A development taking shape just north of Georgetown is demonstrating what should have been done with the Safeway.
In the former Holiday Inn on Wisconsin and Whitehaven, JBG is proposing to build a mixed use project. DC Urban Turf describes:
UrbanTurf has learned that the development firm and Eric Colbert & Associates will redevelop the former site of the Holiday Inn at 2101 Wisconsin Avenue NW (map) into a by-right mixed-use development with 225 residences and 20,000 square feet of retail. The Holiday Inn closed late last year, and JBG acquired the leasehold interest in the property from 2101 Wisconsin Associates LLP in June.
As GM has argued in the past, this stretch of Wisconsin could use more residents. Safeway could have built condos on top of the store when they rebuilt it in 2010, but chose a plan less likely to create a fight. And the immediate area is probably worse off for this lost opportunity. Storefronts have remained vacant for years, and the stores that remain open face a struggle due to the low foot traffic.
The new proposal should help bring more life to the area. GM has long heard rumors that the anchor tenant of this building will be a Trader Joe’s. This would make sense. A “normal” grocery store (e.g. Giant) would directly compete with the Safeway. A higher end grocery store would struggle with Whole Foods so close. But Trader Joe’s is sort of in a category of its own and could probably succeed here.
Regardless, while losing an affordable hotel so close to Georgetown is a loss, gaining so many new full-time residents will surely help lift the prospects of upper Georgetown.