Tag Archives: Georgetown Park mall

ANC Round Up: Pinstripes Edition

Last night the ANC met for its first hearing of the new year. And there’s no need to beat around the bush: the proposed bowling alley was front and center.

Pinstripes

A representative of Vornado attended the meeting to present his company’s plans for the mall, generally, and the bowling alley, specifically. The presentation was interesting for GM since it was the first time in a long time that Vornado has said anything publicly at all about the project (particularly the interior elements).

The plans for the bowling alley call for a company called Pinstripes to operate it. Pinstripes is a company founded in 2006 by Dale Schwartz in suburban Chicago. Mr. Schwartz was on hand last night to present his vision.

The phrase “high end” was used a lot.

Specifically the phrase “extraordinarily high end wine and food coupled with a bowling and banquet experience” was used. Moreover, the food promised is going to be “Four Seasons” and “Ritz Carlton”-level quality. In a bowling alley. Yeah, GM’s skeptical too.

But unbelievably audacious promises of food quality were not the primary focus of the discussion. That was instead the issue of noise.

Physically, Pinstripes would be located on the southeast corner of the building. You would enter the top of two floors along the canal just south of the old firehouse (soon to be the Frye Company).

On the top floor would be some restaurant and bar space as well as some banquet rooms (more on that later).

Downstairs would have the bowling lanes themselves, along with more tables and bar space and a bocce court. There will be twelve lanes.

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by BeyondDC.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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More Details of Georgetown Park Mall

GM came into possession of a flyer that Vornado is circulating to retail brokers whose clients may be interested in opening a restaurant in the renovated Georgetown Park Mall. The flyer is the first relatively concrete document GM has seen that reveals what is likely going to be the shape and makeup of the mall; and it’s not pretty. (GM reached out to Vornado for confirmation of the information contained in the flyer, but did not receive a response).

The flyer is requesting proposals for two restaurants to be located along the canal. The first would be along the southeast corner of the building, near the Wisconsin Ave. bridge, and the other would be at the southwest corner, adjacent to Dean & Deluca. Both spaces have a ton of potential (particularly the second one) but that’s not the thing that jumped out at GM the most.

The flyer confirms what GM has been hearing for a long time: that a primary tenant in the new mall will be the budget clothing store T.J. Maxx. The flyer also shows that the space will be shared by HomeGoods, which is a sister store of T.J. Maxx that sells budget home wares, like sofas and rugs.

The store will have an entrance along M St. but will primarily be below grade (much like the Bed Bath & Beyond in Gallery Place). Continue reading

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ANC Round Up: Back to Business Edition

The ANC met for its September session last night. This session is always pretty long and tedious, mostly because it follows a month hiatus for the commission, which produces a larger than average back log of discussion items. And this month was no exception.

Crime

As normal, Lieutenant  Hedgecock gave a presentation on public safety towards the beginning of the meeting. For what it’s worth (and GM doesn’t put a ton of worth into this) the crime stats for Georgetown and Burleith are down year-to-date 2012 versus year-to-date 2011. For instance, there were 26 robberies up to this point in 2011, there have been only 22 in 2012. Similarly, aggravated assaults are down from 15 to 8 and burglaries down 79 to 62. Thefts–always by far the largest single category of crime–were up from 372 to 410. So Georgetown is safer? Maybe. With numbers as smaller as these, it doesn’t take much for a large percentage swing in either direction. Hopefully, they genuinely reflect a positive trend, but GM fears it’s mostly just statistical noise.

Transportation

Ron Lewis announced that the G2 will finally restore west-of-Wisconsin service after the O & P St. construction is done. Specifically, it will return after the ribbon-cutting which will occur September 18th at 10 AM, by P and 36th.

Old Washingtonian Gas Station

The old Washingtonian Gas station at Q and Wisconsin has been closed since the spring of 2011 when it went up in rather alarming flames. The spot has remained an eyesore pretty much ever since. The owners, however, are finally taking steps to fix the property up.

While GM–who moved around the corner–would love to see the property brought to use as something other than a gas station, last night the owner confirmed that it will in fact return to its prior use. Rolan Joun announced that work should begin within a couple months and the station should be reopened by early next year. He also announced that it will be a Shell station now. GM has previously confirmed that Bobby Gonzales, who ran the auto service shop there before the fire, is not planning on returning to Georgetown (although he still provides pick-up service).

