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Renovations Coming to Samuel Kelsey Apartments in Columbia Heights – Olive Garden Italian Restaurant Coming too?

by Prince Of Petworth May 10, 2012 at 10:30 am 123 Comments


3322 14th Street, NW

Lots of readers have been writing in asking about the Samuel Kelsey Apartments in Columbia Heights. Specifically folks are asking about the former Speedy Liquors and Casa Furniture spaces at the corner of 14th and Monroe St, NW. So first thing first here is what I know – the Samuel Kelsey Apartments are being fixed up by WinnDevelopment:

WinnDevelopment enjoys a 30-year history of successful development ventures, which are valued in excess of $1.5 billion. Properties developed range from garden-style apartment communities to medical office buildings to the Millennium Bostonian Hotel, an internationally recognized luxury hotel at Faneuil Hall in Boston.

A more recent focus for WinnDevelopment is the acquisition and turnaround of troubled properties using a combination of innovative financing, government subsidy mechanisms and improved management practices.

Their project page says:

For today’s seniors aged 62 and above, and the disabled. Samuel Kelsey consists of 150 apartment homes that are combined with12 commercial spaces including a pharmacy, beauty salon, bank, and much more. Also conveniently located within minutes of downtown D.C., are grocery stores and public transportation. The active Resident Association offers support in providing trips, wellness programs, and food assistance. Historical facts show this ideal community carries a superior rating recognized by the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency.

Speaking with folks on the property they say the metal grates will be removed in addition to other facade improvements. I’m not sure to what extent, if any, the inside will be addressed.

Now to what more people have been asking about: What specifically is going on with the former Speedy Liquors and Casa Furniture retail spaces? At first I thought it was just people messing with me but now rumors are officially flying – folks are hearing that an Olive Garden Italian Restaurant will be taking over the space. And yes this is directly across the street from Ruby Tuesday. I have left a message with Olive Garden’s media relations (though I don’t know if they’d be able to confirm even if it is true) but their director is on vacation, I will update as soon as more info becomes available.

So, if it is an Olive Garden – do you think it will do well in that space?

Update from Olive Garden’s [Darden] Media Relations:

“Darden’s brands continue to grow, so our real estate teams are constantly looking for sites across the country. However, we don’t comment on any specific plans until a project has received the necessary approvals.”

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