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Sweetgreen to City Vista confirmed

In early April we shared the scuttlebutt that Edens had chosen to reclaim the space leased to Michael Landrum as the restauranteur was not up to the task. At that time we suggested salad and frozen yogurt purveyor Sweetgreen would take over the 5th Street retail bay that Landrum intended to open Ryse in.

There is now visual confirmation that Sweetgreen has claimed the space as their 13th location. The windows are now papered with Sweetgreen marketing and they’ve tweeted that the secret is out.

Hat Tip: Shipsa01

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Fun Fair Property Renovated

The infamous former Fun Fair Video property at 917 5th Street NW has been renovated to improve it’s ability to lure a retail tenant. The space offers 2500 SF with Loopnet suggesting the landlord is asking for $36/SF/Year.

Fun Fair building May 2012

[Read more...]

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T-Mobile signs lease at City Vista

Commercial real estate firm Edens and Avant (E&A) recently executed a lease with T-Mobile to be a future tenant at City Vista. When E&A purchased the portfolio of City Vista retail space from Lowe Enterprises last December this negotiations with the celluar provider were already well under way. The lease is for Bay 30 which is ~1500sf situated on Fifth Street between Chevy Chase Bank and Ace Hardware. No permits have been posted and I do not yet have any idea on ETA.



The City Vista retail along Fifth Street will remain services oriented. I believe contractual obligations with Safeway do not permit competing food uses at City Vista within a certain radius from the Safeway main entrance.

The plans continue for City Vista’s K Street frontage to be a restaurant row. The retail bays along K, with their large windows, 22 foot ceilings and plaza sidewalks are well suited for restaurants. Negotiations with restaurant tenants for K Street are ongoing and this blog will report the news when deals are executed. In this economic climate deals move slowly but, as I’ve previously written, down the road we could expect 3 or 4 additional restaurants in the K Street space.

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5th and Mass pedestrian improvements – updated

Last Thursday’s I posted on the spray painted outlines to the NW corner of 5th and Mass that seemingly represent plans to create a much needed substantial pedestrian refuge. I’ve now noticed that the SW corner has similar paint outlines to reclaim a westbound lane of Eye Street. The aerial rendering is updated below.


These improvements coupled with a renovated Chinatown Park could begin to create some meaningful public space for Triangle and Chinatown. A Smart Bike station would also be a great addition to pull more people into this space.

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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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Chinese Community Church exterior upgrade complete

The Chinese Community Church at 500 I Street NW has completed it’s exterior remodeling in time for Easter. The upgrade returned the building to it’s roots by discarding a Formstone exterior for the elegant look of brick and sandstone. These improvements to the facade and roof were made possible by a $600,000 donation from the Gould Property Co which will be developing an office building at 600 Mass Ave NW.

1906 image from the Washington Times

July 2007 photo from flickr user Kyle Walton

2008 image from Google Streetview

2009 image taken on Easter

The building has a 155 year history and currently serves as the only Chinese house of worship in the district.

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DuMont’s Fourth Street sidewalks

Yesterday’s post showcased the reopening of The DuMont’s Mass Ave sidewalks. But many may wonder why does Fourth Street look like crap?


The asphalt and elevated curb are temporary fixtures until Fourth Street is restored to two way traffic later this year.


The sidewalks at the corner of Fourth and Mass are quite narrow. I believe the plans to alter Fourth Street also involve redesigning the traffic island – at which point the sidewalk will become wider.

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Tony Cheng’s 5th Street property

In a discussion last week a reader inquired about 925 5th Street NW.

Check out 925 5th Street NW. That is the building next to Fun Fair that has no roof and only a facade. Apparently it is allowed to stand because under the plywood at the top is an art deco era material (vitrolite). Apparently it is one of the remaining “examples” of this material’s use in DC. Just because it is hiding under the plywood, do we have to keep a structurally unsound building and crack addict magnet? There is nothing special about that facade.

The property is owned by Tony Cheng and assessed at $1.6 million.

Exterior of 925 5th Street NW

“Interior” of 925 5th Street NW

The photos are part of a larger set taken by James “Jad” Donohoe and uploaded to flickr in May of this year. Donohoe Development ultimately was awarded the 5th and Eye RFP in September.

Click on image to view entire 25 photo set

Donohoe Development is interested in acquiring the properties on 5th Street to expand the Arts at 5th and I project towards K Street.

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Shattered windows at City Vista – again

Lydia S of the MVSNA blog had the scoop earlier today on more unfortunate vandalism to windows of the retail storefronts at City Vista. This is a repeat of vandalism that occurred on July 26th. I learned from Lt Durand that the previous vandalism was deemed to be via BB gun or CO2 rifle. To my untrained eye this new vandalism looks like the same MO.

One Safeway window is shattered as well as both display windows at 5th Street Hardware.

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