5th and Mass pedestrian improvements

Tuesday morning I noticed (presumably) DDOT laying out faintly spray painted lines for new wider cross walks and a more substantial pedestrian island at the NW corner of the 5th and Mass intersection. These marking appear to outline plans for more permanent improvements in the near future.

I found the change to the pedestrian island the most interesting. The little tiny stub of Eye Street in front of 555 Mass would be reduced to a one way slip. This will allow pedestrians less distance to cross and a more substantial area to stand while waiting to cross. Will these changes to the island only be paint stripings? Or will the changes be paint first with an eventual upgrade to a landscaped or bricked island?

The red triangle in the second picture above is my best attempt to represent the size of the island.

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Urban Turf on MVT

Urban Turf wrote a brief posting on the Mount Vernon Triangle yesterday. A wide range of opinions were expressed by readers in the comments section. Below was my response:

I won’t disagree with the notion that my neighborhood will take 7-10 years to tap into it’s full potential. However City Vista has several of the core amenities you need like the Safeway and Results Gym. City Vista also has the Busboys and will sign several additional restaurant tenants for the vacant K Street retail bays at some point this year.

Let’s also consider that while MVT is a neighborhood in transition it’s only 3 blocks from the epi-center (7th & H) of the downtown’s hustle and bustle. I can be at Verizon Center and dozens of Penn Quarter restaurants with a walk of just a few blocks. Also our location is a short walk to all 5 metro lines, union station, and two DC circulator lines.

MVT will take a little time to grow into it’s own, but it’s immediate proximity to the downtown core make it imminently more livable now than say the Capitol Riverfront, NoMA, or someplace like Jenkins Row by the Potomac Ave Metro.

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Downtown Neighborhood Survey Report

The report from the Second Annual Downtown Neighborhood Survey has been published on the Downtown BID website.

The 2008 Survey was noteworthy on two fronts from the Triangle perspective. The boundaries of the survey area extended beyond the Downtown BID north of Mass to include the Mount Vernon Triangle and the majority of the Mount Vernon Square neighborhoods. Additionally, the presence of the new Safeway at City Vista generated a dramatically different distribution of responses to all the grocery related questions.

Report excerpt:

Of the 1057 respondents, 526 were residents.* The results of the 2008 survey validate most of the findings of the 2007 survey, but the opening of the Safeway in the City Vista project has resulted in some major differences. For instance:
  • The percentage of Downtown residents that shop for groceries Downtown grew from 10% to 56%
  • residents traveling to Virginia for groceries dropped from 41% to 16%

The 2008 and 2007 surveys both suggest that Downtown BID area residents are young, well educated and earn high household incomes. Also, according to both surveys the buying preferences of residents indicates an unmet demand for shoppers’ goods retail.

Charts courtesy of

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Absolute Thai Restaurant

Tonight after work I spotted a banner for a new tenant at the old Lee Loo Lounge location (521 G Street NW) along 6th Street. The temporary banner says “Absolute Thai Restaurant”. Does anyone know more?

Simple google searches yield little insights. The most popular returns are for “Absolute Thai” are restaurants in London and Australia. Will this be an internationally based restaurant or is there no linkage?

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Mount Vernon Triangle House Tour – May 17

The below is from the MVT CID website:

Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District is hosting its inaugural Mount Vernon Triangle House Tour on Sunday, May 17, 2009 from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. – benefiting Strive DC – a life skills and job training organization. Mount Vernon Triangle is an emerging neighborhood in the east end of Downtown Washington DC with new condos, lofts, apartments, retailers, and offices.

The Mount Vernon Triangle House Tour is a self-guided tour conducted in the “open house” style so you can come and go at your leisure. All buildings on the House Tour are within a short walking distance of each other, so you can start at any location along the tour – and you don’t have to go in sequential order. Your ticket gets you admission into each home on the tour, a tour booklet full of useful information with a map, and a tea reception from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at Vista Green.

The House Tour is designed to showcase the Triangle’s new condos and lofts in their beautiful new buildings. Private residential condos will primarily be featured in the House Tour, which may include units in 555 Mass, The Sonata, Madrigal Lofts, Dumont, The L, and The K. The final stop on the tour is a tea reception in the private park on the third floor of CityVista – Vista Green – for you to refresh and reconnect with friends.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. To purchase tickets in advance, you can visit 5th Street Ace Hardware, 1055 5th Street, NW (accepting cash or check), or use PayPal (coming shortly). Purchasers buying tickets in advance must go to the Will-Call table to pick up their tour ticket and booklet on event day at 5th Street Ace Hardware at 1055 5th Street, NW. Tickets will be sold on event day at 5th Street Ace Hardware.

Everyone must have a ticket, including children. While there is no age restriction, we believe adults will primarily enjoy the House Tour. Please note that strollers, backpacks, and large bags are not allowed in any of the homes on the tour. While we love our pets, it is best to leave them at home. This event will go on rain or shine, and tickets are nonrefundable.

Getting Here
Mount Vernon Triangle is centrally located in the east end of Downtown Washington DC. You can drive to 5th and K Street, NW and park on the street, in a paid surface parking lot, or in the paid parking garage at CityVista – enter at 5th and L Street, NW beneath Safeway. You may also take Metro to Gallery Place-Chinatown, Mount Vernon Square-7th St-Convention Center, or ride the Circulator, X2, 80, or P6 Metro bus.

Volunteers are needed staff the Mount Vernon Triangle House Tour to take tickets, monitor rooms, and answer questions. Shifts last three hours and run 11:45-2:45 and 2:15-5:15.

As a way of saying thank you, each volunteer will be given a ticket to tour the homes before or after their shift. Email or call (202) 661-7590.

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