Checking Out City Market at O Home to One of DC’s Coolest Apartments and a First Look Inside the New Giant Grocery Store Opening Nov. 22nd

by Prince Of Petworth — October 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm 56 Comments

7th and O Looking North East

My tour of jaw dropping gigantic new developments continues – next up is City Market at O and even in this early stage it doesn’t disappoint.  First here’s a few details from the folks at City Market at O:

“The Numbers:
90,000 square feet of retail, including 78K Giant

Giant Opening: November 22
Initial Apartment move-ins – Dec – Jan
Cambria Hotel Opening: late spring

The entire project is Leed Silver, from the Giant to the hotel to the residences

The Shaw neighborhood: Roadside worked to keep the look and feel of the neighborhood in a number of ways. They opened up 8th street to continue the tree lined street through the center of City Market at O, they buried all loading for the Giant, hotel and retail/restaurants underneath the project; and they worked with older residents to ensure they had the opportunity to stay in the area by building an affordable 90-unit residence. This is a rare opportunity for seniors to enjoy intergenerational, modern apartment living in a desirable area of the city at an affordable cost.”

Lots more info on the project here.

One of the coolest new apartments in the District:

Diving Board unit

A boat load of photos (and renderings) including a look inside the new Giant and lots more after the jump.

Diving Board unit

inside Diving Board unit

Future Reopened 8th Street Looking South Towards Convention Center

Retail spaces on 8th Street. Will include a homemade pasta maker/chef

Giant in old O Street Market space

recreated old market wall from original brick now home to new Giant

Giant – old and new

serviced underground, avoids parking and noise issues

View from one of the roofs

The Cairo in the distance

Another View toward Basilica

Future lap pool on roof

Future dog run on another roof (will have different material, these plants will be placed elsewhere)

8th Street looking north

More apartments

O Street looking north

Future home of Phase 3 development, will have 150 apartments

Following are some of the renderings:

CMO_Exterior_O Street Rooftop
Roof deck rendering with fire pits

CMO_Exterior_O Street_Aerial
aerial view

7th and O rendering

CMO_Exterior_Residences Rooftop2
roof deck pool and pavilion rendering

CMO_Interior_O Street Lobby
one of the lobbies

  • Rich

    The apartments look a little characterless (masquerading as minimalism). Looking forward to the Giant. I miss having an alternative to Whole Foods nearby with normal stuff for sale. The usual WF snobs probably don’t notice that Safeway and Giant overlap them for much of the produce and things like the fancy ice cream and that the WF bakery stuff often is pretty awful (like the muffins, but wonder what what they use for cake batter, and the pies are really no better than the cheaper stores).

    • QQ

      You’ve managed to insult apartments that aren’t built yet, Whole Foods, Whole Foods shoppers, Whole Foods baked goods, and high-end ice cream. Well done!

  • Anonymous

    Took a construction tour of this place a few months back and it’s impressive. The roof view is amazing and the underground loading zone was a nice touch to conceal that from the street. The apartments are going to be pricey from what I was told then.

    I’m a little curious why there’s no retail along 9th Street (or maybe there’s a small shop) given what else is taking place currently (A&D, Sundevich, Baby Wale, etc.).

  • monk

    That diving board unit triggers my inner Adrian Monk OCD and makes me want to push it back into the building, like a drawer that’s been left open.

    • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    That green facade is terrible, and only going to get worse with age. Didn’t we learn our lesson from the 70’s/early 80’s?

  • k

    I wish someone would make apartment buildings that were relatively affordable. What’s a gal making under 40k a year supposed to do. I’m sick of scumbag craigslist landlords. I can’t find prices on the City Market at O website but I can’t imagine it’s anything I could ever afford

    • Emily

      I hear ya. Our niche is totally underserved in DC when it comes to housing. Big time. Scumbag craigslist landords sums it up completely. Add in dank, practically unlivable basement apartment, and you’ve got the entire picture.

    • kyle-w

      Not to be snarky, but brand new expensive developments are not really aimed at gals making under 40k.

      Here is hoping these new units will do their job, and there will be less pressure on the craigslist landlorded units. Remove some demand for basement apartments, and landlords will actually have to work to find/keep tenants.

      • Fla ave


    • Anonymous

      they do, but they are currently east of the river.
      brand spanking new. and affordable.
      might be time to consider it.

  • freitag

    Interesting that this comes up right after the McMillan discussion. This is a nice example of a grocery store and housing combo designed in a dense and visually appealing way. (unlike current mcmillan plans)

  • Anonymous

    The diving boards and bumpouts are a great way to increase square footage without sacrificing light/window views. Expect to see more of those features.

    • That Man A

      how sick would it be if they made the ceiling glass in that “diving board” unit with a retractable shade or something

      • DC20009

        Or glass sections in the floor?

  • Anonymous

    That Giant looks amazing. I love how the mimicked the brick pattern from rowhouses into the walls.

  • etcetera

    On the whole, I’m very excited about this development. However, that yellow-green fake brick material that they are using on the exterior looks awful. Actually reminds me of some of the materials Suzanne Reatig uses – blech. Even the other exterior materials (that are more neutral in color) look really cheap and unattractive. I’m glad they were able to preserve as much of the old O St Market facade as they did – any more of those toy-like blocks would be a shame.

