How do you complain?

I’ve had a few folks ask how they should complain if a bar / restaurant becomes too loud. Thanks to some local leaders I have the link to file a complaint. You can file a PDF complaint here and submit it via email to ABRA. (Be careful, the PDF form is tricky, save your work elsewhere and then insert it in the form.) FAQs about the process can be found here. I don’t want to be complaining every week but I think we need to keep restaurants on V on a tight leash if we are going to have more opening up.

Someone asked in the quotes about Satellite, the burger place north of the 930 Club. I am not sure when it is due to open but I think the Hilton Brothers are trying to open Brixton (9th & U) before Satellite.

V Street as Restaurant Row?

Here is a new blog I noticed with a great article on the proposed El Rey on U between 9th & Vermont. That has been planned and looks as though it need some review before approval. That meeting is Tonite.

I addition, V Street seems to be booming with restaurants. American Ice will be open a year this summer, the corner building (2100 Vermont) is up for sale and I have heard many people are interested in it. (Read: Marvin group) Koons Roofing also has a restaurateur looking into building there. But what will all these restaurants do for our parking? And what will it do to our sidewalks? Residents at 8th & T are having the same problem with All Souls restaurant which wants extensive outdoor seating.

Also JBG thought about reviving the hotel idea for 13th & U but as of last USNA meeting they realize they may not go higher than 60′ without strong neighborhood resistance. They are now considering developing a shorter building of rental apartments which I think sounds more reasonable.

The Howard is ready for it’s grand opening on April 9th and to open it looks like those blocks may be welcoming even more people. Douglas has proposed a microbrewery and office space for the former Wonder Bread Factory. Check out the cool designs. I was sorry to see the barber shop close but now it looks like a art gallery may go in there. It’s nice to see that 1832 14th Street has been restored to a retail establishment.

With all this development, it’s important to know how neighborhood can have input into developer plans. Here is a simplified version of the process. Here are some great designed of the upcoming CityMarket at O complex. I forgot that they were reopening 8th Street which will be nice for that area.

It’s no surprise that we have had the warmest winter on record so it’s a good time for Masa 14 to open it’s roof deck.

Weekend – Go Hoyas

Start of the tourney so I hope you will root for the Hoyas and the Big East! Now news:

For the app crazy among you, there is one less app to enjoy. The 5-0 radio app for the iphone, allowed you to listen to police messages in your area. Unfortunately, criminals soon found out about the app and started listening as well. I have to admit I liked listening to police chases when I saw cars speeding through my hood.  Well now we can’t. Chief Lanier is scrambling the police signal so that we cannot listen in. The article above expresses some concerns about scrambling police communications but I think it was the right move. It’s not good if the bad guys know where the police are looking for you.

Yet more reasons to join CaBi! Two Mall stations have been installed and more are promised soon. GGW confirms that bikes are the fastest ways to get around downtown.

Local Business: The Parc Deux at 14th & R promises to be a big development but I have not  seen any designs for it….. There are big issues with chemical cleanup there I hear. Confirming the rumors, Teds Bulletin will be going into the District building at 14th & Swann right across from sister restaurant Matchbox. If you saw yesterday’s post on 12th & S you saw the possible retail location. Today PoP highlights the long awaited building across the street. I have loved this building for years. I am glad to see it restored.

The City Paper is up for sale. Another victim of the web?

NCAA Bracketology

Have you finished your brackets? It seems as though every bar, group, office, in the US is having a pool to guess the winner. May the Madness be with you.

I hope you will all join me in praying for the quick recovery of Jack the Georgetown mascot. He injured his ACL this past weekend and will undergo an operation this Sunday. Hopefully the Hoyas will give him 2 victories to speed his recovery. Unfortunately it looks like he will be out for the rest of the tournament – a valuable player lost.

Left for LeDroit has a good argument on why the Howard will be more successful than the Lincoln – a concern I raised a few weeks ago. Their points do put me at ease. This is a different operation. While I think food may be a tough sell, it certainly adds revenue. The fact that teh floor does not have permanent seating, as I always mentioned, may be its saving grace.

I know we bitch about no being allowed to vote, retrocession back to Maryland, DC statehood, etc. I actually like this idea of dividing DC into 50 parts of 12k each and give each part to a state. How great would it be if congressmen could earn 12k votes by delivering some pork to a DC neighborhood. That could mean some real influence in states with small populations – looking at you Wyoming and the Dakotas.

Biz News: Little Ethiopia welcomes a new restaurant at 1923 9th Street: Rahama Restaurant. PoP is wondering what will be going into 12th & S

Speaking of voting, thank you for those who voted for Brianne Nadeau for delegate to the Democratic Convention in Sept. Please read her appeal for Sekou Biddle. I have to admit I had mixed feelings about Biddle but I agree that Vincent Orange needs to go. I am partial to Peter Shapiro. Judge for yourself. There is lots of coverage on Tuesdays debate: Borderstan, Greater Greater Washington,

Think people around here make it difficult for developers? We are nothing next to Cathedral Heights. The Giant there had to wait 10 years for the groups to finally get together and agreed to replace their decrepit supermarket.  Here are some pics of the silent development in the neighborhood, the old Nehemiah Strip mall between Belmont and Chapin.

Neighborhood Updates

Interesting note: It may be cheaper to live in town. The Washington Examiner studied commuter costs for College Park vs Dupont Circle and it seems that transportation costs are almost half what theya r ein College Park:

Once again the Taxi Commission seems to be coddling the cab drivers and screwing the public. They offered to raise the mileage charge if the additional fees were dropped. Now it seems the additonal mileage charge will come with the same additional fees. Will no one stand up to the taxi lobby?

