Despite their best efforts, the Concerned Citizens of Van Ness will be stuck with a brand new Walgreens Pharmacy at 4225 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Last week the Board of Zoning Adjustment denied an appeal by the neighbors who protested building a Walgreens next to such gems as Jerry's subs, Embassy Cleaners and a parking deck. The initial design was "suburban," sitting back from the street with a parking lot in the front. After negative initial responses from neighbors and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the Walgreens design team revamped the plans twice, and in April of last year, the BZA approved plans for a store that sits closer to the street and has below-grade parking, but construction has been stalled by continued community objections.
On a strip rife with commercial buildings, neighbors of the Connecticut Avenue site, currently a gas station, were unhappy with the plans after design adjustments to facilitate a so-called "urban environment." Neighbors were concerned about additional traffic from the new store and problems associated with loading. Requests for additional greenery were met to an extent, though a green oasis, it is not.
The 20,000 s.f. store, designed by Rust Orling Architects, will sit a mere 50 feet from the Van Ness Metro Station and will provide 27 spaces of parking on one level beneath the store. The application required a variance and reduction from the zoning requirement for 57 spaces. The Zoning Commission approval references "other parking alternatives" at the neighboring Giant and CVS. Ah yes, Walgreens customers can use parking at a competitor's neighboring store, which offers the same products and prices. It is the second controversial Walgreens to open on that stretch of Connecticut, the first having replaced the beloved Yenching Palace restaurant in Cleveland Park.
Washington, DC real estate development news