49 Comment

  • Couldn’t happen sooner.

  • I wish so badly that this would happen to the stupid stop and shop in Cleveland Park too.

    • brookland_rez

      I agree, unfortunately it’s on the historic register, for guess what…. Being one of the first strip malls in U.S. history. So therefore it must be preserved indefinitely.

      • Anonomnom

        From a 1932 book on Architecture that featured the Park and Shop: “The shopping center shown was the 1930 Connecticut Avenue Park and Shop, in Washington, DC, which Knud Lönberg-Holm had lauded as utterly rational in his 1931 Record article on stores. Frey, Kocher, and Lönberg-Holm saw in this project a rational approach to the retailer’s need to accommodate a new set of auto-borne customers – the shopper was a driver, not yet a pedestrian.”

        I wish more in the world could be lauded as “utterly rational.” I generally have mixed feelings about that strip mall. There is nothing of interest in it, but if something like what they are building on H street went up, it just wouldn’t fit the vibe of the neighborhood. And does that area really need more restaurants? Idk.

      • even if it’s preserved there’s nothing that requires it’s use for parking. It would be much better served as an urban farmer’s market instead of surface parking.

        • Completely agree with this. They should make that a park/plaza or something and put in a farmer’s market and other things there. If they really want the parking still, put it underground. I know that no one would ever pay for this, but it would be great.

          • Yes, it would be so much better without parking. The reason the shops there are largely useless (not all, there’s a great wine shop and a useful copy/mailbox place) is because they aren’t right ON the sidewalk, where the largely still pedestrian shopper is. I would be drawn into the shops if I could see them when walking by. I do drive to the area a lot, too, but I never park in the lot because it is costly. You could keep the historic building, but put the parking lot to different use.

    • You may already know this and were just blowing off steam, but the Stop n Shop is a historic landmark, so no dice there.

    • Oh yeah, I know. It’ll always be there.

      But, it’s so frustrating to have a 20 car parking lot (that’s usually half-empty) literally on top of a metro station. It might be the worst example of land use in the entire district.

      • Blithe

        Many people in many neighborhoods were quite reluctant to have their neighborhoods disrupted by construction and permanently altered by metro stations. I guess their efforts to have the strip mall deemed “historic” was in anticipation of comments and attitudes like yours.

        • Don’t buy a house on a main thoroughfare in a major city, then. There are plenty of places for sale in Stafford.

          • Eponymous, you may be more prescient than most of us, but it would have been very hard for someone who purchased their home at the time that Metro was being considered to envision not only the changes wrought by the Metro, but the assumption of people new to the neighborhood and new to the city that the convenience and scale of their neighborhood would come to be viewed as “the worst example of land use in the entire district”(sic). But don’t let your self-satisfaction get in the way of a snarky sophomoric comment.

      • I live near the CP Park n Shop. I would rather have the Park n Shop than another lame apartment building like in the rendering above.

    • Nah, as an undergrad in urban design in the midwest, I remember looking at the “Park and Shop” as an early strip mall and the archetype for a whole blight upon America. Even if you don’t like it, it should be retained as a piece of our national architectural and planning history.

  • Yay! I hate having to walk by this place alone. I’m a young female that lives closer to union station and sometimes I just drive a few blocks or walk on one of the parallel streets just to avoid this location. When I first moved here and ventured down up this way a few times I got a lot of unwanted drunken commentary from some of the individuals loitering about in that area until a finally gave up.

    • brookland_rez

      That’s due to the X2 bus stop there and the colorful crowd that rides the X2. Sorry to inform you but the bus stop isn’t going away.

      • Perhaps but maybe once that shopping center is gone it will encourage less people to hang around and not all of them seem to be waiting for the bus

        • Yup. I find the same to be true at 7th and P. There’s a bus stop there, but the fellas who hang out there never seem to actually get on the bus.

      • Yes, but the sort of establishments that will take up residence there will have a very strong incentive to discourage loitering by the wrong types and will most certainly take steps to make life difficult for non-patron/ resident congregants. Yes, the bus stop will remain, but the corner will not be as inviting for the “salesmen” that currently ply their trade there.

        • Absolutely. Move along and get a life. Grown men leaning on walls and muttering gibberish and making offensive remarks? Gone. Also, sooo pleased Murry’s is gone, for the same reason.