Would you vote on Saturday? It seems our voting date of the first Tuesday in November is a throwback to farmers who needed 3 days to get to polling places. Now 2 Congressmen are advocating weekend voting nationally. It seems like a logical idea but there are always religious considerations.

Under Go Figure: Turns out single women are most happy in DC. Say welcome to the Bistro Bohem at the 600 Florida Block:

As many sites have reported, Ward 2 (south of S Street) has approved a plan to make one side of streets resident only parking. This means more ticket income for DC but I am not sure if it means more parking for residents. I hope it does:

Whats New?

Real Estate: Inventory in and around DC remains low as many people are refinancing and not moving. This could be a danger to buyers as we go into the Spring Market. If there is nothing to buy, and no new development coming online, prices will go up. Good for sellers but bad for buyers. http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/february_housing_report_low_inventory_foreclosures/5270

Especially as it seems that the growing economy and lower unemployment means that people who have sat out the past few years may be looking to buy now. http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/strong_jobs_report_bodes_well_for_housing/5271

Interested in a house? The new App Homesnap will provide you will all the public information on a property, or so it promises. http://www.sawbuck.com/about/pr/120308.aspx

OK as I’ve hopefully said before, I cannot guaranttee anything that I write here. One day the blogs say one thing the next they contradict themselves. Accordingly I had heard the the Central Mission building at 14th/R had to remain a commercial property thus complicating any developers plans because they would need to switch zoning. Now Urbanturf says that it went before HPRB in 2006 and was approved to be condos. I did not know this but don’t doubt because things seem to happen this way pretty quietly. Anyway our local Planning lord Eric Colbert is working his magic on the site but 51 seems like too few condos for a building of that size. http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/central_union_mission_to_turn_into_51_unit_condo_project/5259

Left for LeDroit has some good posts about the Howard Theater and the public funds that went into making it an amazing project. It still remains untested but I am hopeful it becomes the music center promised http://leftforledroit.com/ They also talk about the new Pizzarro at 4th & Florida. I agree with them and hope it is not yet another pizza place.

As I try and flog public transport options as much as I can, it is interesting to note that the number of people commuting by car from Georgetown is down. 5% fewer residents drove to work. That is based on a 5 year average but that was a 5% drop from the 2005-9 average = 40% to the 2006-10 average = 35% and a drop of 11% from 2000. It’s god to know that so many people are changing their ways to improve communities. http://georgetownmetropolitan.com/2012/03/09/georgetowners-continue-to-get-to-work-more-and-more-without-driving/

In a nod to urban planning, the long awaited Rhode Island Row development around the Rhode Is Red line station is delivering. I thought this was a good use of empty space in an area that could use more residential development: http://dcmud.blogspot.com/2012/03/today-in-pictures-rhode-island-row.html

Hot tips on V Street

For those of you who missied the U Street Neighborhood Assoc meeting last Thursday, you missed a great chance to learn about plans for the nieghborhood.

 We had a great presentation on JBG projects in the nieghborhood. I believe you can find some of the pictures of the proposed building sites in the notes on the USNA website. http://ustreet-dc.org/index.php/committees/historic-preservation-and-development/119-jbgs-proposed-u-street-hotel-project 

Real Estate Alert #1: JBG also provided an update on the 3 parcels that they own north of Florida at 8th Street. Supposedly the parcels have been divided into 3 parts: Parcel A is the southwest corner of 8th & V Streets across from Town, Parcel B is the northwest corner of that block behind the 930 club, Parcel C is on Florida east side, north of the Floridian. They are looking to develop parcels A & B as a condo or rental building. Parcel C they have not created a plan for and will wait a few years but they confirmed the site is big enough for a supermarket (yet another tease). They also mentioned that they will be reviving plans for a hotel where the RiteAid is right now. The old design can be seen on the USNA website but they assured us the new design will be shorter that the 123 feet high they had originally planned hopefully around the 60 feet range.

Real Estate Alert #2: It seems as though V Street may become more of a restaurant destination. The owners of the Chupacabra (http://www.yelp.com/biz/chupacabra-washington) food truck have been talking to Sorg Architects, the owner of the Coons Roofing building (approx 929 V Street). They are proposing a new restaurant with 125 seats and an atrium courtyard in back. There are some issues with their proposals and they are still in very initial stages but they are looking to sink some serious money. Good news for those nearby is that Sorg is delaying development of that corner lot for 10 years and have talked to the restauranteurs about putting in a community garden. Still very premature but we can hope.

Real Estate Alert #3: Even more premature but the infamous Hilton brothers are looking to add yet one more restaurant to the ‘hood. Supposedly they are in talks with the owner of 2100 Vermont Ave to add another restaurant. No details yet but for the past 2 weekends, the owner has painted and removed some of the plywood on the windows. Hilton employees are typically mum about the project. 

Also last Thursday, all the candidates running for the Council At Large seat on April 3rd spoke to the crowd. Vincent Orange even showed up without RSVP’ing I assume because many of the other candidates were gunning for him. http://ustreet-dc.org/index.php/agendas-a-minutes/332-u-street-general-meeting-agenda-march-2012

Because I live off V I was much more concerned about that area but U STreet Dirt has a very thorough if a bit biased explanation of the presentation here: http://ustreetdirt.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/of-cabanas-condos-and-coppis/