Shaw Development Deals Up for Review
The Bowser Administration announced that a number of projects in Shaw recently awarded to developers would have to be reviewed by the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. And one project, Parcel 42, a large vacant lot on the corner of Seventh and R Sts. NW, will actually be cancelled altogether. After an almost three year process of evaluating proposals and trying to negotiate a deal, the District decided to revoke the award of the parcel after it had found the winning developer violated the terms of the initial agreement. This is not the first time that a deal for Parcel 42, one of the largest of Shaw’s urban renewal lots, has fallen apart. The parcel will have to be rebid again.
There are development deals at three other Shaw sites that may have to be renegotiated. The DC Council passed a new law in December requiring that residential projects on District land devote at least 30 percent of their units to affordable housing. The awards made for projects at Eighth and O Sts. NW, the Grimke School Redevelopment (1923 Vermont Ave. and 912 U St. NW) and 965 Florida Ave. NW were not finalized before the law took effect. Now the awards are being reexamined, and possibly will be modified, to ensure that they will be compliant with the new affordability requirement.
Shaw Gets National Attention (Again)
Shaw restaurateurs continue to get recognition from the prestigious James Beard Foundation. On the list of semifinalists for its 2015 Restaurant and Chef Awards, the foundation included Derek Brown, proprietor of Shaw establishments Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich and Southern Efficiency, as a contender for the nation’s Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional. It also has Cedric Maupillier, who will open his new restaurant Convivial at City Market at O soon, as a semifinalist for Best Chef: Mid Atlantic. The final award winners will be announced in May.
Shaw Commercial Development Progresses
New business openings in February were limited to one restaurant, Caribbean Citations (1336 Ninth St. NW). Taking the space formerly occupied by Azi’s Café, Caribbean Citations brings West Indian standards such as jerk chicken, curry goat, kingfish and oxtail to Shaw. In a reflection of its name, the restaurant offers to give a discount to anyone who brings in an actual parking or traffic ticket. They have also declared Tuesdays Teacher Appreciation Day, where all educators and staff can get the Citation discount with a valid school ID.
While there were few business openings, there was still a lot of commercial activity. On the 1500 block of Seventh Street, work is continuing on the new Unleashed by Petco space. Down the block, Grand Cata, Latin Wine & Market, which will specialize in wines from Spain, Portugal and Latin America, is moving in. Craft beers and spirits from the same countries will also be available. Grand Cata will also have a market (“El Mercardito”) offering gourmet food products from Iberia and the Western Hemisphere, to include prepared foods such as sandwiches, coffee and baked goods. Nearby, at City Market at O, the last available commercial space on Eighth Street has been taken by Bacaro, a restaurant and wine bar.
Shaw Main Streets Holds Business Buzz Breakfast
Shaw Main Streets held its Business Buzz Breakfast the morning of February 5 at the Cambria Hotel and Suites. The breakfast is an effort to keep Shaw businesses informed about new city initiatives and to encourage the development of a Shaw commercial community. The featured speakers at this breakfast were recently elected DC Councilmembers Charles Allen and Elissa Silverman, who both serve on the Council committee dealing with small business and commercial regulation issues for the District. Allen, the Councilmember for Ward 6, noted that he was already working to support local entrepreneurs, as evidenced by his introduction of the Small Business Incubator Act. Silverman, an At Large Councilmember, stressed her experience working with Shaw and District neighborhoods, first as a journalist and later as an analyst at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. Silverman’s connection to Shaw included her decision to locate her campaign office at WeWork in the Wonder Bread Factory.
The date of the Shaw Main Streets Annual Meeting was also announced at the breakfast. It will be held on March 24, at 7:00 p.m. at Long View Gallery (1234 Ninth St. NW). The Annual Meeting, open to all, is where Shaw Main Streets reviews its accomplishments over the past year, elects new members to its board of directors and also announces the winners of the Best New Shaw Business poll. To find out how to vote for your favorite new business in Shaw Main Streets’ tenth annual Best New Shaw Business of the Year contest, go to their website at shawmainstreets.org.