Monday, August 30, 2010

Shaw Community, Public Officials, Set to Celebrate CityMarket Groundbreaking Wednesday


Approved by the HPRB way back in August of 2007, and then by Zoning in May of 2008, Roadside Development's mixed-use CityMarket at O project apparently has a long shelf life. Developers have regularly attempted to quell the usual doubters with news of restructured financing, and updated timelines, but will finally lay uncertainty to rest, as a groundbreaking shindig is dated for Wednesday afternoon of this week. Festivities could include some palpable political tension, as mayoral candidate rivals political-polling master Vincent Gray and the Smart-car-piloting Mayor Fenty will likely both be in attendance. After the two year stall in action, a strategy becoming evermore popular in development world, Roadside's shovel plunge at CityMarket is an important step in the revitalization of the Shaw district.

Now residents are set to receive their long-awaited attention with a one million s.f. urban infill project that will solidify, restore, and protect the historic facade of the enduring O Street Market, constructed in 1881 and now only a shell, as well as populate four lonely acres of mostly abandoned land between 9th, 7th, P and O Streets, NW with residential (over 600 units) and commercial buildings (87,000 s.f. of retail). Shalom Baranes Architects has been trusted to oversee the design process. A heavy snowstorm destroyed the roof the Market building in 2001, but architects and developers are confident the building will be restored to its original grandeur. Project architect Andrew Taylor says that they intend on avoiding a monolithic design theme, and that each building will have its own personality. "There is an effort...to create a composition of buildings surrounding and drawing attention to the Market, using modern elements that pick up on the more playful elements of the Market's Victorian architecture."


The project also includes the demolition of the current Giant grocery store, with plans for a much grander replacement. Roadside says of the planned Giant: "The new store will combine the charm of the 19th Century with 21st Century efficiency to create one of Washington's largest food stores and the East Coast's most unique and interesting shopping experiences." Stabilization of the O Street Market building for the purpose of preservation, and protection from subsequent ground excavation, is the first order of business, beginning this week. Demolition of the current Giant is next on the agenda, scheduled for later this winter, with the 24-month shot-clock commencing on January 15th, counting down the time developers have to deliver the new grocery store. The redevelopment won't be fully realized until sometime in 2013. Clark Construction is handling general contracting duties.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great to see this project finally moving forward. This will really serve to finish revitalizing the area.

CCCA Prez on Aug 30, 2010, 5:18:00 PM said...

Great news.

Edward said...

I hope it's all funded. We don't want to begin development and have some politicians decide to pull
the funding. We've lived through enough crap in Shaw, that we've EARNED this.

Anonymous said...

This appears to be good news. Do they have financing and solid plans lined up for the residential units? Or is this more of a we're going to move some dirt around now and hope to have things in place for the actual construction to begin next year.

Hopefully this is the real deal and not some election year photo op.

Dusty Rhodes - the American Dream said...

FYI - snow took down the roof in Feb, 2003, not 2001.

Surely the timing of this shindig is meant for political showboating. Don't really care who gets the credit (I'm giving it to the bootleg DVD guy and crazy car wash man who hang in the Giant parking lot)... just glad its finally getting under way.

Q-Street said...

I'm going to cut out of work to go see this. This is such a blessing for the neighborhood.

I hope this is the real deal.

Angry at progress!!!!! said...

Don't we really need more affordable housing in Shaw instead of a fancy market? ... just being snarky ... looks great.

Shaw Rez said...

@ Angry at Progress: The development will include affordable housing units for seniors. A mix of market rate and affordable housing is really the best development strategy for Shaw.

I have been hearing about this project since I moved into the neighborhood in 2004. Hope this time it's really going to happen.

Shaw Rez on Aug 31, 2010, 6:44:00 PM said...

(note - not the same Shaw Rez as above...)

This is SO exciting to see this project come to fruition. I drove past the site yesterday and saw Clark Construction signs posted; it made me giddy. I think it's safe to say that funding is and/or is on track to be fully in place when it is needed.

Anonymous said...

Last news I heard was they were planning on "groundbreaking" in September, which was really just an effort to brace the former historic market. Real construction won't happen until 2011. So this is somewhat misleading. There's no way they have their financing in place for a project of this scale with this high degree of affordable housing in this market. If they did, we all would have heard about it.

Anonymous said...

Funny how a recession will change the way people look at construction projects. A short while ago this project was not viewed as postive by many of the people commenting on this site. This will be one of the better projects in DC when it is completed. Great news for all involved and those living in the area.

Anonymous said...

Great project! I really hope it moves forward, the community really needs it.

Anonymous said...

@Shaw Rez: As a proponent of affordable housing and opponent of sprawl, I would have hoped that the project's "affordable housing" would benefit households of all ages and not just seniors. The empty, abandoned and coverted housing developments immediately adjacent to the market are signs of lower and moderate income households being displaced. If you're correct and the affordable units are for seniors only, the city has done the immediate community a great disservice.

Anonymous said...

is this for realz???
great great month for shaw!

Frank said...

Wait - last anon: So you support segmenting affordable housing to certain incomes, subsidizing a protected class at the expense of the working middle class, but oppose being exclusive based on age?? That makes no sense on several levels. See, once the govt supports some at the expense of many, they get to draw the line wherever they want. The perils of state control.

Q-Street said...

@Anon,

Shaw has over 20 subsidized and public housing complexes. Our neighborhood has done more than enough to accomodate low-income households.

It always stupifies me when people focus on getting more affordable housing crammed into Shaw when the rest of the NW is an affordable housing desert.

 

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