3DG Has Ceremonial Groundbreaking at former Bi-Rite in Columbia Heights

IMG_7962, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I unfortunately missed the actual ceremony but I was able to catch the celebrations afterward. Pictured above is James O’Brien, owner of Red Rocks, John Andrade, owner of Asylum and the upcoming Meridian Pint, and Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham. I also spoke with 3DG owner, John Goldman (photo after the jump) who told me that a fence will go up around the old Bi-Rite building and demolition will take place in less than two weeks. By the end of the summer Mr. Goldman hopes to move 3DG headquarters into the second floor offices. Mr. Andrade hopes to have the restaurant/bar Meridian Pint open by December. Sounds pretty ambitious but I’m certainly looking forward to it.

And now for the exciting but somewhat unrelated news from Councilmember Jim Graham. Graham hopes to work with Metro to convert the little park (owned by Metro) directly across the street from Red Rocks on the southwest corner of 11th and Park into a dog park! Graham asked O’Brien and Andrade if they supported the idea and they were 100% behind it. Stay tuned for more info on that front.

More photos and info on the 3DG building after the jump.


Mr. Goldman, pictured above, told me a little bit more about the history of 3DG. It is one of the few firms “born and raised” in Columbia Heights. Mr. Goldman started 3DG with his wife out of their home on Parkwood Place. Goldman was very proud of his Columbia Heights background and mentioned that 3DG had been involved in over 25 project in Columbia Heights. He was super excited about having their headquarters return to Columbia Heights as he has recently been “exiled” in Georgetown.

From the press release:

“Breathing New Life into a Neighborhood Commercial Corridor
3400 11th Street sits prominently at the northern end of a long but underutilized neighborhood commercial corridor. With this project, both the streetscape and the commercial life of the street will be rejuvenated. Meridian Pint will occupy the entire ground floor and a portion of the lower level. Owner John Andrade, who has co-owned Asylum in Adams Morgan with his brother since 1991, plans to offer an American comfort-food menu with a generous vegetarian/vegan section; 20 beers on tap with an emphasis on Belgians; and a wide selection of wines and mixed drinks. The lower level will feature a lounge and bar area, and DJ entertainment is contemplated.

The second floor of the building will contain approximately 3,000 square feet of office space. 3DG co-founder and CEO John Goldman stated, “Office space enhances the mixed-use character of the street by introducing a new layer of activity during the daytime, which animates the streetscape and, most importantly, provides support to existing and new businesses along the corridor.”
3DG itself will occupy one of the two office suites, and Solimar International, a tourism development firm dedicated to promoting the goals of sustainable tourism, will occupy the other.
Additional space is available on the lower level, with theater, arts and entertainment tenants being sought.”

Get one last look because it is going to be very different very soon.


42 Comment

  • so are they demolishing the building?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    I’m pretty sure yes except they are keeping the facade. I think.

  • Okay, I’ll get hate (hopefully no), but F Jim Graham. Another white business makes you smile right? But what about the many business that cause you to “Grahamstand” and take away their licenses? …their ability to make a living? Look, we all want a livable, prosperous, and community friendly place to live and call our home. BUT YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION. Thanks for your years of hard work, but now is no longer the time for you!

  • What exactly constitutes a “white business”? (Because Andrade is not “white”) … Something that caters to customers via web presence and being responsive to customer and neighbor concerns? Something that makes money? Something where people aren’t killed by knives or gunfire? Because that seems to be your definition, at least based on the businesses you are defending … race is irrelevant. I’d say that this is turning a complete s–thole with no purpose other than to host graffiti and public urination from patrons of other area businesses (no comment on whether they are “white” or not) into a valuable public use … a win-win that any sane person would support. Why are you relying on Jim Graham to improve the, as you put it, “non-white” businesses? Those businesses survive and thrive when they are clean, safe, well-marketed, and provide a good product at a good price, just like any other business. They fail, as they should, when they refuse to cater to any but a very narrow demographic, or allow repeated violations of the law on their premises, or are dangerous, dirty, overpriced, or sell products no one wants. Hence the current and certain future success of many “non-white” businesses in the area, like Rinconsito II, Taqueria Distrito Federal, and Julia’s Empanadas. The next time any business, white or non-white, fails, they should look in the mirror to see if they have a website, or attractive facade, or present an inviting environment, or can communicate with non-spanish speaking customers (aka, most blacks and whites, or over 2/3 of the neighborhood), or serve a product that people want to buy, rather than go crying to Jim Graham. It’s called capitalism, get used to it.

