Shaw Streets

Calabash Tea and Tonic proprietor Sunyatta Amen with a glass of sorrel. Photo: Alexander Padro

HUD Secretary Castro Tours Shaw

On the morning of May 21, Mayor Muriel Bowser gave Julian Castro, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a tour of a few blocks of the Shaw neighborhood. Scheduled to commemorate HUD’s 50th anniversary, the tour illustrated how federal resources can be used to preserve and expand affordable housing in an area facing rapid redevelopment. The tour started at the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, now a single-room-occupancy building for women which is about to undergo a renovation with federal support.

The tour moved down Rhode Island Avenue to Foster House, where the secretary got an explanation of how the building came to be a part of the redevelopment of Shaw after the riots of 1968. The group moved past the Watha T. Daniel Library to 7th Street, stopping at the construction site for the Channing E. Phillips Homes, which will bring 56 new affordable units to the neighborhood. The tour concluded at Progression Place, which had also received federal help and was able to include affordable housing units in the project. Secretary Castro then concluded the tour with a stop at Uprising Muffin Company, one of the prominent businesses in Progression Place.


Channing E. Phillips Homes Construction Kickoff

The day before Secretary Castro’s tour of Shaw, Lincoln Westmoreland Housing Inc. held a construction kickoff celebration for the Channing E. Phillips Homes at Watha T. Daniel Library. The kickoff for the project, named after a pioneer housing activist who also served as pastor of Shaw’s Lincoln Temple, was devoted to thanking all the people and organizations that made the groundbreaking possible. Each participant in the ceremony was invited to place a giant-sized puzzle piece on a wall at the front of the room, which at its completion depicted the new building at 1710 7th St. NW.

At the kickoff Channing D. Phillips, son of the building’s namesake, quoted his father, saying that “We cannot permit any excuses to require tenants to be driven from their homes.” In a statement, Theodosia Robinson, 63, president of the Lincoln Westmoreland Tenants Association, noted that since she moved into her building at the age of 21 she has seen a real community develop around her in Shaw. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Alexander Padro noted that even though Shaw has seen approximately $3 billion of private development in the past decade, it has still been able to hold on to its affordable buildings, and with projects like the Phillips Homes will see an increase in affordable apartments.


Shaw Retail Continues to Expand

Calabash Tea and Tonic has opened at 1847 7th St. NW. Following the success of her award-winning tea shop in Takoma Park, proprietor Sunyatta Amen brought an outpost into Shaw, offering a vast assortment of teas to enjoy on site and brew at home (with names like Idris Hot Chocolate and Love Potion #10), and flavored kombuchas on tap, along with vegan food items to munch on in the Middle Eastern-themed tea room.

There have been two recent announcements about expanding grocery options in Shaw. MRP, the developer of a new building at 965 Florida Ave. NW, has announced that it has signed Whole Foods Market as a tenant. The planned store will be a little smaller than the typical Whole Foods, about 40,000 square feet. And Glen’s Garden Market, a popular purveyor of local grocery items and prepared foods in Dupont Circle, will open its second DC store in Shaw. It will be located at one of the Shay buildings currently going up on the south corners of 8th and U streets NW. The market hopes to open by November.


Shaw Event Calendar

The unveiling of Symphony in DC Major, a massive public art work at City Market at O, will take place on the 700 block of P Street NW on Thursday, June 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. After a program of entertainment and speeches the unveiling of the work by renowned sculptor Zachary Oxman will be followed by a reception at the nearby Long View Gallery, where other works by Oxman will be on display.

The deputy mayor for planning and economic development (DMPED) is holding a community workshop on Saturday, June 13, at the Howard Theater (620 T St. NW) to discuss the future of Shaw Parcel 42. The big vacant lot on the corner of 7th and R streets, Parcel 42 has seen several unsuccessful efforts to redevelop it over the years. The workshop will be the first of a new initiative called “Our RFP” that intends to ensure that the community’s concerns are understood when the city crafts and issues a request for proposal (RFP) to award public land. At the Parcel 42 workshop, which will take place from 10:00 a.m. to noon, the DMPED staff will outline the potential of Parcel 42, then solicit community opinions on how it should be developed. There will also be provisions made for Shaw residents to offer additional comments after the workshop. In a follow-up session in late July DMPED will inform the community how its concerns will be reflected in the completed RFP for Parcel 42.

Shaw Main Streets will hold the annual Shaw Open House on Saturday afternoon, June 20, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at locations throughout central Shaw. Shaw Open House will feature free food and beverage samples from dozens of Shaw restaurants, bars, and other businesses as well as special offers from each establishment. A drawing for prizes from each participating business will be held at the conclusion of the event. A free passport listing the participating businesses will be available at several distribution points. For more information visit 

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