Think Eastern Market meets City Vista if you're trying to imagine what the CityMarket at O will look like, the $260 million dollar project to help revitalize Shaw's business district. "It will embrace an unusual combination of 19th century charm and 21st century technology," said Armand Spikell, Principal of Roadside Development about the Shaw project that will transform two city blocks in Shaw.
Though Roadside had applied to raze the Giant at 1414 8th Street at the end of January - the first of many permits - the demolition date is still hazy, though Spikell projects the store will close this summer. Between now and then, the group has been digging around the foundation and adding steel braces to support the historic market building.
The new Giant Foods will be larger than the Safeway that now resides in City Vista. 55,000 of the 87,000 s.f of retail space is slated for Giant, of which 13,000 s.f. will be underground. This includes the loading dock in particular. "During the initial meetings, the community stated they did not want the eyesore of the docks that take up 9th Street now. It is a very unusual move, but we've tucked all that out of sight," said Spikell.
Also out of sight are the 500 parking spaces, which will also serve as an option for the Convention Center so as not to congest the neighborhood, again at the behest of the community. The remaining retail space is slated for small local businesses, none of which have yet signed at this early date; businesses would not open doors until 2013.
"Working with metro on foundations, working on design, meeting with the community, securing funding through HUD, this is not a normal commercial venture," said Spikell, "and this all takes time." Having started in 2003, eight years later, "things are finally starting to move."
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