  • re: anon 12:32am

    What businesses has Graham taken licenses away from? From what I’ve heard it’s places where very violent acts have occurred such as shootings or stabbings. I don’t think Graham would hesitate to take the same “grahamstanding” action if similar violence occurred at what you to refer to as “another white business”.

  • A dog park AND such speedy progress at the Bi Rite location??? Someone pinch me.

  • Parkwood…I live around the corner and am in the same boat…but I think I may have to start believing its gonna happen (im getting a little sore from all the pinching!)

    //Agree that businesses arent closed because of the race/gender/ethnicity/blood typ of their owners, but rather what the market will support.

  • Parkwood I’m with you, this is all good news. Hopefully the dog park isn’t a tease, and will happen before MP opens in December!

  • DOG PARK!!! EEEEEEE!!!!!

  • Yeah for the local guys! Who thought I’d be looking forward to the return of winter???

  • CM Graham hasn’t met a camera nor a business he doesn’t like. I really wish the folks of Ward One would wake up and smell the coffee about this man.

  • I lived in Ward 1 for 10 years, and I think Jim Graham has done great work. I’m incredibly disappointed in how Muriel Bowser relates to the community…sometimes I think I’m just spoiled from years of having Graham represent me, but I also realize that there’s a baseline of respect and accountability that she lacks. I’m not saying that I agreed with Jim on everything, but even if we disagreed, he was willing to discuss and listen.

    I’m thrilled that there’s a chance for a dog park nearby–it’s not Petworth, but it’s getting closer. I highly doubt we’ll get a dogpark or much else in Petworth until we’re able to shake up (or replace) our councilmember.

  • Whatever you think about Jim Graham, getting a good bar (despite the Belgian beer focus) and a dog park in the place an abandoned run-down building and an epty corner space is great news.

  • James O’Brien is HOTT!!!

  • Love the dog park idea, but want to make sure, if that is done, that (a) the space is attractive, green, and well-maintained, with lots of nice grass, trees, bushes, etc. (in other words, should be nice to look at when dogs are not there, especially since two restaurants will have outdoor spaces with that as their view); (b) there is a trash can and something that dispenses baggies for dog poop; and (c) the city / metro regularly cleans the area (although hopefully the dog owners will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining it as well).

  • Just remember Anon 9:50, Jim Graham was a huge improvement over Frank Smith (IMO. Then again, I moved out of ward 1 before Graham was elected.) Maybe y’all down there in ward 1 can find your next, improved council critter for the next time Graham’s up for re-election?

    I’m not happy with Muriel either, but her predecessor was not much better, and before him, Charlene loved the neighborhood but was worse than useless.

    It’s time for a revolution on the council.

  • Say what you like, I think Jim Graham is a terrific advocate for Ward 1, and the city as a whole. These new businesses are great for the neighborhood and I’m happy to see the Bi-Rite building developed into a restaurant and bar. I’m also happy to see businesses that are a constant attractor of crime shut down. And yippee for the dog park! I used to live near the dog park on Adams Mill Road. I loved having it because people were continuously outside with their pets in an area that was previously scary to walk through. It was a great addition to the neighborhood. The more dog parks we can accommodate the better!

  • I would GLADLY take Jim Graham over our Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans. Jack is the ultimate politician, whereas Graham’s not afraid to make unpopular decisions and works for the betterment of Ward 1.

  • O’Brien is a cutie…but that Andrade is super fine AND sexy!

  • Does anyone want to chime in and call Jim Graham hot?