  • Anonymous

    That green is terrible! I think my dog has vomited that same color.

  • Seth

    That color is hideous. It looks terrible and ages the building before it’s even finished. It looked more tolerable in the computer renderings, but gross in reality.

    And Giant sucks, the space they’ve restored is great, but would’ve been better with an alternative grocer. Their cheap but at a cost of having bad selection and poor quality.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    I would be extremely leary of renting from Bozzuto again. I had an unpleasant experience at Park Place. They were constantly coming up with reasons to come into my apartment, and every year they tried to raise my rent by 10%. It was enough to push me out into the market again, and I bought at Union Row. Yes! and CVS at my door.

  • Ben

    It amazes me at the quantity of people in this area that can afford these rents.

    Has there been new construction in the last year or two were rents were sub 2k for a true 1br?

    • kyle-w

      Negative. With what little buildable land is left in the city, all that makes sense financially is luxury. Read 2K+ for a 1br. Nice buildings are meant for DINKs, of which there are a lot. When you are splitting the rent, $2600/month becomes affordable.

      • Charles

        [email protected] Excellent point because their definition of affordable is someone earning $100,000 yearly or more.

    • Jason

      Agree 100%

      I love DC, but whether you rent or buy, this city is on a fast track to having a population of just the very rich and very poor. No in-between will be left unless you bought here many many years ago. I make more than the average family of four in this country and it’s nearly impossible to save anything for a down-payment on something small and nice. As interest rates climb and home sale prices continue with their double digit gains, that dream is all but gone.

      • Jason

        And to add to what Kyle-w said, dwindling numbers of families. DINKS (who will eventually move to the suburbs or less expensive cities) and the very poor. That’s it. A single person on an average income or a family with kids cannot afford DC.

        • Anonymous

          Honest question… What’s a DINK?

          • Anonymous

            Dual income, no kids

          • Anonymous

            Double Income, No Kids.

        • Eponymous

          I’m married with no kids. My spouse and I ARE a family, thank you very much. And there are lots of families in DC with kids as well.

          • Jason

            Eponymous, I didn’t mean to imply you were not a family, as I consider my partner and I a family. I should have said that families with or planning on children must consider the cost of private education in addition to the high cost of housing in determining whether to move here at all. Yes, I know there are some charter schools, but I generally see my neighbors flee to the burbs because the added budget stress of private school is just too much.

        • “DINKS (who will eventually move to the suburbs or less expensive cities)”

          Why on Earth would I sell my house in DC to move to the suburbs if I don’t have kids? The only viable reason for leaving would be if I had kids, and wanted a better school and a bigger house to put them in. Without kids, DC is a far better option, unless you just really want a big back yard or something.

          • Jason

            The families with children are more likely to move to the burbs. You’re correct in that the DINK’s are less likely, but they will consider less expensive cities such as Baltimore, Philly, Atlanta and even Chicago. Those who stay will see their available cash flow for overpriced small plates dining consumed more and more by the cost of their housing.

          • Anonymous

            Except that those cheaper places may not have readily available jobs for said DINKs. Also, those who bought in DC shouldn’t see their payments change much over time. (Your home value can’t rise more than 10%/yr with the Homestead Tax.)

          • CT

            We’re DINKs (and will remain that way) and are considering a move to a close-in burb. More space, less drug dealers, less peeing in our alley, less trash around our home, less panhandling (or demands for cash, rather), a garage to mitigate the regular damage both our cars receive, easier access to shopping, honestly, it’s looking better all the time.

          • @Jason I suppose if you spend all of your money dining out then that might be an issue. Fortunately there are actually quite a lot of “affordable” dinner options in DC if you know how and where to look. Also, my mortgage amount will stay virtually the same, if not go down, whereas renters will see an increase.
            @Anonymous 10:19, spot on. My job all but restricts me to this area due the nature of it. I suppose I could live in Baltimore and commute down to DC, but that would be a nightmare and hardly worth the change (in fact, I would probably still spend the same amount I spent here and just buy a bigger place).
            @CT I guess that depends on your neighborhood then. I really don’t experience any of that. Do you plan to sell your current place in DC or convert it to a rental?

          • Anonymous

            Why would my partner and I move to a less expensive city where our home value won’t appreciate as rapidly? I guess it makes sense if you’re renting, but no reason to move if you already own a place.

          • Jason

            Justin – “@Jason I suppose if you spend all of your money dining out then that might be an issue. Fortunately there are actually quite a lot of “affordable” dinner options in DC if you know how and where to look. Also, my mortgage amount will stay virtually the same, if not go down, whereas renters will see an increase.”

            Yes I was referring to renting. That cost does continue to rise. If someone had the means and the intuition to buy in a pre-trasition neighborhood, I’m happy for them. For those who love DC and hope to purchase a decent condo , saving for the downpayment is a challenge here, because the rent is “too damn high”. While the mortgage on a $500k condo is similar to a 2500/mo rent (my current rent which I share with a roommate), the downpayment and ongoing condo fee must also be accounted for in qualifying for the purchase. That’s the hard part. Then, as interest rates (which are at least 1% more than this time last year) rise along with the property listing prices, you can see how that dream slips away for many of us.

