07/07/14 3:15pm

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1125 Spring Road, NW

Thanks to a reader for passing on the presentation and notes about the Old Hebrew Home redevelopment proposals:

Public Hearing Meeting Minutes – 6-17-2014 (PDF)

1125 Spring Road Public Hearing Presentation Final (PDF)

“Our ideal solution:
We propose the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) be charged with redeveloping the properties as a 20/80 percent mix (20 percent affordable senior and family units and 80 percent market-rate equity/ownership units), with parking on premise.

DCHA put out a “request for proposals” (RFP) that states their intention for 75-80 units at or under 60% of AMI. Not sure how long these solicitations are normally open for, however this one was only open from July 2-9. Seems a bit disingenuous to have a solicitation out with a specific proposal in mind when all along DGS has said nothing is decided yet, and they welcome community input.

http://www.dchousing.org

“Please see the attached flyer regarding a new community group which has formed to influence the outcomes of this development. Core principals of this community group:

Redevelopment of 1125 Spring Road Flyer (PDF)

Another reader sends a response from DGS:

“Thanks for your inquiry into the surplus and disposition of 1125 Spring Rd, NW. The D.C. Council’s Committee on Economic Development and the Committee on Government Operations will likely schedule a joint roundtable to discuss the proposal in more depth. This may not be until the Fall, as the Council will begin a two month summer recess starting July 15, 2014. Community members are encouraged to sign up to testify or may also submit written testimony to the Committees on the matter if a roundtable is scheduled. Notice of roundtables can be found atwww.dcregs.dc.gov, or on the Council’s website,www.dccouncil.us.

We will share your comments and concerns with the appropriate parties. I hope this is helpful and thanks for contacting the Department of General Services.”

07/03/14 10:20am

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Georgia Ave at Randolph St, NW

With the opening of the Stroller Safeway (I’m just testing it out…) lost of folks have been wondering about the future of the Wendy’s across the street. Thanks to a reader for sending this update from their regional corporate office:

The short answer is yes we do have renovation plans for the interior, exterior, and landscaping. We are in the process of seeking permits for a number of restaurants in the District, and PG and Montgomery Counties. We are hopeful that work can begin in the short term, but I’m sure you probably understand the permitting process. We have been operating since November of 1983, at this location, and hope to remain and trusted option for quality food. I’m sure that you will find our improved look fitting with the surroundings.

Thanks you for taking the time to reach out and express the concerns from the neighborhood.

07/02/14 10:20am

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Park Place apartments at New Hampshire and Georgia Ave, NW

“Dear PoPville,

The tenants of Park Place were given notice recently that the building is for sale and we, as tenants, have first right to purchase. We are told that we have to form a tenant organization in order to make an offer. I think its fair to say that most people are not familiar with this process. I thought you might have some knowledge of this process or contacts within the DC real estate industry that can explain.”

Turns out the notice was just a formality – the building is not actually for sale it’s just one partner buying out another. And, thank the Lord, I’m told this will finally expedite filling the long vacant retail spaces. Updates as more info is known and leases are signed.

06/30/14 10:20am

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Georgia and Randolph St, NW

I’ve been getting tons of emails from folks raving about the new Petworth Safeway that opened Friday. I’ve also been getting tons of requests for a new nickname for the former ‘stinky Safeway’. I have two reactions. One – I agree the place is beautiful. Two – I think maybe Safeway nicknames are a thing of the past. But if we want to still try with a nickname I propose – the ‘baby Stroller Safeway’. When I stopped by on Sunday morning (and maybe it was the time I went) I saw approximately 244 babies/toddlers. They all seemed to be in heaven. I also think ‘baby Stroller Safeway’ could be a good fit because the store is very symbolic in the continued rebirth of this section of Georgia Avenue. So there’s my vote.

