Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Georgia Avenue Great Streets project in danger of funding reallocation...again

Michael Neibauer of the Washington Business Journal first reported this:

• The Metropolitan Police Department's overhaul of 2850 New York Ave. NE, where several divisions will soon move, requires $3.5 million. Gray has proposed reprogramming that money from 13 separate funds, including $1.1 million from "Penn Ave. SE properties" (unclear as to what that is), $46,225 from vacant property inspection and abatement, $215,566 from IT system modernization, and $1.44 million from the Georgia Avenue Great Streets project. The latter has not gone over well with D.C. Council members Jim Graham, D-Ward 1, and Muriel Bowser, D-Ward 4, who have issued a joint disapproval, delaying the funding move until after the council's summer recess. The District's Great Streets initiative is a joint effort of numerous agencies to transform nine struggling corridors, including Seventh Street-Georgia Avenue. "We still need it for the Georgia Avenue Great Streets," Bowser told me. "If the administration has a way to replenish it, then we can talk about it."

This isn't the first time funds meant for the Georgia Avenue Great Streets project have been threatened with reallocation.

The Lower Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force is circulating a petition demanding that funds be kept in place. The Task Force only focuses on the portion of Georgia Avenue south of New Hampshire Avenue though, and I think residents, businesses and stakeholders along Upper Georgia Avenue (Brightwood/Takoma/Shepherd Park) ought to be working to ensure that the funding for Upper Georgia Avenue's Great Streets is not lost.

Annie's (Ace) Hardware coming to 1240 Upshur St. NW, planned opening November 2011

​​​​​​​​We first heard about Park View resident Anne Stom's plans to open an Ace Hardware store somewhere along Georgia Avenue back in
November of 2010. Well, this morning Park View DC broke the news that Anne has signed her lease on the old Rainbow Auto Body Shop space, and is planning on a November 2011 opening date. Very, very good news! Full press release bellow:
Contact:​Anne Stom
​​​​​​​​​Annie’s Ace Hardware
​​​​​​​​​(202) 210-0852
​​​​ ​​​
New Ace Hardware Store Scheduled to Open in November

WASHINGTON, DC (Aug. 31, 2011) – Ace Hardware is coming to Petworth! Work has begun to open Annie’s Ace Hardware at 1240 Upshur St., NW.

Scheduled to open its doors in November, the store will bring its helpful customer service and quality home improvement products to area homeowners and DIYers in the rapidly developing neighborhood of Petworth in Northwest Washington, DC. Annie’s Ace Hardware will provide solutions to everyday home improvement needs through an extensive selection of products in categories including paint and lawn and garden. In addition, the on-staff “helpful hardware folks” will ease the shopping experience by offering one-on-one expert advice and assistance.

This is the first Ace store opened by owner Anne Stom. The store will span 7,000 square-feet and stock 15,000 products and have access to more than 80,000 products from the Ace warehouse.

Stom, a longtime Washington, DC, resident, has lived near the Petworth neighborhood for six years. “I am very excited to be part of the ongoing commercial development of this part of the District,” she said. “Our vision for Annie’s Ace Hardware includes being a strong supporter of our community.”

The new store will be near the newly renovated Petworth branch of the D.C. Public Library as well as the Yes! Natural Food store on Georgia Avenue. Annie’s Ace Hardware will be a half-mile from the Georgia Avenue/ Petworth Metro on the Green and Yellow lines, and near the 60, 62, 63, 70, 71, and 79 Metrobus lines. Capital Bikeshare has also recently announced plans for a Bikeshare station at Georgia Avenue and Upshur Street, scheduled for installation this fall. Stom said there will also be two Zipcar spaces available at the store and bicycle racks.

“This isn’t a suburban store,” Stom said. “That means our model needs to be different in terms of transportation options, as well as our product mix.” For example, she explained, lawn equipment will be geared toward the smaller yards of the nearby row houses. “We will also look at home renovation products that are appropriate for houses built in the early 20th century.”

Annie’s Ace Hardware will carry the Benjamin Moore paint line, Craftsman tools, and will have a lawn and garden section. “We’ll have all the basic hardware products that people expect from an Ace hardware store, but we’ll also be revising and updating our merchandise as we get feedback from customers,” Stom said.

