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Allow Me to Introduce You to Petworth’s New Safeway

Petworth’s Proposed Safeway at Georgia Ave (3830 Georgia Ave, NW)

Back in May ’10 I wrote a post titled Battle of the Safeways: Haves Vs. Have Nots comparing the new Georgetown/Glover Park Safeway to Petworth’s Safeway on Georgia Ave (3830 Georgia Ave, NW). I am happy to say that, soon, this argument will no longer apply. Petworth is slated to be home to the city’s newest and largest Safeway at 60,000 square feet. While I’m trying not to exaggerate I believe this is the biggest news to hit Petworth/Georgia Ave since the metro station opened. This news is so huge that I have passed out twice since starting to write this and I’m only on the first paragraph. This is, in the parlance of our times, a true gamechanger.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Marc Dubick, the same guy who brought Mt. Vernon Square the hugely successful City Vista project, who is president of Duball LLC or in plain English the guy who’s gonna develop this project. He has already been talking to neighborhood groups and I’ve received about half a dozen emails from folks who are more excited than I am. And I can understand why. Petworth has been promised redevelopment of this (the Stinky Safeway) Safeway for so many years that to some the prospect has become a fairy tale. However, Dubick made it quite clear to me – the fairy tale has now become a reality. But what was even cooler was the detail in which Dubick explained the project to me and the lengths that have been made to address earlier concerns:

There will be two underground floors of parking removing the current parking lot and curb cuts on Georgia Ave. will be no more. There will be 85 spaces on one floor for shoppers and 135 parking spots on a separate floor for residents. The ground floor will be 60,000 square feet including a full deli, Starbucks and a state of the art pharmacy and will look a lot like the City Vista/ Sexy Safeway and the new ultra modern Safeway in SW-Waterfront. On top of the Safeway there will be 5 floors of market rate apartments that will not exceed the height of the existing apartment building on Randolph (it is looking like rentals though condo is still a possibility).

Other steps that have been taken to address earlier concerns are:

*Placing all parking, loading, and trash inside a completely enclosed two-story building to be built in the location where the back parking lot is now;
*Placing a green roof on the enclosed two-story parking structure to provide an attractive view out the rear of neighboring houses;
*Stopping the parking structure short of the end of the parking lot to provide some buffer space;
*Stepping down the housing portion of the structure as it approaches the existing apartment building in the 900 block of Randolph, so there is a smoother flow between the buildings;
* Placing all the housing toward the front of the property, so it doesn’t conflict with the residential housing;
* using the grade of the property to reduce the impact on neighboring properties;
* Using a “quiet” technique to drive the piles for the new building.

Additionally, the Safeway will increase from 40-50 employees to 150-160.

The entire process should take about 2 and 1/2 – 3 years.

After all the permits are collected construction will likely begin in 6-8 months.

When completed Petworth will finally be home to the type of Safeway it deserves. And we’ll soon have to think up a new nickname!

Petworth’s Safeway on Georgia Ave (3830 Georgia Ave, NW)

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