28 Comment

  • it looks like a joke.

  • Tenlytown is really ugly. No street level presence at all in this new building. Wasted opportunity…

    • Yea, I agree….this stretch of Wisconsin is hideous.

      Has there been any progress getting past the NIMBYs and moving foward with an apartment where Babe’s Billiards used to be? Or is it just too much to ask for density-based development within a block of a metro station?

      • Last I heard, Douglas Development is going to move forward with apartments at that location. There was a plan that was already approved by the ANC but then failed to move forward due to the developer’s finances.

        The residents in the single family homes a few blocks from Wisconsin are under the delusion that Tenleytown is some sort of suburban enclave within the District’s borders, and development of any kind that may increase traffic of any sort must be stopped at all costs. With the exception of expanding the Whole Foods that they’ll happily drive to.

        Hopefully Babe’s, the AU Law campus, and the new development by the cathedral result in a sea change of the corridor. But I’m not holding my breath.

        • +1

          People who oppose planned developments in city neighborhoods, often get stuck with areas that look like the featured picture (also N. Cleveland Park). Tenleytown is a joke of a neighborhood because people who really want to live in the suburbs have opposed any sort of urban development that would bring consistency and congruence to the area.

          • shouldn’t neighbors have a say on how their neighborhood develops?

          • @Anonymous Reply:

            Yes and no. Neighbors should absolutely be involved in how a neighborhood is developing, but often that sentiment leads down the dark road to NIMBYism, where ALL development is rejected until there are not many great options left. I would argue that the former Balducci’s location on New Mexico is a great example of that, with a lot of refusals of potential businesses occurring without any real solutions being proposed by neighbors (sorry, but a supermarket would not have a chance of surviving in that location)

  • The facade isn’t bad but I agree it’s too bad it isn’t integrated at the street-level.

  • sure the first floor isn’t finished. right?

  • austindc

    The operable windows are nice! It would be cool to work there and open the windows on a nice day.

  • It beats the partially constructed cell tower that was there before.

    • That building has the most substantial foundation: three 80 foot deep pilings.
      Actually the little octagonal sandstone Western Union building further back on the lot is quite charming.

  • How can you hate a building that makes the giant radio antennas look soooooooooo good?

  • I kinda think it goes well with the towers. It’s hard to make Tenleytown pretty. I grew up there and Wisconsin Ave has always been a mishmash of ugliness. Where’s Greater Greater Washington’s plan to improve Tenleytown!?

    BTW, In the 70′s and 80′s that building was the site of a business called The Cat’s Pajamas. It was an “adult entertainment center,” always a source of hilarity for me and my friends when I was a kid.

    It was part of the seeedy side of upper northwest that most people probably wouldn’t believe ever existed. Down the street, bikers were a fixture at the Godfather, a strip joint down Wisconsin which is also where the Brazillian ambassador’s son killed the bouncer and set off an international incident when he was merely extradited. There’s much more to Tenleytown than ugly buildings…..

    • Wasn’t the incident with the bouncer in Glover Park? I seem to remember that from the 90s. But those other places must have been particularly interesting for the kids walking to school at Deal and Wilson.

      • Different incident, but I see why they could be confused. The Brazilian diplomat’s son unloading a gun in the strip club incident was in ’82. I don’t think the victim died, but the diplomat’s kid did flee the county the next day or something. What you’re probably thinking of is the 2007 arson/homicide at Good Guys in Glover Park – the killer was a Romanian national, but a truck driver not a diplomat.

        And yes, Wilson was a trip back then. I miss Headquarters.

    • I went to school in that area and have never heard any of these juicy tales! now i’ll have to go google the bouncer murder saga…

  • Not if what they want creates neighborhoods that look like Tenleytown. It’s really embarrassing.

    • it’s endearing that you know what’s better for them than they do.

    • I must be missing the spectacular beauty that is Brookland. Tenleytown definitley has room for improvement, but considering a lot of neighborhoods in DC swoon if they get a coffee place or if the murder rate dips, I’d take Tenleytown’s problems any day.

  • The Giant Development has been derailed by a small group of opponents who have tied it up in court so long that third party financing has fallen through. It is now delayed until 2012 (or later):

    http://dcmud.blogspot.com/2011/08/cathedral-commons-delayed-until-2012.html

    • That is technically Cleveland Park, some still call in Cathedral Heights though. I believe the giant pharmacy has already closed as part of that development however.

  • I actually don’t think its that bad – final verdict when the first floor is finished.
    Tenleytown is the location of my first memories of DC (Grandma lived there for decades)- it’s not the most neighborhood of neighborhoods but with the new contemporary design of the library, the condo building above Best Buy, this building and the planned apartment building on the former site of Babe’s it’s developing a theme – contemporary architecture. Which is a nice juxtaposition with all the center hall colonials that make up the residential section.
    Now if they could clean up the stretch of mishmash from the circle to Albemarle I’ll be really happy.

  • The ground level is supposed to be a sit-down restaurant. It’s just not built-out yet. That should help a lot to make it seem more accessible to the street.

  • Ace Beverage on New Mexico Ave in Wesley Heights. 4$ for a six. Just make sure you go early in the week or else there’s just crap come the weekend.

  • Anyone else think that Tenley needs a business improvement district?

Comments are closed.