“A clearly reluctant D.C. Department of Transportation has tentatively agreed to restore Wisconsin Avenue to six traffic lanes in Glover Park,” writes Elizabeth Wiener in today’s Northwest Current. “In the spring, the agency will remove the newly painted median strip that was designed to slow traffic and protect pedestrians on the busy commercial corridor.” In her story, Wiener reports at length on the testimony at a December 4 hearing on the road’s configuration called by Ward 3 City Council member Mary Cheh.
Archive for the ‘Construction’ Category
From the December 2013 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:
In late October, construction on a high-end condo building at 2140 Wisconsin Ave. spurred next-door neighbor Oscar Amurrio, the proprietor of Eight Brothers Development (2138 Wisconsin Ave.), to shore up his building’s foundation—and that, in turn, led to a stop work order for Amurrio.
“My walls were cracking,” says Amurrio, who showed us about a dozen six– to 12–inch cracks in the plaster around his house’s front windows. “I had to do emergency work to underpin my house.” Amurrio excavated and placed cement and rebar not only under his current structure, but along the perimeter of a future front addition, he says. City officials visited the site and ordered Amurrio to stop until proper permits were obtained. That’s fine with Amurrio, he says, now that his building is stable. Amurrio says he is now working with an architect to design an addition with a limestone-and-glass façade.
The construction at 2140 Wisconsin Ave. was not cited by the city in the matter, and its developer, Zak Elyasi, denies that his project had anything to do with Amurrio’s cracks or his actions. “Everything that I’m doing, I’m doing correctly, and it has passed inspection,” Elyasi says. “It’s textbook. My permits are all in place.” The building at 2140 Wisconsin Ave. will be a modern, glass-front structure with eight condominium units. It is expected to be completed in mid-2014.
Elements Fitness and Wellness Center (2233 Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 217) will celebrate its recent renovation with a public event on Friday, September 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. “Experience Pilates and Gyrotonic exercise, massage, Reiki, Feldenkrais, and other healing and body work methods Elements has to offer,” the invitation states. “Watch local dancers work, meet others interested in wellness, enjoy munchies and beverages and put your name in our raffle.” Prizes will include free Pilates sessions, free massages, and a 10% discount on “accelerated breakthrough” life coaching with Elizabeth Goll Lerner of Your Inspired Choices. For more information, call 202-333-5252 or visit elementscenter.com.
- Personal shoppers: With 45 minutes’ notice, customers can call in an order and find it waiting for them at the cash register to be paid for;
- Curbside pickup: By providing a credit card number when calling in an order, the customer can swing by and have the whole order brought out to their car at the curb;
- Shop and pick-up: At the end of a shopping trip, the customer can go fetch their car and bring it to the curb, where staff will help load their purchases; or
- Walking delivery: The store will deliver purchased items to customers within a quarter-mile radius of the store for free.
For more information, visit acehardwaredc.com. To call in an order, contact store manager Jay Rushing or assistant manager Noe Delgado at 202-333-6378.
Earlier this month, the Board of Zoning Adjustment approved a variance that would allow a new apartment building to be constructed on Wisconsin Ave. with no dedicated parking spaces for tenants. While the plan does call for the construction of two parking spaces directly behind the building, the owners were still working on securing a legal right to access the spaces via an adjacent office parking lot.
The building, to be built on the long-vacant lot at 2140 Wisconsin Ave.—just south of W Pl.—would contain eight dwelling units. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B supported the developer’s application, and no one appeared at a July 9 BZA hearing to oppose it.
Though parking is painfully scarce in the area, lot owners AE Tower LLC and RE Opal LLC made a compelling case for the variance in a written statement to the board. The narrowness and location of the lot do not allow for underground parking, the statement notes, and a front curb cut would create only one or two spaces—plus potential traffic hassles as parkers backed onto busy Wisconsin Ave. The large parking lot at the rear of the building is reserved for the office complex from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, though apartment dwellers would be able to park there after hours. The property is adjacent to several bus lines and is a few blocks from a Capital Bikeshare station.