Holiday Decorations

While the barbecue briquettes of Labor Day are barely cold, the BID is already thinking ahead to the holidays. They came before the ANC last night to present some plans for their holiday decorations. They will include the normal baskets that they attach to the light poles. But this year they will add these yellow, Christmas tree-shaped sculptures to the top of the poles along M St. Commissioner Tom Birch complimented the designs but then added a bit of a critical request that next year they consider not using trees that look like Swiss cheese.

The more interesting aspect to the BID’s plans are that they will install a string of lights across the intersection of M and Wisconsin, including a bright star pattern hanging in the center. The BID actually used to do this, but has since 2000. For a quaint old place, Georgetown sure doesn’t get in the holiday decorating spirit as much as it should. Hopefully this will jump start a bit more holiday cheer.

The Mall

Scott Nelson of Vornado was on hand to continue to reveal very little about his organization’s plans for the Georgetown Park mall. He continued to refuse to divulge the names of the possible tenants (GM hears that T.J. Maxx is a leading candidate), but he did confirm the fact that the general approach for the redesign is to allow each store to have an M St. presence. In other words, it won’t really be a mall anymore.

One piece of genuine news is that they hope to have construction completed in 10 to 12 months. The stores may take longer to customize their space, but he also noted that some of the stores may start their own build-out as early as the first quarter of 2013.

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While GM Was Out

 

Sadly, GM’s vacation has come to an end, and he’s back to the daily grind. But before the grind is ground, GM wants to quickly cover a few things he missed while he was out.

Linda Greenan Steps Down

Long time Georgetown University administrator, Linda Greenan, announced that she is retiring from the University at the end of September. Greenan has been the primary community liaison for the school through some of the roughest periods of the town-gown history. Not withstanding the strife, she always maintained a smile and was pleasant to work with. She will be missed.

Her departure coincides with the beginning of the Georgetown Community Partnership, which was set up by the ten year plan agreement last spring. This permanent committee is envisioned to address issues as the arise, rather than after they’ve festered for years. Taking Greenan’s place in this new endeavor will be Lauralyn Lee, another longtime GU administrator. Continue reading

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What the Demise of the Mall Means to Georgetown’s Retail Landscape

The Georgetown Park mall has been a depressing place to visit for a long while now. And if it’s possible, it’s getting even more depressing as Vornado, the new operator of the mall, is summarily kicking out long standing tenants like the Hattery, seen above.

GM’s heard many rumors of what Vornado plans to do with the space once it kicks out every last one of the tenants. But none of the rumors have been substantiated. Both CAG and the Georgetown Park condominium association have reached out to Vornado and received no information.

Most of the rumors revolved around several large anchor stores. And it’s GM’s prediction that Vornado is much more interested in a building with a couple large tenants than a bunch of small ones. And the callous manner that they have been kicking out the tenants, giving them notice measured in weeks not months, would tend to support that prediction.

But if it is indeed the case that the mall will become just a couple big box stores shoehorned into a city, what does that mean for the retail landscape of the neighborhood?

GM can’t say for sure, but he can tell you what the numbers might look like. Every year GM takes a survey of every single store in the neighborhood. Last February he counted 530 stores (“store” for this purpose means retail, restaurants, salons, etc. Pretty much everything commercial except office space.) Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by M.V. Jantzen.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • Worker dies after accident at Georgetown University. Question: Why was she brought to GW Hospital and not treated right at GU Hospital?
  • Carol Joynt doesn’t need no stinking Target. Or Bloomies.
  • The Stables” are for sale.

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The Morning Metropolitan

Another great frozen Potomac shot from Brownpau.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by Pinelife.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • Even before hearing from BOEE, GM is going to call the ANC elections for the seven uncontested guys who were running for it.
  • Carol Joynt takes a stroll through the depressing mall. (Bonus: The National Pinball Machine Museum looks like it’s getting close to opening).

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The Morning Metropolitan

Cecil Place by Frankenstein.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • Boy struck by driver on Wisconsin Ave. in grave condition.
  • New operator for Georgetown Park mall.
  • Oh-oh, said Potomac St. residents…

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