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Grand China Closes Too – Big Development Coming to Columbia Heights on 11th Street

by Prince Of Petworth April 4, 2017 at 10:30 am 28 Comments

3306 11th Street, NW

Lots of readers have been reporting:

“I noticed yesterday that the laundromat and Chinese carryout on the corner of 11th and Lamont were closed. Any word of what might be going in there or why they finally closed?”

Now all businesses on this little strip are closed (including El Latino bakery that closed back in 2015.) When I posted about the laundromat closing last month, I got some tips that a big development was coming but no real details. Anyone hear any scuttlebutt? I imagine it’s going to become something like The Coupe building up the block with a restaurant on the ground floor and condos/apartments on top. Stay tuned.

11th and Lamont Street, NW


  • JS

    I think I know how this will go. Some folks will complain about gentrification, others will celebrate it. Some folks will complain the building is too big, others will say it’s not dense enough. Some people will complain about parking, others will ask, “Why do you need a car in such a walkable environment?” Some people will say the proposed building is ugly, others will like the modern design. There will be contentious ANC meetings and community fights, and probably three or four rambling William Jordan listserv posts. At the end, something will be built and most people will be happy with the new restaurant/retail/street vibrancy, but a few will not and will complain about the vanishing of the old Columbia Heights.

    • GBinCH

      Lol – no doubt! I am a neighbor and I’m just mostly glad that the laundromat has closed. So many sketchy loiters around because of that place. If this place continues to have ground floor retail, with a good restaurant/bar, then I’m very happy.

      • john brandis

        Yeah, the nerve of those people who hang around while their clothes are being washed.

        • PetworthGuy

          I get what you’re saying – but this location is known for loitering and crime. There are a few “regulars” who hang out on that block all day/night and they are not waiting for their clothes to be washed….

          • Vicar

            Also a LOT of harassing passing women. Still, it’s going to impact a lot of people not to have a laundromat there.

            Agree 100% on the original poster’s observations about the *yawn* gentrification “debate” where the same people voice the same tired claims (including the invariable listserv posts). The 95% will enjoy the new developed property.

            At least it’s hard to argue the place was nice.

        • PetworthGuy
          • John Brandis

            Haha. Is this area really known for it’s crime? IF you go to http://crimemap.dc.gov/CrimeMapSearch.aspx and search for the measurable crime statistics for 3306 11th Street, NW it shows most crime trending down. But because some guy named Tom says so the people at the laundry mat are responsible for all the neighborhood crimes.

    • Colhi

      Bonus points if you blame Jim Graham for everything.

      • Anon

        Why do that? It’s Brianne’s fault for being soft on crime. #NadeauMustGo

  • anon

    a building like the one above the coupe would be fantastic for this spot. neighbors couldn’t (or they could, but it’d be obvious they were full of it) complain about the character of the neighborhood, the density, etc. of course, i think a modern building would be awesome, but obviously a lot of negative nancies will become design experts if something like that is proposed.

  • fdsa

    As a homeowner in the neighborhood, I fully support this.

    • Anon

      That’s a rather bold position to take, as a homeowner.

      • fdsa

        I laughed, but based on the recent Bruce Monroe hubbub I get the distinct impression that many homeowners in the neighborhood are very development averse. “Keep things as they are! Don’t change a thing!” It’s not exactly a “sleepy” neighborhood, so why fight it? More development, more jobs, less squalor, safer streets. Next up, Georgia Ave. Plenty of bombed out empty storefronts nearby, ripe for development.

        • Vicar

          AGREE. There is movement on GA Ave but man it’s slow coming.

          I do kind of enjoy the skunk smell by the metro when the kids are out of school though – takes me back, even if my childhood wasn’t so brazen (or legal kinda).

  • Neighborly

    I’m thrilled that is finally happening. Let’s hope for a design that fits with the neighborhood and a multi-use building with a restaurant/bar/retail on the ground floor and housing above. The Coupe building is an excellent model. This is a large parcel in a thriving neighborhood, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Beyond that, I’d love to see the dog park next door get a proper (ie official) overhaul so we can call it a day with this block.

    • PetworthGuy

      +1 – would love to see some TLC for the dog park.

      • fdsa

        +2. Double gates are badly needed.

    • anonymous2u

      It’s not a dog park but rather a Metro property that allows dogs so a huge makeover is unlikely

    • k8

      Even better, perhaps the housing could be somewhat affordable for regular, middle income people.

      • JB

        Yes, good idea. Let’s get the council to repeal the law of supply and demand.

        • anon

          lol, i’ll vote for the councilmember who would force someone to sell a rowhouse to me for $50k. what could go wrong!

          • Vicar

            AND only for “families.”

        • Neighborly


      • Anonymous


        I think it should be made into a “mixed” income rental property, similar to what Arlington does.
        I was born and raised here in DC; MTP and Columbia Heights to be exact. (Oh no! Pardon me, “CoHi” is what the newbies call it. )
        As I was saying, whoever end up buying and building should make apartments available to ALL income levels. Some can pay $900 for rent and some $4,000. It should be based on some % or however it’s done. This way we can keep the charm of the city. You know, then just pretending to.

  • PetworthGuy

    Looks like it’s the same owner that’s had it since 1994 ($260,000 – not a bad investment) from 3300-3316 11th st NW. Shing Lam is behind the entity of ownership. I can’t find any connection between him and any developer – no permits issued to any of those addresses.

  • Steve Parsons

    The Grand China on South Capitol Street is still open!

    I have no idea if they are in any way linked, except for the fact that they use the same font on their signs. But then again, all of the Chinese carry outs use that font.

  • oldhouselover

    For many years (before I learned of the existence of the Latino bakery) I assumed that the proprietors of Grand China made amazing donuts. Turns out it was just Latino bakery churning out mediocre-at-best pastries.

  • Steven Greenwood

    This building is most similar to meridian pint/kbc/others next block pre renovation.


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