Several business near St. Matthew’s Cathedral are bracing for arrival of Pope Francis.
The pope will bring his entourage of road closures, beefed-up security and onlookers to the Dupont Circle area tomorrow morning as he visits with bishops at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. The owners of several businesses that share the 1700 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW with the church are preparing for street closures and large crowds, but few are planning to close for the day.
At Jack’s Fresh, a restaurant across the street from the cathedral, owner Susan Yin said that she plans to stay open tomorrow. Yin added that several customers have asked, noting that that eatery’s windows directly face the front steps of the cathedral.
“I was surprised no police came to check security yet,” Yin said. “But I hope the pope can find time to come over here to enjoy lunch.”
Customers may have to use the restaurant’s entrance on M Street NW if the Rhode Island Avenue entrance is blocked off. Yin added that had not heard specific directions from police on how the barricades that are already cropping up along Rhode Island Avenue will affect her restaurant, but she hopes at least one customer will be allowed through the store’s main Rhode Island Avenue.
The owner of Marbi’s News Stand, which is next door to Jack’s Fresh, said he doesn’t expect customers to be able to reach his store from Rhode Island Avenue, but said his entrance within the OFC building will remain open.
On the other side of the OFC building, on M Street, businesses aren’t dealing with as many physical barriers, but are still bracing for crowds and traffic problems.
The owners of Suki Asia restaurant say that they will prepare boxed lunches ahead of time so they can better serve the expected crowds of pope-watchers.
Across M Street, employees at Avis car rental say their storefront will remain open, but because there will be so many road closures in the area, they’re encouraging customers to go to their other locations at Union Station and National Airport.
Mike Caruso, vice president of Caruso Florist on M Street NW says he’s not sure what to expect tomorrow. He expects crowds in the area around the pope’s visit but with so many people in the area working from home, he thinks the area might be empty for much of the afternoon.
Caruso’s business provided several flower arrangements to the cathedral for their services, and he hopes that they help create a festive atmosphere in and outside of the church.
“A lot of people aren’t working so I think it’s going to be like a snow day most of the day. There will be people around the church, and I think it’ll get pretty festive.”
But one thing the pope and his fans may not be able to do tomorrow is bank: Both the BB&T Bank location at the intersection of M Street NW and Rhode Island Avenue NW and the Sun Trust bank location at the intersection of M Street NW and Connecticut Avenue NW will be closed all day.
(Updated at 10:08 a.m.) A man on a bike was struck by a taxi this morning in front of the DoubleTree hotel located at 1515 Rhode Island Avenue NW.
Park View resident Patrick Hills, 31, told Borderstan he was riding along Rhode Island Avenue when the taxi driver glanced his bike.
“I ended up clipping the corner of his car,” said Hills. “I didn’t hit it straight on and tumble over … I glanced off his car and spilled over.”
“I landed on my elbow. My head didn’t hit the pavement, which was awesome,” said Hills. “I have some road rash. I think my rear tire needs to be adjusted back.”
D.C. Fire and EMS officials responded to the scene around 8:47 a.m., but Hills was not transported to the hospital.
A taxi cab driver on the scene said he was the one who hit the pedestrian, but would not give his name or say what occurred.
Following the accident, both men gave statements to a police officer and shook hands.
“So much for getting to work early,” added Hills.
(Updated at 12:42 p.m.) Two people are in critical condition and one person has serious but non-life threatening injuries after a building at the former site of the Shaw Junior High School (925 Rhode Island Avenue NW) suffered an electrical fire today around 11:18 a.m.
D.C. Fire and EMS spokesperson Oscar Méndez said the fire started due to an electrical transformer.
The fire has since been extinguished.
Firefighters could be seen on the roof of the building pouring water inside. Thick black smoke billowed out of the building for a short period of time.
Authorities on the scene told a Borderstan reporter that they think the building was not in use at the time of the fire.
One man wearing a D.C. Department of General Services patch was being given oxygen on the scene, observed our reporter.
