Cathedral Commons is coming to Cleveland Park in Fall 2014! What the heck is that? It’s a mixed-use development including 137 apartments, 8 townhouses, retail, and parking. The project will occupy 2 blocks of Wisconsin Avenue (between Macomb and Idaho) in view of the National Cathedral.
The cornerstone of Cathedral Commons will be a new 56,000 sq. ft. Giant grocery store, replacing the outdated 18,500 sq. ft store built in the 1950s. The new supermarket will include full-service floral, bakery, meat, seafood, and deli departments. In addition, the store will expand it’s offerings of fresh produce, as well as natural, organic, gluten-free, and international products.
This has been a contentious project from the start. Some local residents are concerned about density of the new development, which will bring more traffic and noise. They have been fighting efforts to modernize the Giant food store since 1999. In the following decade, neighbors splits into two factions -- those who supported redevelopment (Reform Slate), and those who opposed it (Unity Slate).
The Unity Slate claims that their objections were not about the new supermarket. Instead, they are concerned about the accompanying apartments. They claim that the District’s Comprehensive Plan specifies that the space on Wisconsin Avenue is designated for commercial use and includes a building height limit, which would be exceeded by the new apartment building.
The Reform Slate, on the other hand, is excited about the new development. They think of the old 1950s Giant as an eyesore, and are eager to create a more vibrant urban neighborhood with new retail options.
The developer and the Reform Slate won the battle. The old Giant closed in April, and the developer broke ground on the new construction project this week. Hopefully, both slates will be able to reconcile and enjoy the new walkable area in their neighborhood together. Look for new housing and shopping options on Wisconsin Avenue in 2014 at Cathedral Commons!