Wednesday, March 26, 2008

HeraldTrib Today, March 26, 2008

Big news for people interested in the reconstruction of the N. Glebe Road at N. Pershing Drive intersection, or what’s called the Buckingham Center. The County’s Planning Division is holding a community forum to discuss the project on April 1, see the notice at right.
(Click to enlarge the image.)

This is a meeting for citizens to speak with Arlington County staff from various departments and divisions, including planning, transportation, economic development and housing, said Jennifer Smith in the planning department.

Georgetown Strategic Capital, the potential developer, has been going to the meetings of the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board and to the Design Review Committee for months as they form their design to apply for a certificate of appropriateness on the historic site. Ms. Smith said this is an opportunity for staff elsewhere in the county to get a sense of what is happening.

“We are looking to gain additional stakeholder input on the this project before anything is formally filed,” Ms. Smith said.

Representatives from Georgetown Strategic attended the Buckingham Community Civic Association meeting on Monday March 17. According to Buckinghamster Mick Pulliam who attended the meeting, the developer is planning to lease about 50,000 square feet of retail space—about 25,000 in each of two buildings.

As has been reported before, the buildings that currently house CVS/Ravi Kabob, El Paso/Popeye’s Chicken, and the Glebe Market will be torn down to make way for two new, much larger buildings with retail on the ground floor and up to three stories of apartments above. (See the list of stories, below, for more on all of this.)

The CVS, Ravi Kabob, Popeye’s, El Paso and Woof’s Dog Training all plan to lease space in the new buildings.

According to Mr. Pulliam, Georgetown Strategic still has not gotten a replacement for the Glebe Market, which will close when the buildings are torn down. There was some discussion of whether that market should be replaced by a Latino market of some type, wrote Patrick Hope in an email. He is the BCCA president.

The mural on the side of the Glebe Market was painted by the Buckingham Youth Brigade. (Click to enlarge the image.)

At the meeting, there was some discussion about what should happen to the mural on the Glebe Market’s southern wall. It was painted years ago by the Buckingham Youth Brigade, a group for teens who live in the Gates of Ballston, Buckingham Villages and other apartment complexes in the neighborhood. They are supported by BU-GATA, a tenants association in the neighborhood.

Mr. Hope wrote that Georgetown Strategic has agreed to allow a police substation to take some space in the project (many people who took the HeraldTrib survey on this subject wanted a police substation, see the survey results, below).

The construction currently disrupting vehicle and pedestrian traffic at that intersection is a completely different project focusing only on streetscape and pedestrian improvements.

Related stories…

  • Finally, the Survey Results (These are the results of the HeraldTrib-sponsored survey of what residents would like to see in the retail space of the two buildings.)
  • Will Glebe Market Owner Sam Chon Retire?
  • All Quiet at the HALRB Meeting (Click here for drawings and matching photos.)
  • HALRB to Georgetown Strategic: Envisioned Buildings ‘Too Big’ (Click here for more drawings and a bit more history of the plan.)

  • Don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, so I clicked this picture of the now-demolished apartment building at 461 N. Thomas Street. That’s the Hyde Park Condominium building in the background.

    The plan for the space, according to the Dittmar Company which owns the site as “461 N. Thomas Street LC,” is on-going, but they can redevelop the site “by right” meaning that they do not have to go through a lengthy approval process so long they stay within county zoning requirements. A new building could be as tall as four storeys, and about 33 units.

    For the original story, click here, and for an update and map, click here.

    Whoda thunk it, but I won second place for column writing at the Virginia Press Association awards last week. This is for the columns I wrote for the Arlington Connection. I thought at first that I was up against maybe a half dozen other writers, so I had it in mind “somebody had to win second,” but Mary Kimm, the Connection’s publisher, said that I was up against about 40 other writers, so I must say that I am very happy.

    The judge wrote, “An intelligent take on issues of local interest without trying to write over the readers' heads.”

    I submitted three columns for consideration, including “I’ve Grown Tired of the Killing.”

    I'm off again, galavanting about, so I won't be posting anything for the rest of the week. Sit tight, and I'll be back next week with more news of the neighborhood. Thank you for sticking with me. --ST

    The Week’s Headlines…
    As always, you can scroll down to see all the recent stories, or simply click the links below (if the link doesn't work, scroll down to find the story, and email to tell me what's busted: --Steve Thurston).

    Today's Headlines:

  • Because of time constraints today, I do not have the police report from this week or last week. I'll have all three weeks next week, I promise. --ST

  • Headlines from Earlier in the Week:

  • “Eggstravaganza” Not Scrambled by Weather
  • Immigration Advocates See Little to Be Happy About This Session
  • Gas Line Break Disrupts Traffic, Draws Schools Superintendent

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