While one neighborhood market faces an uncertain future, another looks to expand its offerings. Sara’s Market on Q and 30th is applying for a special exception to allow them to set up a dry cleaning drop-off and pick-up establishment.
Owners Andrew and Suk Yang Johnson have been down this road before. In 2006 they applied to convert space in their home on 27th st. into a similar dry cleaning drop off and pick up establishment. The impetus for the change came from the fact that the family that ran a dry cleaner on the corner of 27th and P were kicked out of the spot to make room for Washington Fine Properties. The Johnsons happen to live on a small spit of 27th St. that is zoned C-1 (“neighborhood shopping”). This gave them the opening to offer their home as a replacement to the dry cleaners. It just took a variance from the floor-area-ratio (“FAR”) requirement.
Unfortunately for the Johnsons and the dry cleaners, some neighbors objected to the change (despite the fact that the dry cleaner would have only been relocating about 20 feet). Thus the ANC rejected the FAR variance and the BZA followed suit. And that was that.
Well three years later, the Johnsons are still looking to help the dry cleaners find a location and now are looking to subdivide their market to do so. According to Johnson, they plan to set aside a small section of their store for the drop-off/pick-up business (there obviously won’t be any actual washing machines on the premises). He doesn’t expect it to affect what Sara’s offers food and sundries-wise.
GM is a regular customer of Sara’s and knows the Johnsons well, so perhaps he’s a little biased. But he hopes that this application passes. First of all, it would be nice to have a dry cleaner so close to home. Second, and more importantly, it secures the future of the market by expanding their revenue stream.