Ed. Note: the City Vista Safeway in Mt. Vernon Square has already been dubbed the Sexy Safeway. Ed. Note: I don’t think anyone really calls it that today, which goes back to my feeling that Safeway nicknames may be a thing of the past…

Have a look inside:

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Lots more photos after the jump. (more…)

06/26/14 4:50pm

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5th and Kennedy St, NW

From the organizers:

“Come out to the Kennedy Street Sidewalk Festival this Saturday, June 28th! From 10am to 2pm, the street will be alive with music, community-building activities, deals at local businesses and guest vendors – including arts and a few food trucks!

There will be volunteers stationed at the intersections at Georgia Ave, 7th, 5th and 3rd Streets handing out flyers that tell you where to find some of the day’s highlights, but here’s a few things you absolutely can’t miss:

The Kennedy Street Oral History Project will be kicking off at the Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center (the old theater building), so swing by and share your memories of Kennedy Street. If you have older neighbors who have been here for decades, please encourage them to do the same!

All up and down the south side of the 400 and 500 blocks, there will be a range of fun activities for kids. From a community sidewalk chalk mural to face painting to story and craft time, this is Kennedy Street’s most family-friendly day of the year.

At the corner of 5th and Kennedy, stop in and learn more about the Playable Art DC (www.playableartdc.org) competition that Kennedy Street recently won, and give your feedback on what kind of new art installation should be put in at this site.

At the Horton’s Car Wash lot, stop by to shop from our great arts vendors and other local businesses joining us for the day!

Have a bike? The Bike House will be hosting a basic bike maintenance clinic at the corner of 7th and Kennedy. Bike on down, tune up, and you can even leave your bike locked to the nearby fence for the day while you check out the rest of the street’s activities.

Swing by the New Sewell Music Conservatory on the 700 block, and enjoy the music hub featuring some of the city’s great local jazz and rhythm & blues.

Anyone who has been following the saga of the vacant lot at 809/813 Kennedy Street for the last several years should definitely stop by and see the community action going on at that space.

And, finally, don’t miss our amazing muralist that’s putting in a great new mural on that big empty wall at the corner of Georgia & Kennedy.

Please come on out, and bring your neighbors. This should be a great day for Kennedy Street and we can’t wait to see you there!”

Kennedy Street Ad - Washington Sun

06/26/14 10:20am

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3830 George Avenue, NW

If you will it, it is no dream. Thanks to all who’ve been sending emails.

From a press release:

“Safeway will proudly open its new Petworth Safeway (3830 Georgia Avenue, NW at the intersection of Georgia Ave. and Randolph St. NW) on Friday, June 27 with festivities that will include recognition of military veterans from the neighborhood. The new store, developed by Duball LLC, measures more than 62,000 square feet and serves as the anchor for a mixed-use project that includes the Swift Residences directly above the store, providing a friendlier and more accessible urban shopping setting. Safeway is pleased to promote healthy lifestyles in a sustainable space that is nearly three times the size of the previous store on the site, which stood for nearly 50 years.

The grand opening ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m., featuring a tribute to local military veterans from the nearby Armed Forces Retirement Home and the unveiling of a display honoring Petworth veterans, including recently retired U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Manson Brown, who was the Guard’s highest ranking African-American officer and grew up in the Ward 4 neighborhood. Mayor Vincent Gray and Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser are expected to participate. The new store will welcome customers beginning at 5 a.m., its regular opening time (5 a.m. until midnight daily).

Safeway is dedicated to offering high quality, variety, and healthy eating options and providing unrivaled service while honoring and recognizing the uniqueness of the Petworth community. Overall, the new store will offer twice as many items as the previous store, including more than 1,200 produce items, 150 cuts of fresh meat daily, 15 varieties of fresh baked bread, 35 types of fish, 350 beers and 500 wines. Many of these products are regionally sourced from Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania so customers can be assured they are getting the freshest foods while supporting local businesses and growers.

The store will offer new food features, such as a sushi chef, salad bar, cheese specialist, hot bar, prepared food section, soup selection, sandwich bar, and olive bar, all of which provide a variety of easy options for customers to pick up a great meal.

In an effort to serve local consumer needs, the store will feature an extensive ethnic food section with many Hispanic food offerings. Bolillo rolls will be baked fresh from scratch daily to make tasty tortas, and a variety of baked goods from Delicias Bakeries in Hyattsville will be available as well.

