Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Construction Work Begins on Cathedral Commons

Initial construction work has begun on the Giant Supermarket site at 3336 Wisconsin Avenue, a 4-acre site that will be redeveloped into a mixed-use community known as Cathedral Commons.  The $130 million project has been more than a decade in the making, and will create a new, larger Giant as well as 137 apartment units, 8 townhouses, and a concourse with 125,000 s.f. of street front retail space.

Giant had been fighting a devoted neighbor- hood opposition group for years, but scored some decisive legal victories in 2011 and obtained financial partner Bozzuto Group to give the project the final kick needed to start development.  While no formal announcement was issued by the team, partners in the project have been saying for weeks that construction would be imminent, and construction crews began erecting fences Monday afternoon.  
The supermarket, one of the last major groceries to begin (a much needed) renovation, closed in March.  Renderings and descriptions for the new Giant show a wide-aisled suburban-style supermarket resembling its Bethesda counterpart more than the reimagined urban supermarket being promised by developers of the CityMarket at O.  The project was designed by JCA Architects of Reston, which is also responsible for the design work at Union Market.

Update:  A spokesperson for the project notes that Bozzuto is not only the financial partner but also the developer and joint venture partner with Giant, and that no formal date has been announced regarding an official groundbreaking.

Washington D.C. real estate development news


Jared said...

Thank God. That Giant was nasty; I walked in once and had to step over a homeless guy sleeping in the doorway inside the store, he was still there when I left. My only fear is that the project lacks much architectural distinctiveness, seems like it could be located in any suburb.

Anonymous said...

Wait, did the Cubs win the World Series?

Anonymous said...

It will be good to have a reopened grocery store there, although I agree that the architecture seems pretty unimaginative and generic, not distinguished at all. Also agree with Jared though that Giant/CC seems like a big-box Gaithersburg-style store shoe-horned into a city neighborhood. People in DC don't tend to back the SUV up for 15-bag grocery loads, but this seems to be Giant's business model. Not sure how that's going to work there.

Anonymous said...

Things do look a little generic--and seem to leave out some "cathedral" touches that would have been interesting (a gothic arch entrance?), but at least it looks like the old neon sign has been preserved. It has a lot of retro-style.

Anonymous said...

Would you all stop bitching! First of all, it's a HELL of a lot better than what's there now! Second, I live in a neighborhood with NO grocery store or businesses. I'd KILL to have this!


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