The property, the former Rainbow Auto Body Shop, is being renovated to house Annie’s Ace  Hardware. “We anticipate installing shelving and stocking products starting in October, and opening in early November.”
About Ace Hardware
Throughout its 80-year history, Ace Hardware has been known as the helpful hardware store by both customers and communities. In 2007, Ace Hardware was ranked the “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Major Home Improvement Retail Stores” by J.D. Power and Associates in its inaugural study of the retail home improvement industry. With 4,600 hardware, home center and building materials stores that generate annual retail sales of more than $12 billion, Ace is the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry.  Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., Ace currently operates 14 distribution centers in the U.S. and a warehouse in Shanghai, China, and its retailers’ stores are located in all 50 states and 60 countries. More information about Ace can be found at
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Office of Planning releases Large Tract Review for proposed Georgia Avenue Walmart location

Final Large Tract Review Square 2986

City seeks Notices of Interest for surplus property at Walter Reed

As Housing Complex notes this morning, the division of land between the State Department and the District at the Walter Reed site has been made official. The District will be gaining 67.5 acres of the site. The DMPED has issued a Notice of Interest for "state and local government agencies, homeless service providers and other interested parties." NOIs can be submitted through November 18.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The sad end to the life of a distinguished gentleman on Madison Street

The Washington Post ran a sad profile of Theodoric James, who lived in the house pictured above at 1208 Madison Street NW. James worked in the White House's Office of Records Management for over 40 years and served 10 presidents, but late in his life he was stricken with an undiagnosed mental illness (undiagnosed because James refused the assistance of city service agents who were called in by family members and close friends). James died in this house, of heat exposure, during the intense heatwave that hit the District earlier this month.

The central question in the Post article is this:

Now family, friends, former colleagues at the White House and D.C. officials are left to wonder: Could James’s death have been prevented?

I'm not schooled on DC's involuntary commitment laws, but I think the likely answer to the Post's question is "no". Sad.

Doggie Washerette self-service dog wash opens at 7714 Georgia Ave. NW

City dwellers who own dogs, and who more often than not live in very small spaces, know that giving a dog a bath in a small house or apartment is usually a pretty messy experience. An alternative is paying a groomer to do the dirty deed, but that can get costly over time. There's a DIY dog wash at Fur-Get Me Not in Adams Morgan, but that's Adams Morgan; it'd be nice to have a DIY dog wash in our own neighborhood, right? Well, now we do! The Doggie Washerette opened at 7714 Georgia Avenue NW on Saturday, August 13.

The interior is quite nice, decorated with graphics designed by the owner, Ethel, a resident of Shepherd Park.

The tubs are typical of what I've seen at other DIY dog wash businesses, with one big exception: they're automated. So the experience is sort of similar to going to a laundromat, only you're washing your dog instead of your clothes.

When you finish washing your dog in the tub, you can bring him or her over to a grooming table for a final beautification treatment (grooming materials are included in the cost of the wash).

The Doggie Washerette is also equipped with lots of swag displaying their logo, including doggy water bottles, frisbees, and t-shirts. Here's a doggy enthusiastically modeling her Doggie Washerette t-shirt:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Building-wide yard sale at Madison Terrace Cooperative benefits common spaces for Brightwood

Lovely Brightwood resident Amanda sends out this message for the neighborhood. As mentioned below, proceeds from the sale will go to the co-op's Common Area Committee, a very noble cause.

Please join Madison Terrace Cooperative at our sale this weekend (Aug. 13-14) and next weekend (Aug. 20-21), 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM each day. The sale will take place inside 5509 Colorado Ave. NW (between Kennedy and Longfellow), and on the sidewalk out front. We have lots of furniture, household items, and other good things!

All proceeds benefit the co-op's Common Area Committee, which is working to make our building's common spaces available for neighborhood use.

If you would like to sell your own things at the sale, you are welcome to do so: just bring your own table. We are asking for a $10 donation from people who would like to sell their own things. We are setting up at 7:00 AM each day, so come early! Contact Amanda 202-829-0991 or

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Walter Reed redevelopment will likely move much faster than other planned developments in DC

This week the Washington City Paper's Housing Complex column takes on some of the concerns that our neighbors have expressed about the Walter Reed site; mainly, that it's in danger of languishing for a long period of time with no redevelopment, as we've seen happen at various other vacant sites in our area. It's unlikely, however, that the Walter Reed site will suffer a similar fate, mostly due to the timeline for its closure and redevelopment that's been issued by the U.S. Army.

This morning, the Washington DC Economic Partership alerted its Twitter followers that its representatives were touring the Walter Reed campus with retailers who expressed interest in the site at last May's ICSC conference in Las Vegas. The WDCEP has not replied to my prodding to give a hint as to which retailers were on the tour.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stabbing death early this morning in 5300 block of 8th Street NW

From Fourth District Commander Kimberly Chisley Missouri:

Just before 3 am, units received a call for a stabbing at the 5300 blk of 8th St. NW. Upon arrival, an adult male was located suffering from an apparent stab wound and was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced. This case is under investigation by the Homicide Branch. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-888-919-CRIM(E).