Breaking Ground on the Southeast Safeway Development

The ground breaking.

Lisa Jones, resident of Potomac Gardens (foreground) listens to presentations on the development of Beuchert’s Park.

Charles Allen: “We build more affordable housing in Ward 6 than any other ward in the city.”

A broader view.

Foulger-Pratt’s rendering of the finished product.

Breaking Ground on the Southeast Safeway Development

by Larry Janezich

Safeway and its developer partner Foulger-Pratt, along with Councilmember Charles Allen, a Mayor’s office rep and the project’s financier dug their shiny new shovels into a long box of sand yesterday, symbolically breaking ground on the Beckert’s Park mixed use development on the site of the Southeast Safeway.

The project will take two years and when complete will deliver 325 luxury apartments, 8,500 square feet of neighborhood retail, and a new and larger Safeway store to the community.

Prior to the ceremonial launching, Lisa Jones, a nearby resident told Capitol Hill Corner:

“I’m going to miss my neighborhood market.”

“Where do you live?”

“Potomac Gardens.”

“Where are you going to shop?”

“Harris Teeter.  High.  I can’t afford Harris Teeter.”

Capitol Hill Corner asked Tim McNamara – Senior Real Estate Manager for Safeway – what his vision was for the new Safeway in light of competition from Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, and now Trader Joe’s, and what Lisa Jones would find when the new store opens.

McNamera said, “We’ve been on this site for 38 years.  The store will be new and modern – and larger.  We’re going from 50,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet.  We know how to compete – we will continue to have lower prices than Harris Teeter.”

In his remarks to the assembly, CM Charles Allen welcomed the opportunity to use space in a different way, lauding the new housing units and that 45 of the 1 and 2 bedroom apartments will be “affordable” – meaning that they will be available to those earning 60% of the Area Mean Income – about $52,000 to $60,000 a year.

Foulger-Pratt will own the residences while Safeway retains ownership of the store.  Foulger Pratt intends to own their part of the project “forever” according to one of their speakers.  The Safeway will employ 180 – many of the previous employees will return and new workers will be hired.  The store will feature home delivery, as well as a “Drive Up and Go” pickup service.

According to a Foulger-Pratt press release: “Resident amenities include a club room, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, a shared workspace business center, dog washing station, bike storage and a 6,000 square foot multi-purpose, multi-media sport court…..Beckert’s Park will reference the site’s history (of the beer garden and amusement park that once occupied the site) but also reimagine it as a chic garden and amusement-like park that brings people from the Capitol Hill neighborhood together….”

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