Van Ness Square Demolition and Transformation Coming Soon

4455 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Lots of folks have written in asking about the Van Ness Square development plans. One even asked about a Trader Joe’s rumor (I haven’t heard anything.) And for those that missed it, you can read a thorough history of the property here, it was once an “ice palace”! Anyway, the Forest Hills Connection reported:

“Construction begins Fall 2013 and is estimated to take 30 months.

Saul anticipates opening in Winter 2016. There will be 271 luxury apartments (1, 2 and 3 bedroom), 224 below-grade parking spaces, and 10,000 square feet of neighborhood retail, including at least one sidewalk cafe.”

Rendering via Saul Centers

Lots more current photos of the site after the jump.






16 Comment

  • Trader joes? With only 10,000 SF of retail some of which is already being occupied by a cafe? Dont think so.

  • The complex itself doesn’t look bad (considering the hideous UDC across the street). It just seems odd that in this day and age they couldn’t have incorporated Van Ness Sq.

  • Too bad they weren’t able to re-purpose this building. It is old and has some historic significance.

    • Is this a joke?

      • Not joking. It was the Chevy Chase Ice Palace, which was more than a skating rink. It was an early example of a large, multipurpose shopping center, and it also housed the Channel 7 television studios for decades, where a young Elvis Presley made one of his very earliest appearances on TV, on the Jimmy Dean program. Lots and lots of history here, but I guess history just goes to show that people are rather selective in what they want to preserve, and what is of little value to them.

    • No, its just old. Can’t really repurpose a skating rink into much else.

  • This will be an interesting development. It sort of brings the mega-apartment buildings further north down to what has historically been (an ugly) retail/business district. Like much of Tenleytown, I’ve always wondered why such a wealthy neighborhood has such hideous public spaces.

    The old building has a modicum of historic significance but it has always functioned as a fortress. I grew up 3 blocks away and always knew it as a dead, unfriendly space. My hope is that this is a spark for that stretch of Connecticut. It has so much potential given the foot traffic and wealth of the residents around it.

  • that rendering is hideous. Please tell me it won’t really look like that. Everything in Van Ness is so fugly. 🙁

  • What will I do without Pier One? Actually only went about once a year but this was the coolest store of my grade school days! And I haven’t needed the Staples there since CH branch opened, but I will miss the exquisite ballet required of all cars to get in and out of the tiny awkward parking lot – no sarcasm – it was actually fun – people had to be both polite and deft. And I hope the nice man in the parking booth, who has been there forever -gets a good job somewhere.

  • This rendering looks like something in White Flint. Not hospitable.

  • brookland_rez

    I haven’t been up to that part of town in a while. I didn’t even know all the businesses had closed.

  • I’m just glad that someone is building three bedroom apartments. Everyone else is building studios and one bedrooms. Eventually the people in those one bedrooms are going to have children and not everyone can afford $700K rowhouses when they need the extra space. Three bedroom apartments will keep families in the city.

  • i always wondered why that Chinese place next to that shopping place was unoccupied….makes sense now. I thought that would have made an EXCELLENT bar space for that area. But im sure the new development with bring fresh life into an otherwise extremely extremely stale and boring neighborhood
    (lived there for one year,last year)

  • Wow what a trip! I lived here for a few years during and after college at AU. I loved Pier One and that quirky pet store next to the Capital One. I’m glad the area is getting revitalized. It was a great neighborhood for those of us transitioning from suburban roots to an urban lifestyle. It had everything that you needed and, based on what you felt was missing, let you know if you should move further into the city or retreat to the outer suburbs. Thanks for this nostalgic trip down memory lane for me!

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