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Monday, December 10, 2007

Breath Holding

Tonight, the Zoning Commission will decide whether or not to "set down" Roadside Development's plan for CityMarket at O Street (the redevelopment of the blocks bounded by 7th, 9th, O and P Streets, including the sub-par Giant grocery store and the vacant, historic O Street market). If anyone attends tonight's meeting, please show respect for the Zoning Commission by NOT making ANY visible or verbal demonstrations of support other than your attendance alone (read: no buttons, stickers, posters, signs, shouts, etc.). Roadside is basically at the mercy of the Zoning Commission tonight, and any such displays could hurt its chances of being set down.

I have to attend a class tonight so will miss the meeting. I will be holding my breath awaiting reports of a successful meeting.


IMGoph said...

i'm going to be there. i'll be the guy in the gray shirt and black pants, short hair and glasses. basically your average 29 year old dork. :)

come over and say hello.

Drew said...

Approved Approved Approved... finally!

Looks like the public hearing will be the first week of February. Baring any unseen opposition, Roadside will get its PUD and we can finally get this much needed cornerstone of Shaw under construction.

Anonymous said...

Hip hip horray!!!!! This is excellent news!

Anonymous said...

ANC 2C should propose a resolution that Giant make every attempt to follow the lead of the Ward 8 Giant in hiring neighborhood residents ... especially considering that the public amenities portion of the Roadside PUD is weak.

What's good enough for Anacostia is good enough for Shaw, right?

Leaders Say Giant Opening Marks New Beginning For Area
December 7, 2007

WASHINGTON -- A Giant food store opened on Alabama Avenue in Congress Heights on Friday, giving people in Ward 8 much-needed access to a grocery store and, some said, marking a victory over economic decline.

Ward 8's last full-service supermarket, a Safeway, closed in 1998 and was not replaced, News4's Tracee Wilkins reported.

For years, the site where the Giant now stands was empty. The city bought and renovated the land and then waited for developers. The site remained empty through several city administrations, from Marion Barry to Anthony Williams to Adrian Fenty.

Community leaders said the grocery store's opening marks a new beginning and represents a victory over decades of economic decline.

The new 63,000-square foot Giant is the largest in Washington, with a book section, a diverse produce section and a cheese market.

It offers the community filled with corner stores and fried foods a healthier option.

"This is a great day for the city, because it's not a good sign on the city when any group of residents does not have the service they deserve," Fenty said.

About 1,600 people applied for jobs at the store, and 200 people from Ward 8 were hired, making up 98 percent of the store's staff.

The Giant store anchors a shopping plaza surrounded by new housing developments.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I would voice opposition against the provision to have to hire neighborhood residents. The employees already there do such a poor job that tying Giants hands to more neighborhood employees further makes me ache. It would take ages to detail all of the unacceptable customer service and behavior that the current employees have displayed while on the clock.

Giant AND the neighborhood's first concern should be having employees that demonstrate a bare minimum of customer service to the public. They should first hire people who respect the responsibilities that come with a paycheck. Confining the company to neighborhood residents will likely impact their ability to do that. And that impacts all of the neighborhood residents that deserve quality service for the dollars they spend there.

Give the jobs to people that want to work there the most. Not just the people that live closest who want a paycheck for showing up.

IMGoph said...

i've said it before and i'll say it again. amen to hiring competent, quality employees. giant needs to want to be amazing and the best grocery store in town, not merely avoiding huge monetary losses. the store could be amazing if there were more attention paid to detail and customer service.

i think one of the biggest things that will cause giant to clean up their act (literally and figuratively) will be the opening of the safeway at 5th and K. if it's nicer, it'll suck away business, and the bottom line might be the thing that finally gets giant to shape up when they realize that people in the neighborhood aren't captives stuck with only one grocery choice.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree...Giant should hire qualified, competent employees just like any other employer...arbitrary boundaries on hiring would be a disservice to everyone - including Giant, the good employees who work there everyday, and the customers...

DG-rad said...

Just a clarification: the new Giant is Not in Anacostia. It is in Ward 8, but in the neighborhood of Congress Heights. We are still waiting for a grocery store in Anacostia, and would Love to see one come in the same kind of awesome development as you will be getting in Shaw!

Anonymous said...

Okay so let's hire Virginia residents instead of DC residents . . . . I think any project that draws from a certain tax base should benefit that tax base in residency preference hiring. The Roadside O Street market is asking for District taxpayer money to pay for parking among others so shouldn't District residents get a preference?

All the replies thus far imply the residency preference and quality employees are mutually exclusive.