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Showing posts from August, 2017

Last Days for Former Library, Residential Planned

The little R.L Christian library building --at 1300 H St NE-- hasn't operated as a library since 2009; and now its days of just existing are about to come to an end. A raze notice was recently posted to the site and a new mixed-use (residential & commercial) building will take its place.

The "temporary" library kiosk was one of many set up by the District in the 1970s and 1980s to increase access to the library system  for neighborhoods without a dedicated, permanent library. The kiosks were thought to have an initial life span of about seven years. After shuttering the R.L Christian in '09, the District sold the property in 2014. The site is 10,800 square feet and adjacent to a DC Streetcar stop.
A trio of developers including Insight Property Group will convert the parcel into 55 foot tall, 4 story, 33 unit residential building with 5,900 sq feet of retail. This is the same company that paid $10M for Murray's site + $12M for the adjacent self-storage site,…

Big Changes Conceptualized for Hechinger Mall, Carver Langston

Late last week Bizsow reported on a new concept in for the Hechinger Mall area in the form of a pitch by city the business development program H Street Main Street to the owners of the mall property. Important to consider: this is just a concept -- not a rendering of a planned building or anything binding. However, it is a harbinger for the future of the Starburst intersection, Benning Road NE, and H Street NE. But, wow is it a departure. The reporting is great and much more than I can elaborate on in a blog post, so:

Read the full article here: H Street Group Pitches Major Hechinger Mall Development As Activity Moves Down Corridor (Bizsow)
A few tidbits:
"The team has sketched a vision for the site that could include several buildings up to 11 stories tall with as many as 3,000" multifamily units, ground-floor retail and potential hotel and office components."


"In between the CVS and Hechinger Mall sites, the concept design creates a landscaped, pedestrian-only pla…

Sneaky Odds for Scratch-Off Lottery Tix

Every few weeks or so, one of the big multi-state lotteries makes it into the national news when the grand prize jackpot reaches a certain level. This week the Powerball lottery grand prize is hovering around $500 million; and actually, it's above that now. 
We all know the chances of winning the jackpot is very small. It's unfathomably small: 1 in 292,201,338. If you were alive in the United States in 2004, well, there were 292,000,000 other people living here, so imagine one American being chosen at random. Those are the odds. If you play a pick 3 game like DC3, the odds are a lot better, but still long: 1 in 1000.
However, scratch off tickets are quite different. While random number generator games like pick 3, pick 4 or Powerball offer long odds for the grand prize, the odds are typically the same every time as long as they number set stays the same. Scratch off tickets also have an finite set of top prizes but your chances of winning the top prize can go from infinitesim…

Uniqlo, Juice Press Coming to Union Station

The retail scene at Union Station has been getting quite a makeover for the past five years, having adding major brands such as Keihl's, Walgreens, H&M, and Shake Shack. Legal Seafood is building a full service restaurant on the second level, and now signage is up for two new additions.
Popular Japanese casual clothing outlet Uniqlo is set to open this fall in a rather large space on the ground level. The store will be across across from Verizon; where the Swatch watch shop and FYE music stores were located. The first Uniqlo store in the U.S. only opened in 2006, and they've already grown to 48, not including this location. Tysons Corner is home to the only other in the DC area. Uniqlo enjoys a solid following and carries clothing for children (including babies), women, and men. I have heard lots of applause for the intimates/underwear selection.
Juice Press is a New York City import and is opening its first DC store in Union Station, just like Uniqlo. The name pretty much…

200 Seat Restaurant for Capital Crossing

ABRA placards are up for the first big retail project at Capital Crossing. A 200+ seat restaurant is set for the 200 Mass building, which is currently under construction. 200 Mass will be the first of 5 buildings, largely constructed over Interstate 395, in downtown DC. The project promises 2.2 million square feet of mixed use floor space including 75,000 square feet of retail and restaurants.
The placards indicates a request for a restaurant called "Union Square Cafe" that will seat 175 patrons with a total occupancy load of 220 and a summer garden with 45 seats. The proposed open hours are Sunday to Thursday 10AM - 1AM and Friday to Saturday 10AM - 2AM. The nature of operation is described as contemporary American "...with seasonal fare in a semi-formal, refined setting..."
The original Union Square Cafe opened in 1985 and is currently located on Park Ave about halfway between Union Square and Madison Square Parks in New York City. Here's the dinner menu. 20…

Book Store Planned for H Street NE

The commercial land use sector is vast, but sometimes new development in DC seems to go: bar, restaurant, dry cleaners, bar, cell phone store, bank, bar, restaurant, repeat. OK, of course that's hyperbole and there are a variety of diverse, small, and independent businesses opening all over the city each month. However, it's rare that we get to celebrate an independent bookstore opening; or any bookstore really.
Now we do. Solid State Books plans to open a book store and coffee bar in the Apollo building at 600 H Street NE. The folks behind Solid State are Kramerbooks alumni and I have to say this is an awesome, refreshing addition to H Street. While there are already coffee shops, banks, clothing stores, shoe stores, and other daytime retail options in the neighborhood, a book store is a great draw for daytime and evening hours. I wish them great luck and plan to be one of the first customers.
Read more:
Former Kramerbooks managers to open new bookstore on H Street NE (Washin…

Ward 5 Day at Hive; Teen Night

If you live in Ward 5 (and Ward 7, too), you can enjoy free admission to the National Building Museum's Hive installation tomorrow morning, August 8. Standard admission is $16. 
From the museum: "D.C. residents are invited to visit Hive with complimentary admission from 9–11 am on their specific Ward Days with story time and mobile library book check-out provided by DC Public Library. Residency is verified by id’s zip code."
Also this week: Teen Night is Thursday, August 10. Teens (ages 13-18) are invited to Hive --free of charge-- for music and programming at the museum from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM. No geographic requirements for this one, just be a teen. ~~More info~~

Hive is the latest iteration of the museum's Summer Block Party, which typically features a large scale installation in the Great Hall space. The exhibitions are very memorable (remember Mini Golf, the Maze, the Beach, ICEBERGS?). Good stuff. Hive was devised with Chicago firm Studio Gang. It runs through …

Daily Rider, V Street Set for Apollo Building

We now know the locations of the bike shop and restaurant coming to the Apollo building at 600 H Street NE. 
The Daily Rider is a bicycle shop currently open and operating at 1108 H Street NE. Their new space will be located just east of The Wydown coffee shop, which in turn is just east of the main building entrance. I've never been to Daily Rider, but they always have a cute bikes in the window.  
V Street is an all vegan restaurant from Philadelphia and one of the new businesses I'm most excited about for H Street. They self-describe as purveyors of street food and I can't believe H Street NE is getting even more vegan friendly (Khepra's, Fare Well, and Turning Natural among others). V Street will be adjacent to Daily Rider.
Good luck to each of these businesses as they start new adventures on H.
y start a new chapter!