In late May, The Washington Post reported that Mayor Vince Gray along with other Council Members, traveled to Las Vegas for meetings with retailers at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Annual Convention. The link below is a forecast of the types of Tenants being solicited to fill upcoming retail space throughout the city. For New York Ave.( primarily The Shops at Dakota Crossing & The Hecht District) some of the obvious retailers such as LA Fitness & Marshalls are indicated however, there were others such as Dicks Sporting Goods, Starbucks, & Bass Pro Shop that were on the list. Click the links below for the full article and the schedule of retailers.
Construction at The Shops at Dakota Crossing has yet to restart and the proposal below may be the key reason why. I’ve always believed that opening Ft Lincoln Drive to the Shops next toLowes would not fix the traffic problem. The volume of Costco traffic would easily congest that portion of the road . The new Multi-Family Development shows a new and more functional layout for the Shops at Dakota Crossing. I’m not sure if this will be the official design, however, I was informed 3 weeks ago that the DDOT permit was not yet approved and this could be the reason why.
Previous Retail Proposal
The previous (or current) layout for the shops features a main street with the smaller retail buildings on one side of the street. It shows one large parking lot for Costco, and another large parking lot to serve the remaining shopping center. Costco traffic currently creates congestion along the main street which will only worsen with the opening of Lowes and the other smaller retail. Even with the second entrance from Ft Lincoln Drive, Lowes would create its own congestion essentially bringing traffic to a halt.
Current Retail Proposal ( As shown in the BZA Application for the Multi-Family Development)
The layout included with the BZA Application splits the smaller retail on two sides of the main street which is similar to proposals from 2006. This new layout isolates traffic for Costco, Lowes, and the other larger retail from the Main street. It also creates smaller parking lots for the smaller retail making it more walkable. In addition, it creates two separate exits from Route 50; one to the “Costco” Gas station and the other to the Main Street, which would also alleviate traffic congestion. I’m not sure if this is the official plan but I believe it is a much better layout than what’s currently designed. Also putting shops on two sides of the main street creates a more natural street scape and doesn’t look like a staged movie set.
New Residential Development Changes
Previous Residential Proposal
The previous Multi-Family Development Proposal is more of a juxtaposition than a revision to the current proposal and may leave some residents in the Villages feeling like they’ve been mislead when purchasing their home. The previous proposal featured a significant tree buffer with mature trees which creates a more natural separation for the new development which was a selling point to many residents when purchasing on CJ. Barney Drive. It also only featured 6 Apartment Buildings with 352 units and a awful parking lot around the perimeter. The previous development is a bad design however, the natural tree buffer made it palatable because no one would have to see it.
Current Residential Proposal
The current proposal indicates a much better traffic pattern and will now feature townhomes in addition to the apartments. The townhomes appear to be a NV Product which is a luxury home builder and parent company to Ryan Homes. They also feature both roof top and rear decks which would be a first in the community. The apartment look to be a garden style edition of the two Towers on Fort Lincoln Drive. They are horrid in my opinion and must be redesigned, they architecture is uninspired and is not of the same Architectural consistency of the townhomes. It looks like government housing next to luxury homes and is situated in the most prominent location. The natural tree buffer has been completely annihilated and will be replaced with new trees. The Wetlands is protected so the retaining pond and wild vegetation growth will remain. I’m sure the frogs, turtles and birds will be happy to know that. It also may worth noting that there is are no parks or open space associated with this development. All things considered I think its a good improvement on the original proposal.
I just returned from a long and well deserved vacation and was informed of the BZA Application for the Proposed Fort Lincoln Multi-Family Development. Over the next couple of days, I will provide a quick summary of the Documents for those who are not well versed in plan reading and provide a more simplified explanation of what this means for the overall community aesthetic. I encourage all residents to participate in the upcoming hearing on 7/22/14. I will post more details as the date becomes more imminent.
Love Night Club Sold @ 5.1 Million at Auction ( WBJ) ( Click Link)
I have been watching the very slow renovation for the past few months of this former Wendy’s Restaurant from years ago and alas they have posted the sign for what’s to come, Dolphin’s Fish & Chicken. Naturally, the use of the words Dolphin and Chicken in the same sentence intrigued me ( the play on words that is, I don’t eat Dolphin FYI). Either way, after a little research I was not able to find a website, in fact, the only mentions were on yelp, one in Englewood Chicago that recently closed, another in Michigan. So I’m guessing this place should easy on the wallet and hopefully offer some healthy choices. All in all, it is still a welcomed addition to that corner of Bladensburg Road. I reached out to the Michigan restaurant and the employee there wasn’t sure about the DC Restaurant, I will see if I can reach the owner for more details!
Banneker Site Town Homes – Permits are in for the 42 Townhomes at the Banneker site which borders Fort Lincoln Drive. According to sources at the Concordia Group the project is progressing as planned and site work is slated to start around mid-year 2014. During the FLCA meeting last year, the Developers noted that these will be the premier homes of Fort Lincoln, featuring roof top decks, high-end exterior surfaces and interior finishes, as well as breath taking views of the city. Prices were thought to be in the Upper $500,000 to Lower $600,000 range.
New Apartments? – During the heavy snow fall last week I did notice that drilling was taking in place in the wetlands Area along Hurston Lane. This type drilling typically means that test bores are being taken to analyze the soil conditions for construction of a road or building structure. It is possible that the construction of the Apartments is starting soon, I will need to research a little further.
Shops at Dakota Crossing – Lowes is apparently still on, however, due to the amount of remaining earthwork, will start once weather conditions improve. Will keep my fingers crossed there. Due to the recent grocery store saturation within proximity to the Shops at Dakota Crossing ( Costco, Shoppers, Wal-Mart, Giant, Whole Foods, &etc.) it’s not likely that the 3rd large retail space will be a grocery store. The vendor selection is still not finalized however, it is likely to be a Fitness Center Tenant. I will get with Bob King (ANC Commissioner) to start posting polls for what types of smaller retail residents would like to see to be able to influence the decisions for that retail. However, as we all know the decision ultimately falls with the Developer and market conditions.
The map below shows the current master plan for Fort Lincoln.