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by Tim Regan October 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm 7 Comments

A 7-Eleven store that sparked a community petition opposing its existence will open tomorrow.

The store, located at 2300 14th Street NW, will serve as host for a “grand opening celebration” commemorating its successful opening.

The Change.org petition originally called for residents to rise up against a new 7-Eleven convenience store coming to the ground floor of the Solea condo building at 2300 14th Street NW.

Ezra Weinblatt, who lives in the condo and originally filed the petition, told us in July he was “not impressed by the processed and sugary foods that they sell,” and hoped “to get enough support behind the opposition to … demonstrate that the neighborhood would rather have a more local bodega, clothier or anything else.”

Much to Weinblatt’s dismay, the petition caused an outcry among those who felt it smacked of crypto-classism.

“I had no idea I would have so many detractors,” Weinblatt said in August. “I thought this was a slam dunk. The petition was accused of being classist. It couldn’t be anything further from the truth.”

Come tomorrow, will Weinblatt be able to resist the siren song of supersized sodas and cheesy stuffed Doritos?

“I’m not going to support it for the first 6 months,” Weinblatt added. “But I wouldn’t rule it out [later]. It’s not going to stay open because I buy a bottle of water once every six months.”

by Tim Regan August 11, 2015 at 2:30 pm 0

7-Eleven on 14th Street NW

A controversial petition launched to protest the opening of a 14th Street NW 7-Eleven store was successful, says its creator.

The Change.org petition originally called for residents to rise up against a new 7-Eleven convenience store coming to the ground floor of the Solea condo building at 2300 14th Street NW.

Ezra Weinblatt, who lives in the condo and originally filed the petition, told Borderstan in July he was “not impressed by the processed and sugary foods that they sell,” and hoped “to get enough support behind the opposition to … demonstrate that the neighborhood would rather have a more local bodega, clothier or anything else.”

Though 300 people went on to sign Weinblatt’s petition, not all of the feedback it garnered was positive. CityLab’s Kriston Capps wrote in July that the petition smacked of “crypto-classism.”

And yesterday, PoPville declared that the petition had failed because it couldn’t prevent the embattled 7-Eleven from posting its permits on the window and moving forward with renovations.

While Weinblatt acknowledges that the petition failed to stop the new 7-Eleven, he says his petition was ultimately a success.

“It wasn’t a failure,” says Weinblatt. “We wanted to raise awareness that the community objected to another insipid corporate fast food type establishment.”

“Given that there are only 50 units in the building and over 300 people from every race and class in the neighborhood signed the petition, the effort was successful,” he says.

One thing Weinblatt says he didn’t anticipate is that his original petition would be so controversial.

“I had no idea I would have so many detractors,” Weinblatt says. “I thought this was a slam dunk. The petition was accused of being classist. It couldn’t be anything further from the truth.”

“There’s such an epidemic with obesity. It’s sad,” Weinblatt adds. “I don’t know exactly how people who think they’re defending the underdog when they’re supporting food and lifestyle choices that are actually oppressive to them.”

Now that the 7-Eleven has moved closer to opening, will Weinblatt boycott it?

“I’m not going to support it for the first 6 months,” Weinblatt says. “But I wouldn’t rule it out [later]. It’s not going to stay open because I buy a bottle of water once every six months.”

by Jared Holt July 16, 2015 at 4:20 pm 2 Comments

Meridian Hill

Some residents still aren’t pleased with plans for a new development across from Meridian Hill Park.

338 residents signed a petition started by a group of Meridian Hill residents asking the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) to reject Meridian International Center’s proposed development plans. Original plans were sent back to designers after HPRB rejected them in April for clashing with existing historic architecture.

Opponents of the development say revised designs for a nine-story apartment building at 1624 Crescent Place NW are still inconsistent with the character of the Meridian Hill Historic District.

Beekman Place Condominium Association, a nearby development, also expressed its disapproval of pending matter in a letter sent to HPRB this morning. The letter echoed residents’ concerns and mentioned previous comments made when the board voted down the original design.

“Despite some minor modifications, the proposed development continues to seriously violate DC historic preservation guidelines and does not address many of the comments included in HPRB’s initial decision on the project,” Beekman Place said in the statement. “We ask that you reject the project in its current form.”

Beekman Place said they will join Meridian Hill residents in presenting comments and concerns to the HPRB during its July 23 hearing.

