Courtesy of mag3737

About a year and half ago, rumors started up that a Trader Joe’s might open on U Street. At the time – the big question was, OK – but where? A grocery store of that size needs a space that the U Street area couldn’t appear to accommodate.

Fast forward to now – all of a sudden there are a ton of construction projects that plan to have sizable retail space all over the 14th and U corridor. Now the rumor is starting up again – specifically for the Utopia project that will be coming to the 14th and U corner.

Wonderful news for the hood – we could all use a central grocery store, and who doesn’t love Trader Joe’s. I will keep an eye on development and update when and if something becomes more concrete.

An intrepid reader over at Prince of Petworth noticed some work going on at the roof of the old AM PM Carryout/possible new La Fonda location. Would be nice to get that space moving – as it’s been vacant for more than a year now.

Appears that there are a few construction permits on the property according to DC PIVS – the most recent being supporting roof and a new staircase, as well as a basement extension – so looks like we will see more work on the building soon.

Progress at soon-to-be Piola

We learned back in April that Piola, a pizzeria, would be coming to a long vacant building at 14th and Florida. Recently, we’ve seen a lot of progress: we have a window and a door. While I haven’t heard when the outpost plans to open, I look forward to another pizza option in the neighborhood.

Chidogo's closing

The closing of Chidogo’s was inevitable, with the Utopia project coming to the southwest corner of 14th and U. Neighboring restaurants had already closed, and Chidogo’s will shutter its doors November 11. The hot dog spot opened in November of last year – I had only stopped in a few times but appreciated a non-McDonalds fast food option for a late night snack.

Chidogo’s will be opening other locations in the area, but it’s not clear if they will be returning to their 14th and U location after construction finishes at the Utopia project.

Proposed building at 15th and V

Well, this is a strange place to put a modern apartment building: in the parking lot of the affordable senior housing at 15th and V. Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association reports that  Jair Lynch Development Partners, who built Solea at 14th and Belmont, is proposing a 95-unit, 9-story building.

Lynch has acquired the property and plans to renovate the affordable senior housing complex, upgrading the units, common areas, and elevators.  The outdoor area will also be redesigned for residents and will incorporate more green space. The project has been submitted to the Historic Preservation Review Board for review.

Soon to be Piola

Two big items broke last week that should have area residents very happy. 14th and You broke the news that the Verizon building at 14th and R will be redeveloped into a residential space with ground floor retail (sound familiar?) and as of now, no start date on construction nor opening date. We’ll stay tuned.

Washington Business Journal’s Missy Frederick broke the news that Piola, a popular pizza joint in Arlington, will be coming to the renovated building on 14th between W and Florida.  They’re looking at a fall opening date. Great news all around.

Construction at taqueria

It seemed like for a while nothing was happening at the forthcoming taqueria on 14th street. However, I walked by this weekend to see this, so it looks like movement is beginning again. The taqueria, from the owners of Masa 14 started construction last summer. Let’s hope it opens soon.

Boundless Yoga hopes to open in March

I spoke with Kim Weeks of Boundless Yoga, who will be opening a new studio at 13th and U, about the progress of the construction. While the original September 2010 opening date has been pushed back a few times, Kim is now confident the studio will open in March. I assume this means that the Georgetown Valet and yet-to-be-named frozen yogurt spot will open around March too.

Station 9 building to be redeveloped

CityBizList has the details on the real estate acquisition of the old Station 9 building on U street and 15th. So yes, I am so happy to say the space is finally closed. Rock Creek Property Group has acquired the building, it took almost a year, and now they are working to redevelop the space, possibly for retail or office use. No word on when renovation will start or when the space will be ready for tenants, but I’ll keep an eye out and report on any news.

YMCA demolition starting

Walked by this morning and saw that construction crews are demolishing the old YMCA building at 14th and W. Apologies for the crappy picture, just had my cellphone on me. Glad to see redevelopment finally happening at this location, I look forward to it being vacant no longer.