UPDATE ON SAFEWAY CLOSING
- We had a two-year lease with Safeway, and GDS was as surprised and disappointed as anyone at the news of its closing.
- There had been no prior conversations about any aspect of the lease.
- The first GDS heard about it was from a store employee.
- We do not want the property to lay fallow. We want it activated and in use, because that is better for the community and better for GDS.
- We have brought on a leasing agent, the same one who leased the Marten’s property.
- We have heard some good ideas from community members.
- We are considering all ideas.
- We will keep you posted with any and all news that we have.
REVISIONS TO PUD
- When GDS filed the PUD application in November 2015, we hoped and expected that the Office of Planning (OP) would write a report and recommend for the Zoning Commission to consider our case.
- But after months of waiting, we came to understand that the delay was tied to OP’s concerns about the map amendment that we had requested in the application. OP was supportive of the transfer of density from the Safeway site to Wisconsin Avenue, but not the map amendment that would have been needed to build the 80’ buildings to accommodate that transferred density.
- After much deliberation, the GDS board and administration decided not to go to the Zoning Commission without OP’s support, and so GDS submitted the revised PUD.
- GDS believes that greater density makes sense on this site, but also believes that this project will still be great for the community.
- Here are additional details about the change:
- Lowered height, reduced number of units. (View a comparison of specs.)
- Slightly increased retail square footage.
- Increased amount of affordable housing. (View the details of affordable housing changes.)
- Maintained Ellicott Park, only now not programmed; now it is a green space with trees and grass.
- Maintained Davenport Steps.
- GDS has modified and reduced the “asks” of the District. (View a comparison of asks.)
- GDS is offering strong community amenities that are commensurate with our asks. (View a partial list of amenities.z
Last time GDS was at the ANC (September 2015), we told you that next steps for traffic would be for DDOT to develop a Scoping Document that would be the basis for GDS’s Comprehensive Transportation Review (CTR). Unfortunately, the delay we had with OP resulted in a delay with DDOT, who didn’t want to begin scoping the CTR until OP had written their report.
DDOT finalized the scoping document this week. Access the scoping document and its attachments. Now, with this in hand, our traffic consultants will continue to study the potential traffic impacts from the school and the retail-residential project on the neighborhood.
Our Traffic Management Plan (TMP) has not changed since we presented it at the last ANC meeting we attended. The proposed TMP mandates anyone driving to school must be in a carpool. Also, for the first time in GDS’s 70-year history, we will implement a school bus system that will pick up kids from other parts of DC as well as from the suburbs. And finally, we are providing new and real incentives for our students to take public transit or walk and bike to school. Our efforts to manage our traffic are real and robust.
GDS remains committed to meeting two thresholds—to have no adverse impact on the community and to reduce our carbon footprint.
View the proposed School Traffic Management Plan in its entirety. For other information on traffic planning and studies, please visit the Traffic & Parking section of our site.