  • I’ve been at the weekend brunch at Red Rocks and seen *people* peeing on the grounds where that dog park would go. As Metro’s space it’s not just unused, it’s unpoliced. In the end, though, I believe this will be my favorite corner in the whole neighborhood. Great job guys!

  • I’m with “New2Ch” on the dog park needing to be well maintained and attractive for dog owners and non-dog owners. I find the dog park at the intersection of 17th and S streets and New Hamsphire Avenue to be an eyesore. It’s popular and overused; and as a result, packed down, bare dirt dominates the landscape, making it far from attractive. Great for the dogs and dog owners, but I wouldn’t want to live across the street and have to look at it everyday. Perhaps better maintenance and more and larger dog parks are the answers.

  • Shaw Rez…if you think JG isn’t the “ulitmate” politician, spend a bit of time in Ward One…that man never makes decisions that isn’t vetted by every donor he’s ever had… CM Graham’s also not afraid to pick up a phone and cuss out constituents who disagree with him…classy….

    But I digress….I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble about the dog park ’cause believe me, this town needs more than a few, but I think this thing has a long way to go to coming to fruition…first you’ve got to get the land transferred from Metro to DPR, then you have to make sure that the land in question fills all the many, many, many requirements of DPR and the DOE. Despite the fact that nearly every other city and certainly every jurisdicition surrounding the District, has dog parks, D.C. has made it next to impossible to have legal off-leash dog areas.

  • Interesting, Adams M — I don’t know too much about Graham, but I don’t think I’ve seen him pandering to the likes of Leroy Thorpe like Evans does.

  • ah-such enthusiasm for dog parks… (see the “stuff white people like” blog)

  • I’m not going to call Jim Graham HOT, but he is kinda cute in a style-wise way of looking at him – with his bow ties, yellow suits, and extremenly personable personality. Don’t confuse this statement with anything other than what it is. Obviously, I’m a Graham fan and after the way he handled the shelter deal and U St clubs I will be for life. Also, you can often find him shopping and visiting with store owners on Georgia Avenue, driving by areas of the neighborhood where people have complained about things. I have lived in a lot of cities and Graham is probably the most involved CM I’ve ever had!

  • “driving by areas of the neighborhood where people have complained about thing”

    And there’s one of the big problems DRIVING by… the man sits on the metro board! Yet I do not believe he has ever been on a bus or the subway in his life. He parks illegally, and because he is a councilmember, avoids tickets. He needs to take public transportation once in a while, or he isn’t fit to serve on the metro board, and he needs to learn that parking illegally, especially in the inconsiderate way he parks (in front of hydrants, blocking alleys and corners), is just wrong.

  • I’m sorry, but has anyone noticed that CH is a much better place – not saying that he had everything to do with it, but it was on his watch. Stop complaining, start enjoying – and if you feel the need to complain, go out and do something and stop blaming JG or anyone else for that matter.

  • Count me in as a Jim Graham supporter.

  • JG Fan…believe me, there are plenty of us doing the work that the CM should be doing, but he doesn’t because it doesn’t include media coverage….

    And here, here to saf….the Metro board members should be required to use the bus and Metro at least once a month (I think I read a Post story once that only the guy from P.G. turned down his WMATA issued parking space and instead rides Metro). Oh, and the District’s pedestrian coordinator should have to live and walk in the District…he doesn’t. He lives in P.G. and takes Metro….super…

  • JD Fan – I agree with you. And it’s been a combined effort to get us to where we are today. The residents, ANC, JG, developers, police, everyone. We should be celebrating the new changes in our neighborhood not judging them. Sure somethings could have, would have, should have, but all in all, CH is a total turn around from what it used to be.

  • Graham “not afraid to make unpopular decisions”??? Are you kidding me? Graham’s “decisions” only involve issues that will get his mug on TV. I hear that he’s known as “old chapped thighs” down at the Council, the way he straddles the fence on important issues until his vote becomes utterly meaningless as others line up on one side or the other. Ward One is a better place in spite of Graham, because the City has prospered, not because of him.

