New Mixed-Use Development May Bring Grocer Back to 48th Street

former Superfresh currently provides parking for the AU law school

The former Superfresh site currently acts as a parking lot for the AU law school.

Residents who have mourned the loss of the Superfresh on 48th Street may have reason to hope that a grocer will return to the long vacant lot. Real estate firm Valor Development is under contract to purchase the property, with plans to attract a major grocery chain as part of a new mixed-use development.

Although the sale of 4330 48th Street, NW is not final, Will Lansing of Valor Development came before the Tenleytown Advisory Neighborhood Commission on September 9 to share his firm’s initial ideas for development of the property. Lansing said his firm did not have a “master plan” yet, and hoped that his presentation would be the “starting point of a conversation” to find out what the community might want in a development.

The initial concept for the site is ground floor retail with up to six stories of housing above. Lansing currently envisions approximately 200 housing units. While drawings presented by architectural firm BKV Group were very conceptual and lacked detail given the early stages of the design, they showed the higher building floors being set back from the street in an attempt to mitigate the visual impact of the six-story building. The conceptual plans also showed a series of courtyards, and potentially the inclusion of townhouses along 48th Street.

The anchor retail tenant would be a large-scale grocery chain, potentially Harris Teeter which Lansing said has expressed a strong interest in the property. The grocery store would face Yuma Street and could be fronted by a 25-foot plaza with outdoor seating and plantings intended to be a buffer between the store and houses facing the property. Existing neighboring businesses Salon Jean Paul and DeCarlo’s Restaurant would be incorporated into the new building.

Parking for both the retail and residential units would be underground.

If Valor Development proceeds with a planned-unit development at 4330 48th Street, Lansing anticipates that it would be at least two years before any construction would take place at the site. The project would be the firm’s first PUD in Ward 3. It previously completed the retail office building at 4619 41st Street, which is the site of the Bread & Salt restaurant and where the firm maintains its offices.