

Thanks for the good info

Anonymous said...

What a shame the new development right on the metro line is only a one level building. Tenleytown should be developed with more density but then again there are some very negative residents there that would rather see empty lots and mattress stores than anything that would breathe some energy into that dismal neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

I agree that a one-story retail development is still an inefficient use of land right above the metro station but the article about this property in the Northwest Current said that since it will be a very simple structure, the owner will not have a great sunk cost in this, thus hopefully be more willing to redevelop the lot when the economy improves.

Carless on Connecticut said...

It's almost criminal that we continue to allow one and two story development on top of Metro stations. When will DC learn? Shame on DMPED for blowing the library overbuild,too.

Que said...

How about a way to make sure entrances aren't closed when a building is built around them or building entrances aren't blocked when wmata builds something around or beneath them.

Anonymous said...

It may be criminal to develop a one-story building over a metro, but if you look at the existing buildings and how small the lot is then you realize that anything bigger would look like the Flatiron Building in Nebraska.

Denizen of Tennallytown on Sep 5, 2009, 12:07:00 PM said...

"...anything bigger would look like the Flatiron Building in Nebraska."

Did you notice the existing Cityline at Tenley complex across the street? I suppose the Flatiron Building already exists. High rise, higher density structures in Tenleytown are long overdue.

 

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