Stinky Safeway (Petworth) Could Be Getting a Serious Upgrade from Folks behind Sexy Safeway (CityVista Mt. Vernon Sq.)

Back in May I wrote a post titled, Battle of the Safeways: Haves vs. Have Nots which generated a huge discussion. I’m happy to relay the news that Petworth’s Safeway may become a ‘Have’ from Jonathan O’Connell in today’s Post:

“The developer behind of one of the District’s more successful recent condominium projects [ City Vista in Mt. Vernon Sq.] is nearing a deal with Safeway to bring a 210-unit housing and grocery store development to Georgia Avenue, in the Petworth neighborhood.”

We’ve heard rumblings of Petworth’s Safeway getting redeveloped many times before but this is the first time the folks behind the City Vista project have been mentioned. Suffice it to say, I think this would be a tremendous development. I will now keep my fingers crossed and continue to knock wood until this deal is officially signed…

64 Comment

  • Yeah, the sooner that Safeway is renovated/replaced the better.

  • This is great news! I’m so hopeful it gets done. David, let us know whatever we neighbors can do to encourage the process.

  • About time. More like Sorry/Sad/Shabby/Second-rate Safeway. That has to be the nastiest Safeway I can remember. It boggles my mind that Safeway would even allow such a store to exist.

  • Third World Safeway!

    The other day I pulled out a recently (within two weeks) can of peas. I looked at the top and noticed that it had expired in 2001.


    Ten years ago.

    Where did they even get it?

    I opened it of course, and they were a very interesting color.

    • You should not have opened them. Do you have any idea what a pre 9/11 can of peas might be worth. I think Antiques Road Show would be very interested and they are coming here (I think) very soon. Our whole world is now divided in time, just like BC and AD, into pre 9/11 and post 9/11. I think they are calling it BW and AW (for W Bush). So you should think very carefully about things like that can of peas next time. Speaking of which I recently saw some video clips of W and realized that all the democrats should do in this election year is play continuous video of W on some channel. He was hilarious. Oh and I am very happy about the potential Safeway development!

    • LOL Hahahhahaha. this is too funny.

  • Considering how successful the CityVista development was, and how filled it is with local area businesses, this is definitely welcome news.

  • For folks within the ANC single member district in which the Safeway is located, drop me a note, and I will keep you informed of meetings. Note that I will be pressing for extra consideration for those people whose homes directly abut the development. I will also share this information with other ANC representatives in nearby areas, so they can keep you up to date through their systems.

    • Does this involve payments for their time and trouble?

      • Ragged Dog, I expect a need to make certain we have appropriate set back, perhaps a stair case approach in the architecture to the rear of the store, green roofs, resolution on issues related to parking, loading, trash, security, etc.

  • This would be fantastic, I live 2 blocks away and currently shop at the Harris Teeter in Adams Morgan. If the new Safeway was anything like any of their recent redevelopments I would certianly switch!

  • This is terrific news – very happy to have the City Vista people involved. I think the Safeway has been a big problem without much of a vision for improvement, and it’s likely that City Vista involvement will really improve the situation.

    David – it would be great if you could announce meetings via Petworth-wide fora. I’m not in your SMD but still live within 2 blocks of the Safeway. I’m sure people all over the neighborhood would like to weigh in. Thank you!

  • This is extremely great news. The outdated nature of the store has been, in my opinion, a serious hinderance to the redevelopment of the Petworth section of Georgia Ave as a viable and thriving business district. Kudos to all who can work toward making this happen.

  • Oh god, the ANC members are ALREADY looking to extort businesses investing in the community. That’s not typical of an ANC member, no, of course not.

    The sooner we abolish ANCs, the better. For every good hearted gem of a commissioner, there are 2-3 petty dictator NIMBYs.

    And we wonder why companies must be enticed and begged to do business here?

    • I agree… the day of the ANC is long gone. Too many times we have seen egos and reputations take precendent over the needs of the citizens.

      This David can’t wait dive in deep…

      • Hello Frankie! Until the ANCs are abolished, I encourage you to pick up the petition to gather the signatures needed to run. They are available in the elections office which is steps from the Judiciary Square stop. The 25 signatures from registered residents in the single-member district must be submitted by next Friday. You can also run a write-in campaign, but I believe it would be more difficult.

    • I missed the part in David’s comment where he is against this project and looking to extort the business.

      And I’ve got news for you, even without an organization like an ANC, the guy that buys the house at the end of the runway is still always going to go complain to his city council about the planes flying by.

      • Thank you RD! I am personally for the project. I represent people who are both for and against it. And because we are human, we can sympathize and sometimes empathize with what we would be going through were the development abutting our home. It is my job to ensure the voices of these neighbors especially, and all the neighbors in the area I represent, get considered. This community interaction improves projects and business success.

      • saf

        And the guy who already HAS the house at the end of the runway when the airport wants to expand? That’s what we’re talking about here.

        • They should get reasonable considerations. Unless they have owned their houses for a very long time, they’ve had a grocery store in their back yard. I can understand the pain of having new construction going on nearby, but I hope these residents think of the big picture, because this is something the neighborhood definitely needs.

          Here’s to hoping that the developer can go through with a project that meets their financial needs, while minimizing the impact to the neighbors. One thing I’d like to point out is that the adjacent rowhouses are to the south, so they will still retain full sun all day, and not be in the shadow of the new building like the ones behind Park Place seem to be.

          • saf

            Huh. My adjacent rowhouse is to the west, as is the rest of my block.

            My backyard will never have sun again.

