Saturday, May 22, 2010

lots of development activity up and down 1st Str NW

From a resident on the 100 block of Randolph Place NW:

Couldn't help but notice the surge of development activity along 1st St. NW this week (just got back from a walk this a.m.)...

The new dry cleaners on the northeast corner of 1st and Seaton NW is nearly done -- getting a coat of paint even as I write. [moderator note: This address would be 1831 1st Street NW.]

I'm virtually certain I saw some construction types going in and out of Baraki-to-be early this week at 1st and T NW.

Today, I saw work beginning on the ugly old red shell adjacent to Baraki to the south [moderator note: I believe that this address is 1837 1st St NW, owned by a Bloomingdale resident].

And work has begun on the long-dormant, newly fenced red house on the northeast corner of 1st and Randolph NW.


  1. Just a few more years and everything will be peachy!

  2. can we recommend that the new cleaners NOT use that awful lavender color on the building...and of all the things we need in this neighborhood, a second cleaners is not one of them

  3. Agreed. Not sure why a second cleaners is warranted, particularly one of a hideous lavender color.

  4. it is less about being "warranted" than about someone having the cajones to invest in our neighborhood and open up the business of their choosing.

    but by all means, step up and paint your new place what ever color you want.

  5. To be fair to both investors and the communities, we need to have better zoning laws. ALthough competition is good for the neighborhood, I had hoped for an establishment that could serve as a focal point for the community. Did the investor even take the time to share his/her plans with the community? Do they even care what the community thinks? Until recent years, small business owners in the Bloomingdale area did not not live in the area and appeared to have no interest in the community beyond their objective to make a profit. Hopefully, the new owner is willing to work with the community to make Bloomingdale a better place to live. Such a relationship is good for both the community and for businesses.

  6. Laker has it right. It's not about being "warranted"'s about being legal and within the right of the owner of the property to do what he wants (again, in a legal and zoning compliant way...).

    Now, @ anon May 24 I **SUSPECT** that this business is exactly what you intimate: an investment venture that the *non-resident* owner is dumping off in Bloomingdale. Seriously doubt that he gave a sh*t about what anybody in the community wanted (which is why he persisted in creating a business that is almost literally a stone's throw from an identical enterprise). I will further leap to the conclusion that few in the `hood knew what was going on (including the rumored attempt by a group interested in securing the property--via bankruptcy court--for a restaurant) until it was properly on-track to become a dry cleaner. Now, there's little that probably could have been done to affect the outcome here however I will say that this is a good example of how our elected leadership could have done a better job of easing any potential town-gown strain by keeping us regularly informed about the various business developments going on in Bloomingdale. In any case I am liberally making some presumptions because the last poster asked some good questions. At the end of the day...I mean, really....this ain't a methadone clinic, a Chinese take-out or an abandoned old hardware store (remember?). The good news is that No. Cap. Main Street folks will put some potted plants outside, perhaps an interior night light might brighten that corner during the evenings. Maybe he'll have poetry readings. Or, Tuesday night margaritas and 1/2 priced shirts. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

    Sure would have preferred a neighborhood grill, though. I'd also like to be a multi-millionaire...

  7. "Sure would have preferred a neighborhood grill, though. I'd also like to be a multi-millionaire... "

    amen to that!
    where and what was the old hardware store?

  8. Regarding the dry cleaners already on Rhode Island, does anyone take issue with how much that place costs? I for one am hoping that this dry cleaners will make prices a little more reasonable.

    However, I do agree that in the long run it'd be nice to have a business come into the neighborhood that isn't redundant.

    Mat on North Capitol

  9. Regarding the prices for dry cleaning, I believe the prices will be the same. The only factors that will make a difference are the quality of the services,convenience and possibly social inter-actions.

  10. @ Scenic Artisan: The new dry cleaner is the site of the old hardware store. I'm not sure how long it had been vacant however I believe that a hardware store its historic and most recent use. Until approx. one month ago there was still a sign out front that said "Keys made here"...

    @ anon May 26: LOL... It's funny that you bring up the costs of doing business at the RI AVE business. I chose not to bring up the high prices in my earlier comments (though I experienced them only once) because they're obviously somebody's providing them sufficient revenue (and their presence in spite of the high costs is better than a methadone clinic, Chinese take out or an old abandoned building). Interestingly, many of today's 'neighborhood' dry cleaners are merely depots (meaning they ship the clothes elsewhere and do not actually clean them on-site) for large laundry centers that make the bulk of their dough contracting to hotels, restaurants, etc. (This business model, in addition to the high costs, is what made me eliminate the RI AVE business after only one visit. My experience has been that these places charge a bunch of dough and then have a bunch of excuses about why your clothes didn't arrive back at the appropriate time--traffic, problems at the warehouse, etc. To each his own...). At the end of the day I'm glad that they're there... As far as the new business' business model it'll be interesting to see whether they will clean the clothes on-site...which could provide 5-10community members (hopefully) with jobs. Guess we'll find out soon enough...

  11. Anon on Sat - what do you mean by that?

  12. Does anyone know the status of Baraki/Rustica pizza...and Boundary Stone. Both of these restaurants-in-progress had been looking for neighborhood support. Are they still hoping to open? Can they provide a status?

  13. Regarding development in Bloomingdale/Eckington, Brian Brown of NextGen had mentioned that he owned several buildings on North Capital and was looking for investors. Could he provide more detail on which buildings. The same for Catania Bakery, which owns several buildings on N. Capital, closer to Big Ben.

    I would love to see these projects start moving. At a minimum, perhaps they can clean up their buildings with a coat of paint and some window boxes. Think how that might draw attention to potential investors to the possibilities. thanks