Friday Question of the Day – Which Development are You Most Excited About?

On Wed. the Washingtonian got more details about the refurbished Union Market coming to 1309 5th Street, NE:

Edens president Jodie McLean says that the project is partly inspired by San Francisco’s Ferry Building: a multi-purpose community space that joins permanent restaurants and vendors with a rotating lineup of artisans, entertainers, and farmers. Union Market will eventually expand to about 40 vendors, a third of which will be permanent, plus outdoor farmers markets on certain days.

You can see a list of all the vendors who’ve already signed on here.

1309 5th Street, NE

Also earlier this week we learned that CityCenter DC coming to the old convention center site downtown will be getting a specialty food market possibly Eataly. And we’ve already heard about some plans for CityMarket at O at 7th and O St, NW. And finally we’ve also learned about the Navy Yard/Capitol Riverfront development, particularly the Boilermaker Shops.

So, knowing more details about these projects, for the Friday Question of the Day – I’m curious which big development project you are most excited about:

Union Market at 1309 5th Street, NE?

CityCenter DC at New York Avenue NW, 9th Street NW, H Street NW, and 11th Street NW?

CityMarket at O located at 7th and O St, NW?

Navy Yard development especially the Boilermaker shops at 200 Tingey St, SE?

64 Comment

  • The CityCenter space is the most critical and interesting in my book. It hopefully rights the terrible wrong that the former convention center was to that space, will bring more residents to downtown that will spur the development of every-day businesses and will connect Gallery Place with western downtown. I’m fearing the other developments, being so isolated, will just become soulless corporate destination playgrounds folks will get weary of very quickly… the Dead Malls of the future.

    And how much “artisan” this and “craft” that can this city stand?

    • Good news, we’re getting an Olive Garden.

      • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Walmart AND Olive Garden??? I thought the people moving back to the city wanted to live IN THE CITY? why are they bringing Applebees??? TRAGEDY

    • rozcat,
      i’m having a hard time picturing most of these other developments as “isolated”. what makes you think of them that way?
      do you feel that we are already a saturated market for “artisan” and “craft” oriented stuff?

  • I agree that CityCenter is definitely the most critical to the city, but I’m sure that the others listed are more exciting to those living nearby. But my vote is actually for another development not listed, and admittedly further away from being reality than any of these – the Southwest Waterfront. Especially if the planned performance venue comes through there.

  • I’m partial to being on the water, so I was going to nominate the SW waterfront as well. Of the projects mentioned I’m excited to see City Center DC completed, particularly if the outdoor spaces they are creating are done well.

    • This was exactly my thought! Washington is on such a beautiful river and takes such little advantage of it. The SW Waterfront could be a cool and unique destination.

      • tell that to the people who’ve been frequenting for 30+ years… those who have been around for a while know what’s what

        • sorry about Zanzibar.

        • The Waterfront hasnt been a destination in at least 20 years, if not 30. It was a thing when Charlie Wilson was doing blow with hookers. It declined quickly thereafter. The Odyssey is like going on the Journey Into Imagination With Figment at Epcot and Phillips is like going into the first floor of the Tower of Terror.

          if thats your idea of fun, then fine.. but I think the new development (provided it retains the fish market) will be a huge improvement.

  • Citymarket at O is the most exciting to me. It’s the anchor development of Shaw. Plus, I’d like to have my grocery store back.

    • Amen to that. I miss the Giant, and I know a lot of people in Shaw are looking forward to the finished product.

    • Agreed. I’m excited to see what comes with the new residences, as well. There are a lot of vacant spaces along 9th St from O St Market down to City Center that I hope fill out within the next few years. It’s already starting to happen, really.

  • Everything is more exciting in the NE.

  • I look forward to the redevelopment of the 14th St. bus depot and that corridor of 14th St. since I live around the corner, but I’m not sure it will happen in my lifetime.

  • Art Place/Fort Totten Square combo at the Riggs & South Dakota intersection

  • As someone who lives near there, I’m NOT excited about the “redevelopment” at 5th St NE. It never needed to be redeveloped. It was a thriving market, just not pretty. It’s where most restaurants in DC got their produce, so it will be interesting to see where they have to go now.

    And I’m afraid Litteri’s will be driven out.

