Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wisconsin Avenue Giant Close to Construction?


Is the wait almost over? The Wisconsin Avenue Giant is scheduled to break ground at the end of this summer, says Jonathan Willingham, spokesperson for Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh. After a decade of delay and lawsuits, it seems the plans may finally come to fruition.

The Cathedral Commons project includes a new 56,000 s.f. grocery store, 85,000 s.f. of additional ground floor, street-level retail, 150 condos or apartments and over 500 parking spaces.

While past deadlines for the project have slipped due in part to continuing suits by locals hoping to derail development, the end of this month also marks a more telling sign: the exodus of many businesses on the strip as some retailers move further uptown on Wisconsin Avenue, after been pushed out by the owner. Starbucks wears a banner informing customers of its intent to stay put until construction begins, and then it will relocate to relocate to a temporary structure.

Last July, the Zoning Commission gave their unanimous approval of the project, to which the Wisconsin Newark Neighbors Coalition (WNNC) responded by filing an appeal, claiming that the Zoning Commission lacks the power to eliminate a neighborhood commercial zone designation on the subject lots. A decision has not yet been delivered on that appeal.

In the meantime, while Giant and partner Street-Works ready for the demolition, last month they committed to cleaning up ground water contaminants underneath the supermarket as part of the redevelopment.
Washington, D.C. real estate development news

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

All I know is all the nimby who tried their best to stop this project from being built better not patronize this development once its done

Thayer-D on Apr 22, 2011, 9:19:00 AM said...

This is a great piece of infill development and the Newark street cut through is priceless. It's amazing that some would protest what is such a thoughtfull upgrade to a neighborhood that's incredibly underserved. Most neighborhoods would be so lucky...

Michael said...

It looks like a little bit of Bethesda coming to Northwest...and in the good way too. Haven't been following all of the neighborhood/development "drama" but it seems a shame that this has taken so long. I also like that the new Giant building appears to incorporate the Giant sign from the current building...nice touch.

Anonymous said...

I think the "Newark Street cut through" is what has some of the neighbors worried. The poor guy whose house is being heavily impacted by Giant's new loading dock (instead of locating it next to the residences that Giant is building) probably doesn't think that aspect is too priceless or thoughtful.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of mixed-use development at that site, but think the architecture kind of sucks. It looks like the cookie cutter stuff that is going up all over the area, from Silver Spring to Clarendon. If it's a little bit of Bethesda coming to Northwest, it's the more mediocre aspects -- nothing like the well-designed extension of Bethesda Row along Arlington Blvd.

Ben on Apr 22, 2011, 10:23:00 AM said...

@Thayer-D

You're exactly right. This will create much-needed construction jobs for the city, it will bring DC new sales and property tax revenue, it will provide new housing in a very expensive part of the region in a location that is well-served by the 30s and the H4 bus. Although it can't be described as transit-oriented development, this location is within a twenty minute walk of both the Tenley and Cleveland Park metro stations.

This, along with the proposed relocation of the American University law school to the Tenley Circle campus will go a long way towards enlivening Wisconsin Avenue. I can't wait for this development to start.

Anonymous said...

What is the "Newark Street cutthrough"? Newark already runs along that alignment.

Is this the extension of 38th Street, where there currently is a "cutthrough" the existing parking lot?

Ben said...

I don't mean to complain-- I am really excited to see construction begin-- but this development, especially the south parcel, should have rooftop solar panels. Hopefully Giant will consider adding them later.

Anonymous said...

It should have a green roof, too, and it's strange that it won't even be LEED certified. I thought that PUDs were supposed to have more than what is required, yet Safeway's new Georgetown store is LEED certified and it was built as matter of right. Guess Safeway is just a more environmentally conscious company.

Anonymous said...

The neighborhood should organize and sue the WNNC for holding up this valuable development so many years.

Anonymous said...

What's WNNC?

Anonymous said...

Took a closer look at the development next to what is there and I can't believe anyone was resisting this.

The current buildings are an awful dead zone-the worst of early style suburbia strip malls. The new stuff is pretty tasteful, with living buildings and nice public spaces. I don't know--the houses in sight of the new loading docks seem to be losing only their view of a parking lot (and dumpsters)...

Anonymous said...

Does the remedial work that Giant is doing on ground water contaminants mean that the Army Corps of Engineers tested to rule out disposal of WW I era-munitions at the site?

Anonymous said...

It feels so good when the NIMBY's lose and sanity wins!!!

Anonymous said...

Giant's development may be the greatest thing since sliced bread (excuse the expression). But it would be unwise to conclude that the community groups’ appeal is "lost” or to dismiss it as frivolous in the hope that it just goes away. First, frivolous isn't a word too often associated with Hogan & Lovells, which represents the groups that brought the appeal. Second, I read that the DC appeals court was what lawyers call a "hot bench" -- very interested and engaged in the arguments. Third, the judges were annoyed that the Zoning Commission didn't bother to submit a brief. So it seems there's some risk the ruling could go against the development.

Anonymous said...

This is a long overdue big plus for DC. Construction jobs, more shopping within walking distance or a short bus ride from thosands of DC residents near Wisconsin Ave., tax receipts from dollars spent in the District by locals and foreigners from MD and VA and permanent jobs. Yes, the architecture is typical, but we can't have everything. Imagine if someone had proposed 9 story buildings with more office and residential uses. Developments can be bus TOD. You don't have to have a rail line and this one certainly is in tune with bus urban development. It has the 96 and all of the Wisconsin Ave. bus routes.

Anonymous said...

The only reason Hogan and Lovells is taking the case is because a small handful of well heeled residents have provided coin to one of their own who happens to be a partner there.

Nothing more to read into it than that.

Anonymous said...

The Giant development has its good points, but fans shoudn't overplay their hand arguing that bus lines (with pretty uneven service, I might add) constitute TOD. People in the 'hood are not unaware that there are restaurants that literally sit on top of the Cleveland Park Metro stop that are seeking valet parking permits even though they can't find enough off-street spots to use. They claim that they will be unsuccessful without more parking and specifically valet parking. If there was ever a location where most patrons should arrive by train, bus or on foot, it would be on Conn. Ave. The TOD case can be overplayed.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think the project will bring in much in the way of tax dollars from MD or VA? I thought a supermarket typically serves a small area and the other retail is just going to be run of the mill neighborhood-type stuff. It will hardly be a destination.



"tax receipts from dollars spent in the District by locals and foreigners from MD and VA"

Trafic nighmare on Jun 27, 2011, 1:11:00 PM said...

What a mess this is going to be. Five hundred parking spaces!!!! How will all of those cars get to those parking places. Wisconsin Avenue will go from impossible to impassible. A nice mixed use complex but half this size would be ok but this monster is over the top for the neigborhood. I've been shopping at this Giant for 40 years and admit it needs a serious redo but this is more of an undo!

 

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