      • There are several X2 stops up and down H Street, but I don’t feel as unsafe closer to Union or past 11th. Once better establishments open up there and there’s more foot traffic, it’ll feel significantly safer.

  • There goes the H St 7-11

  • Railroad Police?

    I noticed that on a building on H between 3rd and 4th yesterday and thought it was curious.

  • I have lived in DC all my life..this block was burned out in 68 . IN 1989 the lot was cobbled together and as hard as this is to believe the strip of shops you now see was erected and with immense fanfare the Mayor , various federal officials all in attendance . You would of thought it was to last 100 yrs . The H street corridor has to be the most stealthy of all american neighborhoods which are experiencing gentrification. The idea that a strip of shops built 23 years ago to help a deeply impoverished community and I mean the poorest of the poor ! will be replaced by the” new young wealth class” that includes all races and creeds ( note some of the most popular employees on the “H st scene” are of all backgrounds ,we should all be very happy and amazed . Though some recent crime events may lead you to question your excitement of DC ..take the big picture …think of 1968 !! and 14th st , all of 7th n.w. , most of H st n.e. destroyed I mean burnt ,abandoned , shelled out….Stay long and strong– 2 bars and 3 stars —

    • I freaking LOVE this comment.

    • +1,000,000 – thanks for the history!!

    • This is the best comment I’ve ever read on PoPville.

    • THANK YOU FOR THIS! I live in this neighborhood and I have mixed feelings about this. It’s easy for me to say that this strip mall is an eye sore and oooh, maybe I’ll a new brunch spot! But I can’t imagine that anything going into this new space is going to serve low-income people. I can’t exactly be excited about another few hundred luxury apartment units.

      Just like when the Murray’s lot was razed, everyone rejoiced and no one noticed that there was also a day care there that served dozens of families, or bothered to wonder how they would be affected.

    • brookland_rez

      I once dug up an old article regarding the Hechinger Mall on Benning Rd when it first opened and there was similar fanfare. I look at developments like H St connections, Hechinger Mall, etc. like I do the Home Depot shopping center on RI Ave. They open in a time when the city was struggling to revive a deeply impoverished area, but eventually get replaced with better development.

  • Hope they keep any public seating to a minimum. There should be a focus on construction approaches that discourage loitering and congregation.

    • Yes, heaven forbid anyone sit or peaceably congregate in public spaces.

      The solution to reducing drug dealing, prostitution, and other undesirable activity isn’t making public space _less_ inviting; it’s making it _more_ inviting so that other elements of society also want to use it. And it’s not like lack of benches is going to discourage drunk or stoned individuals from passing out. They’ll just collapse on the sidewalk, like they already do.

      • this is an excellent point — there’s a pocket park near my office which has a high level of vagrancy. The part is in a well traveled part of town surrounded by high end office buildings filled with busy office workers. The park itself is underutilized by workers at most times of day so it’s inviting for the homeless when not otherwise used. I don’t really see a problem for people peacefully congregated and generally minding their own business. Even some people with mental issues are fine if they’re not overtly haranguing anyone or aggressively panhandling.

        It’s a relatively clean public space and not sure what else would make it more inviting. No one’s stopping others from using it but many probably don’t like sharing it with homeless people. Most potential users are just office workers busy with other stuff

    • Leave this city, never move to another one, never come back.

    • Yes lets close down all public parks or spaces were people congregate or site. Lets start with Lincoln Park. I for one am tired of seeing people lay of people congregating with their blankets on dogpiss covered grass.

  • Why are you discouraging public seating? I think one thing that H Street needs is engagement between the buildings, the sidewalk, and the people.

    I am definitely for taking down the strip mall, but honestly they are just putting up a 2015 version of that strip mall. Bland, cheap architecture that is going up all of this city.

    • Because public seating is usually taken up semi-permanently by a very small but persistent number of “public” loiterers, who make rude comments to passersby, litter, and urinate in place.

      It’s amazing what you see by looking.

      • Maybe the city should be addressing the root causes of these problems you are identifying instead of just taking away all public seating because it is seen as being “undesirable” by people like yourself. The more people who are actively using public spaces, the less “undesirables” are able to congregate and take over a space.

  • This strip mall was ugly like all strip malls. Time to get rid of the ones on Georgia as well.

  • Uggh another mega-shiny condo/apartment complex on H Street? This neighborhood is becoming too yuppified and the already tight parking will be next to impossible.

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