D.C. Fire and EMS said three people were transported to the hospital from the scene; two in critical condition, one with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
D.C. Police closed the portion of 9th Street NW from Rhode Island Ave to T Street NW, and are advising motorists to use Q or 7th streets NW.
Jared Holt contributed reporting to this story.
No need to go out of the neighborhood now that spring is here and you are ready to garden. After Frank Asher closed Old City Green on 9th Street NW at the end of 2012, the neighborhood has lacked a nursery and garden center.
Come out, enjoy the weather and get your gardening supplies from 9 am to 5 pm. There will be snacks, music, fun and educational activities for the kids.
A city-owned plot of land in Shaw at 7th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW — dubbed Parcel 42 — is one step closer to being the neighborhood’s next big development project.
In November 2012, the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced that six bidders met the qualifications of the Request for Expressions of Interest. Now that pool has been narrowed down to three bidding developers.
Urban Turf reports the three candidates include a a 102-suite hotel from Baywood Hotels and Dantes Partners, an eight-story residential building from Neighborhood Development Company and a 105-unit residential building from TenSquare Group and Chapman Development.
Baywood Hotels and Dantes Partners
After ANC 2C/Shaw voted 2-1 in favor of bringing Dantes Partners’ vision to Parcel 42, the developer gave us the details on the proposed plan. The hotel will have 102 hotel suites and will feature a rooftop pool with green space, parking spaces for residents and hotel guests and a Milk and Honey grocer/market on the ground floor. Additionally, the project will include 22 subsidized housing units and will create 65 to 75 long-term jobs.
Neighborhood Development Company
Similar to Dantes Partners’ plan, the eight-story building from Neighborhood Development also features parking and a food/grocery space for ground-floor retail. Urban Turf reports that the development company submitted two plans: one with 81 one-and-two-bedroom units and another with 99 residential units. Neighborhood Development Company says the ground-floor retail (a 9,500 square-foot space) will most likely be Yes! Organic Market with outdoor seating and dining.
TenSquare Group and Chapman Development
While the plan for this team’s 105-unit residential building does call call for a specific retailer to occupy the building’s ground floor retail space, the developers say the retailer could also be a grocery or pharmacy. The team of developers say they plan to make the top floors contemporary and made from recycled materials. The seven-floor building will also include 21 units dedicated to affordable housing. The developers estimate the project will create around 15 long-term jobs.
Abdo Development is currently working on bringing a residential, restaurant, retail and office space to 1400-1404 14th Street NW — the northwest corner of 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW.
The company is planning for 5,089 square feet of space on the ground floor for a restaurant plus 4,745 square feet in the basement for kitchen and storage, 4,575 square feet on the second floor for offices and an additional 906 square feet of retail space.
The new development (see the artist renderings at UrbanTurf) will feature four levels of residences, located on floors 3 through 6. There will be a total of 30 residential units, ranging in size from 351 to 1,136 square feet. Transcripts on the DC Office of Zoning website detail that the residences will be a combination of studios and one bedrooms.
According to Jim Abdo, the project is now fully approved and is moving forward.
From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
DC Police announced Saturday that two Maryland men have been arrested for a sexual assault on New Year’s Day on the 1700 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW.
According to police, an adult female left a party with two known male acquaintances just before 4 am on January 1. The two men allegedly led her to a parking garage and sexually assaulted her. Police arrested 21-year-old Nicholas Schultz and 26-year-old Matthew Maldonado in the case.
Both were charged with second-degree sexual abuse. Schultz and Maldonado have preliminary hearings scheduled for Thursday morning.
On Thursday Borderstan ran a story about a 10:20 pm stabbing that occurred on the 1600 block of Rhode Island Avenue at 10:20 pm on Wednesday night, December 5, near Scott Circle:
“DC Police reported a stabbing at 1600 Rhode Island Avenue NW around 10:20 pm on Wednesday, December 5. According to a tweet from the department’s Twitter account, the victim was an adult male with a stab in the side; he was conscious and breathing. Police are looking for a man with a thin building who was wearing a tan shirt and riding a bicycle.”
