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Which Pie?

Based on the strong showing for a Pizzeria among the suggestions for 924 5th Street I thought it’d be interesting to run a poll. Of the choices below which Pizzeria would be your top choice to open in the neighborhood.

Which sit down Pizza place would you prefer for MVT?

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At one point Flippin and Paradiso were in talks with City Vista.

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Is the Triangle ripe for clothing retail?

The owner of regional clothing retailer South Moon Under lives at City Vista and recently reached out to the blog for input on a store location after reading several of our discussions about retail.

South Moon Under began as a surf shop in Ocean City in 1968 and over the years has expanded to more than a dozen locations in the suburbs of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and eastern Pennsylvania. Product offerings have evolved from board sheets to a current focus on designer labels in clothing, handbags, decor and jewelry. After a recent successful opening at National Harbor the company is interested in opening a D.C. store but find the rents in the high profile shopping areas of the District prohibitively high.

Rents in the premium locations of Georgetown and F Street are so high that they only can be afforded by the national apparel retailers that you see everywhere. So we are trying to decide if we can come into a more neighborhood type of location and service the locals. Choosing a non prime location goes against all the advice we hear in retail but I personally think it could work.

South Moon Under in Rehobeth

I thought this was an interesting topic as conventional wisdom does suggest it is better for clothing retailers to cluster together with other similar businesses. Consumers typically prefer to be able to comparison shop at different stores during a shopping excursion. However residents in the urban setting do demonstrate strong preferences for patronizing businesses within convenient walking distance. The convenience of not having to get in the car or take a metro ride to Pentagon City may trump the preference of having a great variety of stores.

But that still begs the question of how far off the main shopping district makes sense? Would the Triangle be a viable location for a clothing apparel retailer like South Moon Under?

Would you recommend South Moon Under open in the neighborhood?

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Feel free to respond with your feedback in the comments section to the following questions South Moon Under ownership has about shopping habits in the community:

# Where do you go to shop now? i.e. Pentagon City, Georgetown, F Street etc.
# What stores or catalogues do you like for your clothing?
# Have you heard of South Moon Under before or seen our web site?

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Urban Grit

A friend and I were discussing NYC in planning a March trip. One subject that came up in discussing the energy in Manhattan was Urban Grit. We both appreciate  a little grit although I’m perhaps a little more particular on what grit I think brings something to the table in a good way than she is.

What are your thoughts on Urban Grit?

Do you like a little "Urban Grit"?

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I’ve started a discussion two lists of Good and Bad Urban Grit below. Feel free to debate or add to the lists in the comments.

Good:

  • Graffiti Art, Guerilla Art or Murals - not gang signs of course. Art such as the Guerilla art on the 400 Block of NY Ave.
  • Old Weathered Brick or Cobblestones
  • Water Towers on top of old buildings
  • Some Industrial Character – personally I’d find a view of railyards, shipping cranes or old brick warehouses more interesting than the sterile Washington Monument. (Albeit not great for resale)

Bad:

  • Trash/Litter everywhere – litter everywhere sucks. I’m also not a fan of the fact all the Chinatown NYC trash collection is done on the curb of the streets. Think mounds of black trash bags on the sidewalk.
  • Odor – Dowisetrepla or otherwise
  • Chain Link fences
  • Prostitutes
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Better With Ezra?

UPDATED (2/2/11): While the owner of this property is a SVP at the Ezra Company (a commercial real estate firm) this is his own project and will be filed under the name 5K LLC.


In early 2009 the contents of the old High G Paint building at 924 5th Street were kicked to the curb. Later that year Mark Brody of the Ezra Company purchased the property for just $310,000 (possibly at auction). Shortly thereafter our readers chimed in with their desires for potential retail at the property. With so many suggestions we thought a two story approach had merit.


There is finally an indication that renovation is on the horizon with the property. A recent notice for the January Historic Preservation Review Board meeting has 924 5th Street on the docket.

Mount Vernon Triangle Historic District: 924 5th Street, NW, HPA #11-107, concept/four-story rear addition to three-story building and demolition of one story rear wing

The HPO meeting takes place January 27th at 10am in Room 220 of One Judiciary Square (441 4th Street NW).[Updated: HPO pushed to the February meeting]. We should learn more details after the hearing. My bet would be a small office project.

[Read more...]

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Poll: Name the 2nd & Mass building

I’ve heard the all black office building at 2nd & Mass NW referred to both as the “Darth Vadar building” and more recently the “Death Star”. Which do you prefer, do you have any other suggestions?

Building on 2nd Street NW between H and Massachusetts

What is the best nickname for the building pictured above?

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Poll: Community Restaurant Preferences

Most everyone I talk to is ultra excited about Buddha Bar. I am looking forward to its arrival  from the perspective that it will put a landmark in our neighborhood and hopefully stimulates more investment. On the flip side, I tend to believe I’m not going to be dining there often. Thirty dollar entrees that escalate into $80 meals are something I rarely induldge in. Hopefully the patio vibe is such that you can order a couple drinks and one appetizer and linger.

Personally I’m more interested in continue influx of high caliber fast casual concepts along the lines of Taylor Gourmet, Nandos, Vapiano, BGR, Matchbox, etc where I can dine for $15-25  if I keep my drink tab in check. To me those are the greatest asset to have within easy walking distance because they are easy on the budget and casual enough to be an option any day of the week. I probably go to Taylor five times a month… A place like Indebleu I only go to during the occasional Restaurant Week.

I’m sure residents of our neighborhood have a wide range of preferences on this subject. I thought I’d put it to a poll to get a sense of the distribution.

Of the following, which would you value most in the neighborhood?

  • Casual with good food (Taylor Deli, Nandos, Vapiano) (64%, 96 Votes)
  • Destination Dining (Buddha Bar, Capital Grille, Oyamel) (21%, 32 Votes)
  • Bar with OK Food (Any Irish Place) (11%, 16 Votes)
  • Fast Food (Chipotle, Chopt, Five Guys) (4%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 150

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The poll is not asking which type of Restaurant you like the best. The focus is which is the most valuable to your lifestyle to have close by in the community.

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New Poll: City Vista Restaurant?

I’ve added a new poll to a sidebar as a followup to our City Vista retail discussion. It’s impossible to represent all choices – so I ask readers to select the item that most closely represents what you would endorse. While this poll is just for fun please weigh factors beyond the cravings of your taste buds to items such as likelihood for the business to succeed, synergy with the goals of City Vista as retail destination, and whether the business could be a good neighbor to the residences above.

Lauriol Plaza

Photo of Lauriol Plaza by flickr user MD Route 5

Below I’ve linked to a few restaurants of each type. That is just a general quick point of reference of places readers may be familiar with and by no means suggesting these businesses represent the best of the choices.

Which option most closely resembles a restaurant choice you would endorse for City Vista?

UPDATE (10/3/2008 9:13 AM): I had to reset the poll to add one more option – sorry to the one reader who’s vote was lost.
UPDATE (10/3/2008 1:00 PM): Added photo, all text posts are so drab!

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