Members of a Logan Circle church are up in arms over a plan to designate several newly created parking spaces near their house of worship as Zipcar-only spots.
Dozens of parishioners from the John Wesley African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (1615 14th St. NW) showed up to Wednesday night’s ANC 2F meeting at the Marriott Marquis in Logan Circle to loudly weigh their concerns about a request to establish “2-3 Zipcar-only street sparking spaces on the north side of Corcoran St. NW.”
Zipcar, which as recently as 2013 housed 20 vehicles in the lot that was later developed into the Corcoran at 14th, said the three requested spaces would help the company better service its customers in Logan Circle, one of its most popular service areas.
“We’re trying to replace what was a 20-space lot with really three spaces,” said Scott Hall, Zipcar’s D.C. area general manager. “We’ve been unable to find any replacements, private, public, anything. This has been the only possible solution for us to serve our membership.”
“I would rather have the residents have the parking spaces,” said ANC 2F chair John Fanning. But commissioner Kate Gordon, 2F-01, pointed out that, even if the spaces aren’t allocated for Zipcar’s use, there’s no guarantee that residents could actually use them.
“I’m always in favor of street parking,” Gordon said. “But the loss of that Zipcar lot has meant that more people have had to go out and buy cars or make other arrangements.”
“I would like to see us come up with a compromise,” she continued. “I don’t necessarily want to lose three potential parking spaces, but one or two we could absolutely allocate to Zipcar.”
Keith Spinner, John Wesley Church’s parking and transportation committee chairman, said in response that designating any spots as Zipcar-only would deprive the church’s congregation of parking spaces they originally planned on using.
“Right now, we have one spot, and that’s for the pastor,” Spinner said. “Our first lady has nowhere to park. Our secretary has nowhere to park.” (more…)
The neighborhood has changed and 14th Street NW, from Thomas Circle north to Florida Avenue and beyond, is probably the best example. On one block after another for the past decade, we have seen the transformation of the 14th Street corridor.
A note to potential commenters itching to comment on “change” and “gentrification” — these are observations and you are free to make your own interpretations as to their desirability. You can always consider what the Don Draper character on “Mad Men” says: “Change is neither good nor bad. It simply is. It can be greeted with terror or joy, a tantrum that says ‘I want it the way it was,’ or a dance that says, ‘Look, something new!’ ” Or not.
Newcomers of the past three to five years are to be forgiven if they don’t remember when residential buildings at 14th and N, 14th and Q and on the 1500 block of 14th Street (east side) did not exist. The same applies to the north side of the 1400 block of P Street NW (and Church Street just to the north) where large residential buildings face Whole Foods, which opened in the fall of 2000.
We “old-timers” still consider these to be “new” buildings.
The Retail Catch-Up
More than a decade ago, older businesses began closing shop to make way for new businesses that catered to the multitudes of new arrivals in Logan Circle — and more than few of those businesses are now gone (Garden District and go mama go! are two examples). However, Cafe Saint-Ex, Pulp and Home Rule are still going strong.
Shuttered store fronts on 14th Street opened as art galleries, restaurants, posh drinking establishments and upscale home decor stores. It’s been said that it takes a decade for retail to catch up with residential changes in gentrifying neighborhoods. If that is the case, then around 2000 the catch-up began. And, yes, it is hard to over-estimate the importance of Whole Foods as an anchor store for the 14th and P Streets shopping and residential corridor.
Residential Construction Boom
The boom in residential building construction continues on the 14th Street corridor. New residents, including young families have brought a different vibe to the sidewalks. Done or nearing completion are District, The Aston and Northern Exchange — the first on 14th between S and Swann, and the later two at 14th and R.
Coming in the next year are the massive Louis complex at 14th and U Streets and 1919 14th Street at Wallach Place. All will bring more residents — and more businesses to the first floors of the buildings.
The remainder of 2013 as well as 2014 will see even more residential-retail and business buildings on the 14th Street corridor:
- The Jefferson 14W is finishing up at the northeast corner of 14th and W Streets, including a large YMCA.
- The former site of Latino Auto Sales at the southeast corner of 14th and Florida will become condos by the end of 2013.
- The Central Union Mission will be moving out this year, from the southeast corner of 14th and R. UrbanTurf reports that construction will begin June.
- Filling in a gap on 14th Street, Furioso Development will bring an office building, which will be leased by Whitman-Walker Health.
- An empty warehouse at 1728 14th Street will become a commercial business building.
- Elevation Media reports that a 48-unit, seven story building will break ground in the last quarter of 2013 on the Zipcar lot at the northeast corner of 14th and Corcoran.
- Abdo has plans for the corner of 14th & Rhode Island.
I have undoubtedly missed some changes and some projects here. But the main point is that the 14th Street corridor is far from done. Expect to see something more in 2014 and beyond — there are still plenty of empty lots and one-story build-ins just itching for something new.
UPDATE: The speed dating event has been changed to March 7 from February 21.
Just because you don’t eat meat doesn’t mean you can’t meet that special someone out at a restaurant. On Thursday, March 7, Zipcar and Live Green will co-sponsor a vegan speed dating event at Everlasting Life Cafe at 2928 Georgia Avenue NW.
The mini-date event is for vegans, vegetarians and other interested eco-conscious allies, and includes free vegan appetizers, free wine, free music and a free raffle to a one-year membership with Zipcar.
Who knows, maybe you’ll find Everlasting love.
The cost is $15 ($10 for Live Green or Zipcar members); the event starts at 6:30 pm. More information and registration is available online.
Metro Fights Back for the 99%?
TBD certainly took the #OWS (Occupy Wall Streeet) frame of the story and ran with it. As a girl who likes shiny things, I feel for the woman. Even more so after learning, from NBC Washington, it was an engagement ring/family heirloom.
Apparently, while removing her gloves on the Dupont Circle escalator, a woman lost a century-old, expensive diamond and sapphire ring. Metro is looking for it, they report, but have yet to find it. If you found it, do the right thing and turn it in. Otherwise, she may be the happiest person in the world that a ton of escalator work is scheduled for the station in the near future.
Zipcar and Living Social Birthed in Dupont California Pizza Kitchen?
Well, sort of — the company that invested/created both entities was borne out of a lunch meeting in California Pizza Kitchen in DC (now home to Casa Nonna). Revolution is a company owned and operated by founder of AOL and former chair of AOL Time Warner, Steve Case. So after he left AOL Time Warner, The Atlantic says he took a colleague out for pizza. All good things emerge over barbecue chicken pizzas, it turns out.
Moving on From Greig’s Departure from Race
You probably know by now we’re fans of many of the things Greater Greater Washington does. David Alpert takes to their pages to make an impassioned plea for the rare breed of politician who is a good candidate and also a good advocate for their community. Sometimes, it may be necessary to take a chance on a candidate that others call inexperienced in order to embrace a measure of change. Surely the DC residents that took to U Street in celebration of that candidate on a national scale — Obama — can embrace that spirit in order to look at all the candidates fairly and make the best choice for their neighborhood. Or are all those traits necessary? Or, do you love our City Council as is?