Tenleytown Safeway to Present Development Plans Next Month

New information about a planned mixed-use development at the Tenleytown Safeway emerged during the October 10 Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 3E meeting.  At the request of Safeway, which wanted more time to complete a Planned Unit Development (PUD) proposal before appearing at a public meeting, a formal presentation was pulled from the official agenda. However Chairman Jon Bender shared highlights from an October 2 informal meeting between ANC commissioners and Safeway developers.

The current proposal is expected to include modernization of the ground-level grocery store and the addition of four residential stories consisting of 220 rental units.  Three-hundred-forty parking spaces will service the new building – well above anticipated new parking minimum requirements of one space for every three units, as well as the likely parking demand from retail customers.

To minimize the impact on neighbors, the new building’s massing will be predominantly on 42nd Street and taper toward residential streets.  Although the exact height of the new building is not available yet, ANC-3E commissioners expect that it will be lower than Safeway’s previously proposed projects.  Delivery vehicles will access the property via Davenport Street, which lies between Georgetown Day School’s (GDS) upper campus and the current Safeway.  Residential and retail parking will be accessible through existing curb cuts on Davenport and Ellicott Streets.

Commissioner Bender also shared that Safeway is preparing a community benefits package to be included in the proposed PUD.  Although the final package is still to be negotiated, initial items may include the development of a small park or plaza on the triangle between 42nd Street and Wisconsin Avenue next to Martens Volvo, undergrounding of power lines (similar to the agreement reached with Douglas Development for the old Babe’s Billiards site), construction of a small, separate community center, and/or recreation space for GDS.

In 2009, Safeway announced plans to redevelop the store located between Tenleytown and Friendship Heights.  A series of proposals succumbed to opposition from residents as community groups, ANC commissioners and developers failed to reach an agreement on the height, density and residential impact of the project.

ANC-3E anticipates that Safeway will present its new development proposal at the November commission meeting.