It turns out that the incident was not simply a stabbing in the course of a possible robbery. NBC Channel 4 has the complete story on what really happened Wednesday night. According to NBC 4, “A bicyclist who apparently was angry at being cut off in traffic fought with and stabbed the motorist he believed to be responsible.”
You can get the full story at NBC 4’s website (including video), but the station also reports, “The victim, a 28-year-old man who is expected to recover, told police the cyclist was a man in his late 20s or early 30s. He faces charges of aggravated assault and destruction of property.”
Featured image: “Little Things” from One Photograph A Day.
DC Police reported a stabbing at 1600 Rhode Island Avenue NW around 10:20 pm on Wednesday, December 5. According to a tweet from the department’s Twitter account, the victim was an adult male with a stab in the side; he was conscious and breathing. Police are looking for a man with a thin building who was wearing a tan shirt and riding a bicycle.
From DC Police Alerts: “STABBING_2220HOURS_1600 RHODE ISLAND AVE NW_LOF A W/M TAN SHIRT, THIN BUILD ON A BIKE DO NOT TAKE ACTION CALL 911 W/EVENT #I20120611734. Sent on: 12/05 22:39.”
Police Alerts, More Information
You can sign up for alerts through Alert DC and get alerts by e-mail, cell phone, pager or wireless PDA. When signing up, you can select alerts on crime, transportation, utility outages/issues, government closings, breaking news, DC-sponsored events and Amber Alerts. You can follow the DC Police on Twitter @DCPoliceDept.
DC Police reported early this morning, October 13, that a robbery with a knife occurred around 1 am at 10th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW.
From the DC Police Alert:
“Police Alert-Robbery Knife_0100 hrs_10th & Rhode Island Ave NW_ LOF B/M 6’0″ wearing dark scarf & all dark clothing DO NOT TAKE ACTION CALL 911 W/EVENT I20120516966, Sent on: 10/13 01:57”
You can sign up for alerts through Alert DC and get alerts by e-mail, cell phone, pager or wireless PDA. When signing up, you can select alerts on crime, transportation, utility outages/issues, government closings, breaking news, DC-sponsored events and Amber Alerts.
By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.
On Tuesday morning, a call in California led to the evacuation of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) building at 1640 Rhode Island Avenue NW, as well as 1325 Rhode Island Avenue NW. The call was “of an unknown origin” and answered by a California police department.
Huffington Post reports the call warned of an attack on a major gay rights organization, which prompted evacuations at HRC and the Massachusetts Avenue building, which houses several LGBT organizations. Lou Chibbaro at the Washington Blade has more details, noting that employees “working for at least 11 national LGBT organizations in Washington evacuated the two buildings in which they are housed late Tuesday morning.”
With same-sex marriage in the news of late — following North Carolina’s vote and President Barack Obama’s subsequent endorsement of gay marriage — it’s sad to say that threats and scares like this may continue.
The Capital Pride Parade is coming up (June 9, mark those calendars) and I encourage you all to stand up against the hatred that fuels scares like this. A police search indicated it was just that, a scare, after a thorough search of the building.
From Luis Gomez
Attention, skaters. The renovation of the Shaw Skate Park at 11th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW finished last week. DC Parks and Recreation had originally scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony for this past Thursday, but after vandals cut open the fence and covered parts of the new park with graffiti, the city pushed back the official opening to do some last-minute repair work. Instead, the Skate Park had a soft opening on Friday.
The skate park is next to the soccer field and Shaw Dog Park on 11th Street NW. It is normally open every day throughout the year, from dawn to dusk. Skateboarders skate unsupervised, but the city recommends that adults supervise children and that all skaters use standard safety equipment.
An apartment fire in the Logan Circle area around 5 pm this evening resulted in only minor injuries and the fire was extinguished in a relatively short period of time. The blaze was at the Windsor House building at 1444 Rhode Island Avenue NW. There were major delays in the area as traffic was rerouted. DC Fire and EMS personnel responded to what originally looked to be a serious fire on an upper floor of the apartment complex.Dcist has more details.