The Safeway at City Vista (490 L Street NW) has made several changes over the last few months. Early in the year we noticed all the tables and chairs removed from the cafe space as the area was generally only being utilized by the homeless and employees. In July the Fifth Street entrance was closed due to reports of high levels of shoplifting (estimated at ~$11K/mo). A month later the store expanded operations to be open for business 24 hours per day. In September the store began asking to check receipts of customers upon exit to attempt to further squash shoplifting. Many customers felt this to be merely security theater than a meaningful way to curb shoplifting.
In late October Safeway had a mini-marketing campaign suggesting they would have a grand re-opening. I was mailed a reusable grocery bag and information on discounts related to the re-opening day. I was out of town that re-opening weekend and had some skepticism that there would really be much change going on.
On Saturday morning I did visit the Safeway and noticed a series of improvements. I was only in the store for a few minutes but here are my observations of the positive changes:
Former Cafe space now repurposed for greeting cards. This allows the aisle space the cards previously used to be allocated to product. Seems several aisles have been reorganized.
Two new Self checkout stations. Not next to the other self-check outs. They are at the other end of the checkout area.
Refrigerated beer area expanded substantially. Some of the wine aisle space was converted.
What other changes have you noticed? What else would you change? Let’s try to be forward looking and constructive rather than repeating the same gripe about a couple of bad experiences from two years ago.
As reported in the past, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) has arranged a deal to purchase property from Douglas Development in the Mount Vernon Triangle to build a new headquarters office building. The parcel is on Square 451 and is bounded by 7th Street NW to the west, New York Ave NW to the north, K Street NW to the south while the east boundary is an alley. Several historically protected properties spread out along the K Street segment will be relocated to a cluster on K Street near the alley.
Until now we did not have renderings to display what AAMC has planned. Lydia DePillis of the City Paper tracked down four renderings from Shalom Baranes architectural firm. I’m displaying two below and encourage you to visit her link for the other two.
K Street elevation of AAMC; from Shalom Baranes (via WCP)
Among the items she singles out as superficial are converting the usually-blue wayfinding signs to ornamental red, installing Chinese inspired lampposts and benches, designing bike racks and crosswalks in the shape of stylized dragons, adding a “Chinese-themed” sculpture to Chinatown Park, the translation of street signs into Chinese characters, commissioning “Chinese-inspired” murals for blank commercial storefronts, and installing more decorative Zodiac pavers.
What are your thoughts? Do you support the improvements? Is it all too superficial? Or do you think some improvements make sense but the incorporation of dragons may be taking it farther than it needs to go?
Living Social continues to scoop up fabulous old historic buildings from Douglas Development for office space. The Washington Business Journal reports the latest is 1005-1011 7th Street NW on the corner of 7th and NY Ave.
1005-1011 7th St. NW; pic from Douglas Development
The 2011 DC Tweed Ride took place on Sunday November 13th. Our local bike shop, BicycleSPACE, was an event partner and sponsor. The event attracted roughly 800 riders many of which stopped at BicycleSPACE for an Olde Tyme photo opportunity with the photo mural backdrop BicycleSPACE stationed next to the store.
Lori Steenhoek of Capital Pixel filmed and edited the Tweed Ride video above.
Michael Neibauer of the Washington Business Journal reports that architect Alfred Liu aspires to build a “global trade center” atop Interstate 395 between K Street and New York Avenue NW. Liu’s portfolio of past projects is vast and global with the Friendship Arch and Wah Luk in Chinatown representing local examples of his work.
Image courtesy U.S.-China Capital Cities Friendship Council (via WBJ)
Despite poor weather the 2nd Annual MVT Pet Costume Contest, sponsored by Fifth Street Hardware, had 10 dogs participate. The event was moved indoors to Bicycle Space which compiled the Youtube video below.
The Fashion Pioneer Award went to the “Sock Thief” whose costume was hand sewn by the owner.
Halloween isn’t just for the dogs. Downtown DC for Kids has several Halloween events for neighborhood children this weekend. The feature event is a Halloween Party on Saturday from 4PM-6PM – see the flyer below for the full details.