Adding apartments, even without parking, would be preferable to leaving the lot vacant, the statement argues: “The proposed project would convert a long-vacant ‘eyesore’ property to a vibrant residential use. The design will greatly improve the appearance and character of this block.”
A building permit application is under consideration by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
District Department of Transportation workers will completely remove a painted median strip on Wisconsin Ave. between Calvert and Garfield streets, reports the Georgetown Current in the Georgetown Dish. The surprise work began last week.
The decision to reopen the middle lane of Wisconsin Ave. to traffic was made “in the interest of pedestrian and vehicle safety,” chief traffic engineer James Cheeks wrote in a notice quoted by the Current. The median strip was added earlier this year in the name of pedestrian safety, but many have blamed it for long traffic backups on Wisconsin and additional cut-through traffic elsewhere in Glover Park.
City Council member Jack Evans, who represents Georgetown, has advocated removing the painted median strip all the way south to Whitehaven, but City Council member Mary Cheh, who represents Glover Park, told the Current he shouldn’t count on it: “’We’re not going to do that,’ said Cheh, who chairs the council’s transportation committee. ‘I don’t think we’re at the stage yet of throwing out all that work in Glover Park.’”
Look out Bruegger’s: Einstein Bros. Bagels is coming at you. This morning, the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment approved the Colorado-based chain’s application to open a restaurant at 2233 Wisconsin Ave., in the former Vespa and Fan Fair spaces, which have been vacant since 2008. As we reported in March, Einstein’s needed a special zoning exception because its use of disposable silverware and food-warming equipment (specifically a soup warmer, convection oven, and panini press) classified it as a fast-food restaurant, which is limited to 18 seats. Einstein’s architectural plans call for a dining room with 55 seats, plus seating for 27 more outdoors.
According to the website of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, today’s zoning decision clears the way for the Einstein’s building permit application to be approved. A spokeswoman for Einstein Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The problematic X intersection at 37th and Tunlaw will be rebuilt into two T intersections starting May 28, according to the District Department of Transportation. The construction will take approximately four weeks, DDOT predicts.
Bus traffic through the intersection will continue during construction, but northbound traffic will be detoured for about two weeks, according to a letter delivered to households near the intersection. Preliminary design drawings for the job can be found here.
From the May 2013 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:
Construction delays have pushed the reopening of JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) into June, says managing partner Phil Mathew. “Things happen, minor things, like the lead time for a light fixture could be a little longer than expected,” Mathew says. “I’m not settling for mediocrity when it comes to our build-out. I want it to look exactly like the architect’s rendering.”
The decades-old strip club is being rebuilt after a January, 2008 fire destroyed its original building. The new interior will look like “more of a high-end lounge than a gentleman’s club,” Mathew says. “It’s well-lit, it’s not anything seedy.” The space will feature black walls with TVs in light oak frames, with a dark custom-made wood bar, he adds. The club’s staff will total about 30 people, including dancers, servers, and security personnel.
The club’s liquor license is currently in a dormant status called “safekeeping”; it must be reactivated before the club can operate. Once that happens, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3B and near neighbors will be allowed to lodge formal protests of the license with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, as they are certain to do.
From the May 2013 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:
The vacant lot at 2140 Wisconsin Ave. (a few doors up from Café
Romeo’s) will become a “very nice, top-of-the-line” condominium
building within a year, according to local developer Zak
Elyasi. The lot—hidden for years behind a construction fence—was
recently purchased by Elyasi’s parents, Abdul and Ramzia Elyasi of
Greensboro, North Carolina. Son Zak, managing member of Raz Development,
says plans are in the works to construct a residential building
that may include ground-floor commercial space. The development
group hopes to begin foundation work within the next month or two
and complete the building in the spring of 2014.
The family recently completed a project in Columbia Heights that
yielded two spacious luxury condo units, Zak says. Asked whether the
Glover Park building’s façade would be as close to the sidewalk as its
blocky beige neighbor at 2136 Wisconsin Ave., he replied that while
final plans have not yet been drawn, “it’s going to look nicer than that
The lot’s previous owner, Davar Ashgrizzadeh—who also owns
Café Romeo’s—bought the property in 2008 for $995,000 and sold it on
March 22 for $1,250,000, according to city land records.