  • Dog park, dog park, dog park!!!!

    I don’t know anything about JG except what I read in the Post about the slumlords, and the article seemed to imply that when the properties in question were under JG, at least something was being done. Then they got transferred to Marion Barry and all action stopped. Maybe a media spin, maybe not, I am sure all the council members have their shortcomings. It is probably kind of a thankless job.

    Bring on the dog park!!!!

  • I’ve been emailing WMATA about that “park” for nearly a year now – the issue is insurance. WMATA doesnt want to take the responsibility should something happen on that land. Graham has been helpful by stepping in and encouraging Catoe to do what is right for the community and develop this park. No news yet, as the article mentioned, but the ball is rolling slowly.

    I do think, as others have said, that this cannot become another 11th and Monroe. We cannot let this get overcome with drugs and alcohol and become a place people shy away from, rather than a place people want to congregate.

  • 11th and Monroe is disgusting – completely full of drunks, junkies and frankly people up to no good. i’ve never one seen a child play on the playgournd, but i have seen a hole lot of drunken men urinating on the swingset.

  • An honest question: how does one “…not let [a park] get overcome with drugs and alcohol” and the undesirables who fill every other park in the neighborhood? Does Jim Graham have anything to say about this? Police cruise by 11th and Monroe with regularity; a couple of their officers frequent Acuario, a couple storefronts away, and whatever services are provided at that establishment. Not once have I seen tickets for public urination, open container, or anything being doled out. The single greatest problem with these neighborhoods is that there is no enforcement of laws on the books. Why such a laissez faire attitude about this public spaces, paid for by our taxes, that are polluted by people committing crimes? I’d love to hear some feedback on that one.

  • With the Pope in town, I say unto thee verily, in response to CP…AMEN!

  • Really, the park on 11th and monroe had to be totally redone, first getting rid of the big concrete wall which insulates the activities and makes it far less exposed, getting rid of much of the concrete / rubber, and turning it into an actual GREEN space. Unfortunately that will take a lot of money and it seems like every park in the ward is getting these funds except for this one, for who knows what reason. Once it is a more attractive space, I think it will attract fewer such activities. Also, during the period of renovation, the day time public drunks will have to find another place to hang, and hopefully between that and better policing, they just won’t return and kids can claim the park as their own.

    re: the metro space, the key is NO benches and NO tables (or maybe just one attractive park bench, but not enough where a large group of folks can congregate for hours at a time). It is a shame it has to come to that, but benches and tables = drunken loitering, at least in this area, at this time. also there has to be a focus on beautifying the space and I think there has to be some effort for dog owners who use the park regularly (if it does become a dog park) to assume responsibility for some of its care and mainteance (a non profit park association?) so that it does not turn into a dust bowl.

  • I want some one to show me a well maintained park in the city. They don’t exist! If the dog park does come to fruition, I think it is going to fall upon the users and nearby residents to care for it. Much like the dog walkers on Capital Hill with the cemetary. The parks in this city are a joke – both City and National!

  • check out the newly renovated park at the corner of 8th & Taylor in Petworth:
    it’s still looking great a year later. Hopefully it will stay that way. It took FOREVER for this work to be done, but it makes a huge difference.

  • I notived that the park is pretty much all plastic! I guess that’s how to maintain a park!

  • CP: One of the best ways to keep a park from being overrun by drugs etc is to keep it populated by “legitimate” park users- in other words- keep it in use all the time. Dog parks do this. Unlike sport courts which tend to be used during certain windows of time, Dog park people will be at the park nearly around the clock. If anyone is interested, here is an article about a park in Seattle that was, for years, simply referred to as ‘The Crack Park’- they made it in to a dog park and it was a really positive thing for the area: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/163716_dogpark08.html

    IF this does become a dark park, I fear that any attempt to keep it “green” will be futile. Wood chips will work, but no matter how big this park could be, until this city gets on board with dog parks and creates them throughout the city, the few that exist will be overused and overpopulated.

    Still- A step in the right direction, but a reality that I’m sure will piss some people off.

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