Friday, May 21, 2010

Say Yes! to Organic East of the River


For the first time, the Fairlawn neighborhood, just on the boundaries of Ward 8 and Ward 7 and a few blocks from the Historic Anacostia neighborhood, will have access to fresh, organic products like its brethren on the other side of the Anacostia River. Yes! Organic's newest store will open in August, occupying all 7,500 s.f. of ground floor retail in Chapman Development's new affordable housing project, The Grays, at 2323 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

The Grays brings 118 units of subsidized rental apartments to those making at or below 60% area median income; so far, 45 units have been leased. Renters pay $1,155 for a one-bedroom, $1,386 for a two-bedroom. Computecture Incorporated designed the building, which sits on a plot formerly home to an unsightly strip of used car lots and a tattoo parlor.

The site is the 7th Yes! to open in the District. The District provided $7.5 million in construction loans and $1.9 million in affordable housing tax credits to the developer, and an additional $900,000 grant to get a Yes! store through the Supermarket Tax Credit and Great Streets Program. The new project will create 27 jobs over the next four months.

Chapman was also previously responsible for the Lotus Square Apartments on Kenilworth Avenue, NE. Chapman recently announced that he and Gary Cha, owner of several Yes! Organic Market stores, would be partnering to open five more stores in other District neighborhoods. Mayor Adrian Fenty called the new store just the latest addition in Cha's "Yes! Organic empire" (making up, perhaps, from has gaffe when he announced at the 2008 groundbreaking ceremony that the store would a Harris Teeter.)

Washington, DC real estate development news!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

terrific. this area of dc gets organic food while H street gets screwed over once again with an Aldi.

Tom A. on May 21, 2010, 2:50:00 PM said...

This is interesting news. Do they expect people in an extremely poor area with unemployment figures well over 20% can support an upscale organic market? Perhaps there is good drive-by traffic going out to more affluent suburbs though. I can't imagine many peeple who live within walking distance will shop there.

I can't imagine they will make a profit, but kudos to them for trying!

Tim on May 22, 2010, 8:04:00 PM said...

there is so much money east of the river ready to be spent. if the amenities are there, the stores will be patronized. see big chair coffee, etc. yes market will be fine. typical dc foolishness, putting down these businesses.

Anonymous said...

The residents east of the river already pay those kind of prices you find at Yes Organic when they shop at those local mom and pop corner stores. FYI, there are only three grocery stores on that side of the river. YES Organic gives them (us) an opportunity to pay those kind of prices for quality food. To be honest, I personally think this will be Cha's most profitable store in the district.

Deanwoodenizen on May 24, 2010, 10:43:00 AM said...

At this announcement the Mayor was supposed to also give info about the retail action strategy reports, http://planning.dc.gov/planning/cwp/view,a,1282,q,641497.asp. These reports clearly document the retail power and leakage in Wards 7and 8 in the five targeted corridors. Wards 7 and 8 neighborhoods are underserved and even though there are low-income individuals YES! will provide them with a better use of the food stamps or WIC benefits than going to the corner store or even the Safeways and Giant.

Anonymous said...

While I have a general thought that Anacostia is little served for retail and the like, that was made more obvious when I did the Anacostia walking tour. We started at the Anacostia station and meandered to the Frederick Douglas house and while the distance wasn't huge MLK and Douglas two of the bigger streets had little in the way of any amenities much less basics. Now maybe other areas/streets are better served but this one definitely wasn't.

I took the B2 (?) bus to Potomac Metro and saw this building and was a bit surprised to see the Yes! While I could only hazard a guess as to a complete population/demographic portrait I wouldn't have thought that pricey organic would find a strong toehold. This isn't to diss on the east side of the river but one would have though more affordable first. Also, the spot is bit odd being right there off the bridge - almost the first building.

Carol said...

The Fairlawn neighborhood is a very stable place with lots of government employees. Come join us the Fairlawn Citizens Association is 300+ members strong. We love this neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if some of these commenters have been east of the river!. I've lived in this area for the past 5 years (@Penn Circle Condo's) and I am sure that the Doctors, nurses, Lawyers, Microbiologists (Myself), Corperate trainers, Directors, etc. that live in my building, would frequent this Yes! Organic. Also, Our neighbors in the residential area's are Councilman Kwame Brown, Council Member Marion Berry (Former Neighbor). If you guys will do your homework a bit you'd find that this area is actually home to a lot of affluent residents and the small portion of blight in the commercial area's are not fully representative of who really lives in these neighborhoods. I really think "East of the River" gets a bad wrap from people who just drive through and pass judgement. Do understand, the pockets of poverty does not represent all the residents east of the river!

Anonymous said...

Well, I personally am glad that there is finally a Yes Market on this side of town. I get so tired of traveling all across the other side of the district (NE-Brookland and NW for WholeFoods) or in Maryland (MOM' Market or WholeFoods) in order to get healthy and quality organic foods. I will make my stop over there next week. However, could someone please tell me if there is parking over there. I do drive. I'd really appreciate it. Also, my other point is that by bringing this development into this section of the district will hopefully bring an extensive array of development to this side of the district.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have any idea on how the Yes! is doing?

 

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