          • West of Safeway is a four story apartment building. I guess I assumed that the new building would share the same western footprint as the current store. A 5 story building on that site certainly would not tower over any rowhouses anywhere to the west. Maybe that was a bad assumption. Do we know that they the new building will be built into the rear parking lot all the way to the alley? Restrictions on the height and setback of that part of the building are reasonable if that is the case.

          • saf

            Yeah, the plan is that the store will front directly on GA Ave and the building go all the way back to the end of their rear lot. It will be 6 stories tall, and wrap around the apartment building.

            They say that car access will be into a garage through the alley.

            We’re losing our light. We’ll have trucks and cars constantly going through our alley.

    • saf

      Let me point out that David is one of those good-hearted gems. He’s in it for the community and is about the furthest thing from a petty tyrant you’ll ever meet.

  • Where are you seeing “extortion?” Encouraging neighbors, particularly ones abutting the property, to get involved in the discussions hardly seems like extortion. I live in property adjacent to the medical offices going up on Georgia Avenue, and I can tell you that having a major construction project in your backyard is no picnic, even if the final result will be beautiful and appreciated by all.

  • Rightly or wrongly, people assume that the ANC will hold up the development for \considerations\ of the monetary type.

    • I think taking “I am eager to get the neighbors involved in the planning discussions” to mean “extortion” is an example of a wrong assumption. David is doing his job as an ANC member by facilitating talks.

      Plus, judging by the hundreds upon hundreds of comments that every “Stinky Safeway” post gets here, the community wants to have this property improved *yesterday*. I sense there’d be little tolerance for extortionate demands that hold up development.

  • I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but I actually like the architecture of that Safeway. Reminds me of growing up in California. But I realize the land could be put to better use.

    • It’s not the architecture of the building that is a problem (at least for me.) Though having a sea of parking in the front isn’t very pretty.

    • I’m with you petworhter. I think it’s a great looking building!

  • A glittery condo building atop a newly removated Safeway? Be still my heart! Can it please have an outdoor pool/garden/gym/yoga/studio/party room that is open for monthly memberships by people not living in the building?

  • OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY! Please make this happen!

  • I’m hoping the Safeway developers are more amenable to keeping an open line of communication with the residents. Once Jair Lynch started 3910 GA Ave construction, they’ve virtually ignored all concerns and questions from the neighborhood.

    • I, for one, am glad that the group proposing historical status for the existing structure is having an active dialog with the developers on integrating the new construction with the current store. It will be much nicer that way, and a step back in time, to when grocery stores were friendly, inviting places to shop.

      • Historical status?! As a history major and general proponent of well-liked, older structures, this is a case of insanity and jumping the shark. I hope you’re kidding.

        It’s almost as bad as the people who want to preserve the brutalist structures that litter our otherwise nice downtown.

  • This might be the best news I’ve heard all day. I would be so excited for a new safeway where the food isn’t expired!

  • I love the idea of referring to that Safeway as “Stinky Safeway” That will be my new policy from now on… LOL

  • Tear it down. I’m hungry. Build a big store and let’s all eat.

    Actually, this could be a tricky build. That’s on a steep grade to the west. Plus there are houses behind it and a busy intersection. Nevertheless, I say build it as big as they will allow. There’s not a chance of another grocery store coming to this area. And, let’s hope Petworth treats the developers nicer than Cleveland Park treated Giant.

    • saf

      We can tell you don’t live anywhere near it.

      • I’m seven blocks away. Safeway is the closest grocery store, although I refuse to go there. Petworth Farmer’s Market is my primary food source, supplemented by YES! and Giant, Hyattsville and Giant, CH. Population is growing, and it’s going to get a lot denser. The worst thing would be a store the same size, which Petworth has already outgrown (if customers actually went there in its current state).

  • I’m all for the new Safeway, but a new building/store will be of no value to any of us if the management and service at the store do not improve.

    • Maintaining good staff is critical. The great folks who are in the current store will be far more likely to stay with a big store that provides career opportunities.

      • saf

        And the managers who allow nasty food, and graffiti, and the dumping of stolen cars, and harassment of customers, and burned out lights outside, who refuse to call the police about problems in their lot… I bet they’ll stay too.

      • Becky,

        I’m not sure what your experience has been, but I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about the staff at that Safeway. I think they know very well that the store isn’t as good as others and work hard to make it up to their customers with good service.

        • I’ve generally had good service at that Safeway. It is always understaffed and the lines can be insane, but they seem to be nice people. But, in fairness, I try not to go that often. There could be problems there I just wouldn’t pick up on because of that.

          • I think this Safeway has some of the friendliest cashiers of any grocery store in the area.

          • i’m with you 100%. the employees are always helpful, both in the aisles and at the cashier. beats the surly employees at CH giant or adams morgan safeway any day.

      • With a new store (whoever builds and occupies it) the incentive is there to provide customer service to make the sales that provide return on that capital investment. That isn’t happening now. There’s no incentive to improve. David T makes a good point. Find a grocer willing to invest in Petworth, and give Petworth the chance to reciprocate. Most people would have bet against Yes!, but it looks like they’re doing fine.

  • This is awesome news! I’ve recently moved back to the city and was disturbed to see that this Safeway looks exactly as it did when I started at Howard U in 1993, disgusting.

  • This is a classic Safeway design that should be preserved. Here’s hoping the historic preservation folks win out on this one.

  • This ‘classic’ Safeway totally sucks. It doesn’t have enough food, even if it were fresh. A bigger store could serve us all and maybe even have a bakery and deli, even flowers. Safeway, if you’re reading this, I promise to do all my shopping at the new store if you build it.

  • hooray! the septic safeway needs to go! gah!

Comments are closed.