    • Half of the land is vacant, and half of the tenants are selling jewelry, t-shirts, or perfume. A small number of the food vendors supply to quality restaurants (especially Thai), but the vast majority of restaurants in DC do *not* get anything from there.

      Literri’s owns their building, and can never be “forced out.” No developer in their right mind would push them out either.

      Plus, some of the new tenants coming in actually *are* going to be providing wholesale for area restaurants.

  • I have a couple of honorable mentions… – I live in Brookland so this is #1 for me – McMillan ‘Park’ development in whatever form it takes
    These two together will have a huge impact on Michigan Ave corridor

    Walter Reed development will be a huge deal too

  • binpetworth

    Personally, I’m most excited about the future renovation of the Safeway on Georgia Ave, just north of the Petworth metro.

    But of the choices listed, I’d have to agree with Navy Yard, since I frequent Nats games and have friends who live nearby.

    • I am also excited for a new Safeway on Georgia Avenue! It is so needed there like the Giant is in Shaw.
      Last week I would have said the Union Market would be the most exciting but not since I discovered the type of people it is attracting to promote/work/manage it. My mother and I vend sometimes at Eastern Market, she has a business out of Charleston SC, and she overheard an employee at Qualia Coffee talking about this market earlier this week and inquired as to what types of vendors they would have. The employee was obviously not impressed by my mother and kind of rolled her eyes and said it was exclusive. SO personally I am not looking forward to this development if it’s that type of pretentious scene.
      I think the CityCenter is the most exciting for the city and like someone else mentioned will connect Chinatown/Penn Quarter to the rest of the city. It will be nice to have 7th street all cleaned up around the convention center and hopefully attract more citywides for those of us working in the hospitality industry!

      • Does anyone know when the current Georgia Ave/Petworth Safeway is going to be demolished? I went in there the other day and already looks like a bomb went off… Its a really ugly scene in there.

      • To clarify, you mean an employee of Union Market, not Qualia.

    • I was also going the say the Petworth Safeway. All the other development is nice…but bring on the new Safeway!

    • As someone who lives in northern Park View, I too am most excited about the redevelopment of the Safeway near the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro. The neighborhood is slowly taking off, but the Safeway redevelopment could make it speed up dramatically.

  • I’m excited for the JBG development at Florida Ave between 7th and 9th, which which will really liven up that stretch of street and allow the development to really continue on down east from U (it has already, but this will really solidify things).

  • Union Market – love the Ferry Building – so if this delivers would be awesome. It could also really spur and spread some positve development in that part of NE.
    As far as future development projects (how exciting that we can say this about our city!) are the SW waterfront and Walter Reed. If the streetcars really start rolling up to WR this willl be an amazing opportunity for the District. I just ask that not all apartments be luxury – can we have a few basic buildings? Some affordable and reasonable housing?

  • City Center is obviously going have to have a major impact, especially if Eataly signs on. That development has the potential to transform a major part of downtown into a 24 hour bustling neighborhood. The convention center wasn’t nearly as bad as the useless parking lot that followed. Anything would have been a huge improvement, but to place a big time mixed use development there makes it that much better.

    The market at O is probably second in my opinion because that section of Shaw is the very underutilized. It’s ridiculous that you have vacant lots, low rent garden apartments, and housing projects that close to downtown and Logan Circle. 7th St should be one of the major commercial corridors in the city, and market at O will hopefully start the transformation that section of the city definitely needs.

    The other projects are exciting as well, but nothing that compares to City Center or Market at O in terms of overall future impact on the city.

  • O market for sure but that’s because it is the one closest to me

  • CityCenter gets my vote. This is the largest downtown development in the country. It will definitely lure even more residential and retail projects for the downtown area. Lots of great projects mentioned in the comments. If your’e in favor of them, make sure you find out when your ANC meets and gets the overview of them because the only voices that are usually heard are from a NIMBY who doesn’t want any development that attracts people. Most of our projects are scaled down in density and character because of the opposition they get from a vocal whiner.

    • probably because they don’t want a project of gargantuan proportions… this is DC, not NYC… there is a certain charm here, we’d like to keep it

      • Regardless of how we feel about development, there is no reason to fight over whether DC should aspire to be a NYC/London/Paris-type global city. The gap is simply to large to ever be closed in out lifetimes.

        Realistically, the debate is do we want DC to stay the same or grow into a San Francisco or maybe Brussels-type city in terms of density, vibrancy.

