27 Comment

  • west_egg

    I noticed the menu boards were lit up this morning as well. I’m impressed by how quickly the space transformed from a concrete shell. It’s shameful that these retail spaces sat vacant for so long; I’m glad to see them finally filling up.

    • +1
      Anything is better than nothing. People (foolishly) think that only a small plates restaurant will help drive up their property value. I’d wager that a DD does more to drive foot traffic than a place like Turtle and Crane. And foot traffic is exactly what you need to drive that “small plates development.”

      • Perhaps, but I understand (and share) people’s disappointment that it wasn’t something a little more upscale.
        At least the Dunkin’ Donuts probably won’t contribute to the litter problem nearly as much as the 7-Eleven that’s also supposed to be coming to Park Place.

        • I’m delighted that it’s a DD. I don’t go by the metro station every day, however, but i do see myself visiting it a few times a month.

      • I don’t think it’s true that anything is necessarily better than nothing. That Dunkin Donuts is going to be there for 10-20 years now, minimum. It’s not a short term “lets see where the neighborhood goes” kind of tenant. This is what we’ve got, for the foreseeable future: Dunkin Donuts and 7-11. I’d rather it be empty and full of potential, personally.

        • Oh, and for the record, I don’t care about driving up my property value. I just want more businesses in my neighborhood that I will use.

  • Still disappointed that Baskin Robbins won’t be coming to the space. I get BR way more than DD.

  • Where’s the Dunkin Donuts poop protest?

    • People like progress in Petworth, even in the form of a chain (needed), unlike some in Mt. Pleasant. Need to fill those empty store fronts!!

      • Also, the Subway in Petworth is almost next door to Dunkin’ Donuts…the person with the projector in Petworth would’ve had a feel day with having two chains next to each other.

  • Also, on a more serious note, why are so many of the condos on GA Ave empty? Some have been there for years and others are new (the Swift), but there seem to be a ton of empty units. It doesn’t seem like developers think there’s a shortage of demand since they keep building.
    Also, why hasn’t anything happened with the lot between Latney and Chez Billy? There was a “ground breaking” over a month ago and since breaking ground they don’t seem to have touched the lot.

    • I think with apt’s, its a long game. they dont need to have them full right away. I think the developers would rather have the apts there once people want them as opposed to getting in late in the game when the apts are already needed (ie, they dont want to wait to build because by the time demand is there, it is too late to build). I look at it like a “if you build it, they will come…. eventually” sort of thing.

    • I always wonder the same thing; “long” game does make sense, but why have them sit idle? Lower the rent – even if temporary – and fill the spots. Everyone wins.

      • By lowering the rent, they run into an issue with trying to up those rents when the demand is there. I think the rule is 3% rise in rent per year in dc (could be wrong about that percentage). So, for example, lets say they rent a 2 bedroom for $1000/month (for the sake of argument), the building owner wont be able to kick that tenant out when rents in the area start to be $2000/month for a 2 bedroom. The most the owner can raise the rent for that person on the lease would be 3% of what the original lease amount was for… if that makes sense. Sorry, my explanation is a little jumbled.

        Basically, owners would rather let the apts sit idle then get into a situation where they have to rent them for below market rate.

        • These new buildings are not rent controlled. They can raise the rent however much they want once every 12 months.

          • Even for someone already on lease?

          • Yes. From what I understand, the landlord has to submit the annual rent increase to the RACD and the new price must be “comparable” to similar apartments in the area. So they can’t increase it from $2K to $5K in a single year to try to kick you out. But they can probably get away with raising it by $500 in a single year. The process is really murky and open to dispute/litigation.
            For rent controlled places, the annual allowable increase is 2% + CPI.

          • Meanwhile, a few blocks over on 14th St near Red Derby, condos are selling for $600,000. They sell before the building is complete. At last count, there are 8-9 condo developments under construction or recently completed on upper 14th between Spring Rd and Shepherd.

    • “Also, on a more serious note, why are so many of the condos on GA Ave empty?”
      A few reasons:
      -Dirt cheap financing. Developers only need to pay interest on their 7 or 10 year bullet loan.
      -Unspoken price collusion among the major developers. Everyone suffers when they begin cutting prices, as the experience in 2007-2009 showed. They would rather keep an apartment empty than offer it at a permanent discount. That’s why these guys will offer “two months free!” rather than a cheaper rent.

    • Most of the newish buildings in that part of Georgia Avenue (the Swift, the Griffin, Park Place) are rentals, not condos. The only one I can think of that’s condos is the Gibson, several blocks south of the Georgia Ave.-Petworth Metro.

    • I guess I was pretty much thinking what the above three comments say. It’s just annoying having those huge empty buildings there. It’s sort of a chicken and egg thing. Having those full would really make the neighborhood more attractive for retail/entertainment/etc., which would in turn make it more desirable for renters.
      And I worry with all the units coming on line in new buildings in AdMo, H St NE, Rhode Island Metro, etc. that there’s a glut of rentals that will continue for quite a while.
      At the very least I’d like to see the property that “broke ground” actually building or the politicians that took photo ops shamed for not following through.

  • I thought I’d dislike it but it’s actually nice to see something in there, it for now looks tidy, and I’m just glad for the movement. I don’t think I’ll be as positive when the 7-11 goes in, though.

  • I almost swooned from happiness when I saw them moving equipment in this morning!

  • I have been in quite a few well-managed Dunkin locations that are tidy and pleasant. Hopefully this will be one of those.

  • Apart from starting construction works before 7am on saturday and hammering all day long, it could be great. I can’t wait to have the sweet smell of frying oil float all over the Park Place building

    • west_egg

      I’d be surprised if this tiny location actually makes the donuts onsite. I suspect they receive a daily delivery.

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