The Petworth Safeway will employ approximately 225 individuals, a large number of whom will be District residents, including roughly 40 from the Petworth neighborhood.

Not only does Safeway offer products that promote healthy lifestyles, but the design, construction and building operations are sustainable as well. The new store has been built to LEED standards with the intention of becoming the fifth LEED-certified Safeway in the area. In addition to Safeway’s dedication to recycling and composting waste, the building has external shading to reduce heat while using natural light and LED lighting throughout the store which runs on an energy management system.”

We’ve come a long way:

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06/24/14 10:55am

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North Twin Oaks Plot at 14th and Taylor St, NW

A reader passes on the following email about saving the Twin Oaks Garden:

“We are writing to alert you, as members of the community, to a situation affecting the Twin Oaks Community Garden at 14th and Taylor streets NW. As part of the impending large-scale renovation of neighboring Powell Elementary school, the north side of the garden is currently slated for demolition, to be replaced by a faculty parking lot.

This garden is a beautiful space operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and has been under cultivation for at least seven years by community gardeners, and used for DC’s summer youth programming long before that. Between the north and south sides of the garden, which is divided by Taylor Street, there are a total of 63 10’x15’ plots, five bee hives, three major compost operations, and numerous trees, many of which were just added by Casey Trees.

Twin Oaks gardeners and DPR were not included in the Powell renovation planning process, and only last month became aware of the threat to the garden. We’ve begun a dialogue with the DC Department of General Services (DGS), which is managing the project, to consider alternatives that can both meet the needs of the school and preserve this historic community garden.

Please join us for a public community meeting with DCPS, DGS and DPR to help save the garden and show support for urban agriculture in our community. We believe that with community input and innovation we can arrive at a solution that both improves the school’s facilities and preserves this long-standing green space.

When: Wednesday, June 25th; 6:00 p.m.
Where: Powell Elementary School auditorium, 1350 Upshur Street NW

06/23/14 4:24pm

safari_dc_petworth_restaurant
4306 Georgia Ave, NW

From a press release:

“Petworth’s restaurant landscape is a kaleidoscope of culture, with everything on the menu from Asia to Africa. Teeming with diversity, it can now boast another rare gem in its growing nightlife offerings – Safari DC, an East African restaurant that offers authentic East African food.

With its succulent flame-grilled meats, sumptuous fried fishes, and uniquely seasoned rice, Safari DC provides a terrific introduction to some of the foods unique to the East African region and highlight the chef’s passion for tasty fare.  With hopes to providing a glimpse into the contemporary side of modern African cuisine and drink, Safari Restaurant DC plans to utilize its patio seating area for fun outdoor activities that will make you feel like you are in East Africa. Safari DC is offering people a chance to sample Kenyan and Tanzanian food as a delightful precursor to the Folklife Festival scheduled to take place at the Smithsonian later on this month. The Folklife Festival will feature Kenya and China this year.

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Photo via Safari DC

The restaurant is under new management, and the owners are excited to be in Petworth, a neighborhood that they feel has a rich sense of history and a diverse, close-knit community. It echoes of the African values of family and togetherness; a strengthening of community through cooperation and mutual support. There are three floors (two for dining) and an upper room for events. Out back is a breeze-filled patio with ample seating and a view of tree-lined streets. There are several televisions where people can watch the games, and a bar that also offers a television and several different types of alcohol.

Take the journey into new cuisine that is difficult to come by in the DC metro area. Safari DC the only East African restaurant in the DC area that offers Kenyan and Tanzanian food. The restaurant is open from 4 p.m. to midnight, Tuesday through Sunday.”

06/23/14 2:30pm

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4811 Georgia Ave, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Moroni’s pizza closed down months ago, which sucked. I passed by it today and the windows were spray painted from the inside, but I found a slit in the paint and it looks like re-modeling is happening. I hope it’s a new North Petworth Neighborhood bar or restaurant! The brick pizza oven is still standing……”

Anyone hear who’s coming in?