            BTW, I rarely (maybe once a month) go out for a modest meal, such as pho. But I see these young professionals who seem to be going out many times a week. They can’t all be making $100k and if they aren’t, they certainly aren’t saving to purchase property, let alone saving for retirement, etc.

          • CT

            Justinbc, to answer your question, we already have a basement rental unit and would likely just rent out the top two floors, despite the hassles of being a landlord in DC. Overall better investment.

            And you’re lucky–we have all those things and worse. On a daily basis. It definitely depends on your neighborhood and we couldn’t afford to buy in one of the neighborhoods that doesn’t have all that.

      • Anonymous

        It’s certainly trending that way but now nearly as fast as you are suggesting. There would have to be a major shift if local politics and policy before we start seriously heading the way of London.

  • wpk_dc

    I think the development is awesome! I had hoped some of the units would be available for sale as I had heard that earlier. But all will be rentals which is disappointed. I really would have considered buying there.

    • anon

      Is it more profitable to have all the units be rentals? Why not have a mix of condos and rental units?

  • I really hope a restaurant opens up selling citymarketatoes. They sound tasty.

  • It Ain’t Easy Being…

    Love how they used the old City Market and integrated it into the development. But that avocado green is hideous and will age poorly. The color reminds me of my grandmother’s 1960’s-era washing machine.

  • Eponymous

    This is a perfect example of what will happen with McMillan if we go off of vague and unrealistic renderings. It’s easy enough to make green tiles look cool on a rendering, but I bike by this on the regular and it looks like a cheap housing project. And it will probably look even worse with age. Oh well – at least there’s a brand new grocery store on my way home from work…

  • Anonymous

    Those floor plans are awful. I guess it’s a lot easier to squeeze in shoebox units when you don’t bother trying to put the bedroom on an exterior wall.

  • Anonymous

    isnt the church on the south side of this development also slated to be torn down? thought i remember seeing that somewhere but now can’t find it… all huge news for Shaw

    • Anonymous

      It has been bought by a developer. But, it is still in the early planning phase. Doubt there will be any movement on that for a few more years.

  • Long-Time Resident

    Interesting that we never see/saw renderings of the P St. elevation on the first floor or the street along Ninth. Doesn’t anyone else feel cheated that virtually the entire P St. facade is solid BLACK brick, no windows, nothing for the pedestrian to look at. Rule one, make a building interesting for the passerby!

    • Rule 1 is always “make a lot of money”, everything else is secondary.

      • They will be installing public art in the alcoves on P St to raise the curb appeal. The black brick should serve as a nice frame. Sad that we have not seen renderings of that art yet on the Roadside or city market blogs yet. After you starve people, they tend not to ask questions when you feed them crumbs.

  • overonhst

    That diving board unit is strange. I can only imagine what the rent will be for that “premier” unit. In fact, the whole design is just whack. Why is it not on the top level? And why only one? They might as well had all those other units that bump out just as much for proportion without the deck on top and made the top units have the overhead deck and collected a ton more rent.

  • Charles

    This place really looks nice, however, I live on a fixed income and I can’t afford to move into a nice place like this. My healthcare insurance recently increased a lot for 2014. I will have to cut back on food and other things in order to be able to live. Rents are increasing in D.C. and most people will not be able to afford to live here. Not every D.C. resident earn 6 figures are more. There are many 50 year old D.C. college graduates earning less than $50,000 yearly. Hopefully I will hit the Lotto this weekend! LOL I must continue to think positive.

    • Q-Street

      O street market has 90 affordable housing units set aside for the 55+ community. Not sure how affordable they are, but it may be a option worth looking at.

      • DC FOR LIFE

        They may have set aside what they consider affordable, but please make no mistake that the renovation of DC is geared toward the elete, young professional and young families wanting the city life and not concerned about the big back yard for their kid, but the convenience of the city. Most mid-low income people are relocating to PG Co, Atlanta GA and Charlotte NC. I know because I was raised and have lived in the Shaw area for over 40 yrs and have seen the transition 1st hand. Our church leader told us back in the 80’s to buy in DC then because the transition was coming and we would not be able to afford it in the years to come, and here we are. Overall I love the transition, but think it’s a shame that so many decent tax paying, hard working individuals are priced out and can’t take advantage of the new Shaw experience.

  • Q-Street

    I think the green facade is pretty ridiculous, but the rest of the development is great. I can’t wait to have a grocery store back there!

  • Ray Milefsky

    Seeing this new addition to the long-depressed and neglected (I’ve lived here 27 years, in DeeCee since 1969) O Street Market neighborhood, I burst out singing the East German national anthem:

    Resurrected from the ruins and facing the future let us serve you for the good, [O Street Market]], united fatherland.
    Old woes shall be overcome, and we’ll overcome them united because we must succeed so that the sun will shine as never before over [O Street Market] . http://youtu.be/memLPKw7cHo

    Raise your glasses at Datcha!


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