Photo via Change.org

by Tim Regan July 9, 2015 at 1:30 pm 2,027 19 Comments

14th Street and Florida Avenue NW

(Updated at 1:49 p.m. Friday with correct photo) A group of residents has launched a petition to block the possible addition of a new 7-Eleven store at 2300 14th Street NW.

“We are happily satisfied with the neighborhood retail services today such as: Streets, Smucker Farms, Yes Organic, CVS and Trader Joe’s, yet we are very concerned about [7-Eleven] entering our neighborhood,” reads the Change.org petition.

“We believe that [7-Eleven] will diminish and detract from our neighborhood, nor do we see it adding any value to our lives,” it continues.

Ezra Weinblatt, who filed the petition last night, says he and other residents at the nearby Solea condo building caught wind of the possible 7-Eleven coming to 2300 14th Street NW earlier this week.

Jim Dennin, the real estate broker for the property at 2300 14th Street NW, said he “could neither confirm nor deny” a 7-Eleven was coming to the property.

“We’re hoping to get enough support behind the opposition to compel them and demonstrate that the neighborhood would rather have a more local bodega, clothier or anything else,” Weinblatt says.

Among Weinblatt’s main concerns are the type of products sold at 7-Eleven.

“We not impressed by the processed and sugary foods that they sell,” adds Weinblatt. “The community is already served. It doesn’t fill a niche. We’re all concerned about the image that it brings.”

But doesn’t CVS sell the same kind of sugary foods?

“Well, CVS is already here,” says Weinblatt. “Everything that 7-Eleven sells is already being sold by every other business here.”

Though he didn’t include it in his petition, Weinblatt says he’s also concerned about people congregating in front of the possible store late at night.

“People hanging out at four in the morning on a street corner are not looking to pick up trash. They’re looking for trouble. We don’t want trouble.”

Weinblatt’s next step is to take the petition to his local commissioners at ANC 1B.

“We’re totally happy to see the landlord make money,” says Weinblatt. “We just want to see the community’s interests taken into that as well.”

Photo via Google Street View

by Tim Regan July 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm 1,429 8 Comments

Photo via Change.org Meridian Hill PetitionA new online petition being put forth by a group of Meridian Hill residents is urging the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) to reject a proposed development planned by the Meridian International Center.

The proposed development, as outlined in an HPRB report from April, would be composed of a nine-story apartment building at 1624 Crescent Place NW. The building would also include conference and office space for Meridian International Center employees.

Residents say they oppose the development because its current design is “not compatible with the Meridian Hill Historic District and adjacent Meridian International [Center].”

One of the residents’ chief concerns is that the proposed building would loom over the neighborhood.

“Our hope is that they will decrease the size,” says Carl Schmid, Meridian Hill resident and co-organizer of the petition.

Other concerns include the loss of greenery at the proposed construction site and a design clash with nearby historic buildings.

“We realized something will be built there,” Schmid says. “But we want to make sure it respects the historic nature of the neighborhood and would be more compatible with the neighboring buildings.”

Some residents have already weighed in on the online petition form.

“The proposed building would degrade the environment in terms of traffic, air-pollution, green space, crowding, parking and safety,” wrote Jaroslav Stetkevych, a homeowner and senior citizen living in the neighborhood.

Another resident, Laura MacDonough, wrote that “the design of the building is fundamentally inconsistent with the historic character of the neighborhood.”

Signatures and comments will be accepted until July 16. Meridian Hill residents will present their concerns to the HPRB during its July 23 hearing.

Photo via Change.org

by Borderstan.com January 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

"Duffy's"

Duffy’s Irish neighborhood bar. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

Duffy’s Irish Pub at 2106 Vermont Avenue NW is soliciting signatures from local residents to extend its seating to an outdoor patio.

The petition, available on SignOn.com, currently has 33 signatures; Duffy’s is requesting 50. A general statement from residents at The Rhapsody, a residential apartment building at 2120 Vermont Avenue NW that has a total of 162 units on 6 floors, supports the expansion.

The statement says, “We the undersigned residents of the Rhapsody wish to express out support for outdoor seating at Duffy’s. He has been a good and generous neighbor for six years and we believe that he would be respectful of our privacy and keep noise to a minimum.”

Duffy’s is currently open Monday through Thursday until 2 am and Friday through Sunday until 3 am.

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