Fresh off the opening of its new Georgetown store, Safeway is planning another major development right next door. They are planning on building a new building (seen above) on the small plot of land just south of the Safeway (between Jelleff and Wisconsin) that was a parking lot but is now just grass. In addition they plan to “re-skin” part of the next building down, which contains the Einstein Brothers’ Bagels and a pawn shop.
It was news to GM that Safeway even owned this land. There is no word on what will occupy the space, but it doesn’t appear that it would be a branch of the Safeway. It also seems unlikely that the old tenants would stick around seeing as the design looks a tad too expensive for a bagel shop or a pawn shop:
GM has a couple concerns with this project. The first is aesthetic. These are rather bland buildings that seem more appropriate for Friendship Heights than Georgetown. The whole sandstone look just isn’t reflective of anything else in Georgetown.
Second, Safeway didn’t exactly wow with the tenants they found for the Safeway building itself. They got a cell phone store, a pet store, and a nail salon. They promised not to bring a bank and they kept to the letter of the promise, but perhaps not the spirit.
GM is not sure what to expect in these buildings. The larger one looks like it could house a clothing store, however it’s not a particularly good place for a clothing store. The smaller one looks ominously like a CVS, but GM is hopeful that Safeway wouldn’t locate a competitor to their own pharmacy so close.
Finally, GM is a little dismayed that they are planning on building so much parking. Not only are they are keeping the lot next to Einstein’s, which really breaks up the street facade, but they are planning another lot behind the new building as large as the building itself. This is suburban-style parking and we should be getting away from this in Georgetown, not building more of it.
Regardless, it must really be said that Safeway sure likes to build stuff, in Georgetown no less…