  • I like Union Market and the SW waterfront the way they are.

    • As far as I know, the building Union Market is in has been empty for some time. So I guess, if you like empty buildings, thats great.

  • Im really worried City Center is going to suck. So I have to go with Union Market.

    • oops – meant O Street market that I am worried is going to suck.

      I dont care about City Center. That just seems like more of the same in a relatively boring part of town.

  • If you want to talk about truly transformative projects, then look east of the River. Skyland, the Walmart at East Capitol Street, Minnesota Ave Metro, etc. I worry that City Center is going to be like Battery Park City was for decades- corporate, pricey, sterile, and half vacant. I’m hoping that won’t happen, but I can’t see it being a centerpiece of my life.

  • Howard Town Center. Oh wait… its a lot of talk but no “development.”

  • shipsa01

    The McMillan site! Oh wait, I’m 30 and that won’t be developed until 2112 so I guess I won’t be seeing it…

  • diploj

    City Center is in discussions to get UNIQLO – the best store ever, courtesy of Japan. That’s my winner.

  • Navy Yard/Capitol riverfront, easily. Prettier and safer than SW or any of those other locations.

  • CityMarket on O for 1st place, and Navy Yard for 2nd.

  • I think City Center is the most important. Seems like such a slam dunk to turn a parking lot in that primo location into such a huge development. Will bring in lots of new residents, businesses, office space, restaurants (due to new residents) corresponding tax revenue, less drivers from VA and MD (due to less parking), hopefully those drivers take metro instead.

    This literally seems like a win-win-win-win-win-win. I see no negatives whatsoever.

    Personally, I am most excited for the City Market at O. Seems like another great location, that should improve immensely once this project is done. Shaw is getting there, and it should be an awesome neighborhood, and likely will be once this place is done. Plus, this one is closest to me/the most relevant to me. I live on 7th! Granted, a solid 30 blocks up, but still, go 7th!

    • I only responded to the ideas given by POP, but in my neighborhood, I am super excited for the new development at the GA Ave Safeway. I am also excited for the Walmart (gasp!) at Military and Georgia to be done. I hate spending hundreds of dollars in MD, knowing that my $12 or whatever in tax money is going to Annapolis, and not just down the street.

      I am also super excited about Walter Reed. If we get a Wegmans there, with the Walmart at GA and Military, and the Costco in NE, I will literally never have to leave the city, and that would be great!

    • Kyle-W:

      Is this right? Petworth is about 30 blocks north of Shaw? I haven’t thought about this and if someone asked me and I had to guess, I wouldn’t have said 30 blocks.

      • O and 7th is the 1400 block.

        The 4400 block of 7th is at Webster.

        • I appreciate your reply and I’m sure you are trying to be helpful and answer my question. Are you subtracting 14 from 44 to make 30 or is it really 30 blocks? I’ve never been sure that 1400 block is 30 blocks from 4400 block. I’ve never counted so don’t really know.

          • The city considers it 30 blocks. The street numbers go up by 100 between each block. There are some areas where there may be a street between the two blocks. For example, T St NW is the beginning of the 1900 block across the NW quadrant. U St NW is the beginning of the 2000 block. However there are a few streets that exist between T and U, like Wallach Pl and Caroline St. This dosent change the fact that T is one block from U.

          • Hmm, so in-between streets aren’t counted for the purpose of block counting. I never knew that. I count them if I am walking!

        • 30 was just a rough guess 🙂 It turns out I am actually 36 blocks north of this development.

          • Wow, 36 blocks is far and you’re not even downtown yet. I’ve travelled from the site of the O Market northbound past Silver Spring (by car) and walked almost to/from Petworth Metro-site of O Market and it never seemed that far.

          • I am 1.2 miles north of Petworth Metro. little far to walk, normally I CaBi.

  • I can’t wait to see what Union Market becomes. It’s a great place to do something wonderful!

    • agreed. i live nearby and love litteri’s, but as-is the market area is pretty shitty. you just want to go in, get your sandwich/products, and get the hell out of there. would be great to have a real reason to walk around and explore. i am crazy excited that red apron is thinking of setting up there, their meats are delicious. this sort of project really gives local businesses a chance to shine – here’s hoping that no chains invade the new development!

  • I’m excited about all of them. It is awesome to see developments going up in different areas of the city.

  • City Market at O! I need a closer grocery store.

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