ANC 3F had a jam-packed agenda at its September 20th meeting, which you can watch in full here:
Topics included commercial real estate on Connecticut Avenue in Van Ness, specifically retail spaces controlled by UDC, and the Days Inn property at 4400 Connecticut, which was put up for sale late last year and marketed by broker CBRE as a residential redevelopment opportunity.
Residential redos happen to be a Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners specialty. And Ruth Hoang, the senior vice president of development at Jair Lynch, appeared before the commissioners to announce that the firm has 4400 Connecticut under contract.
“We don’t even own it yet. But wanted to bring this to your attention,” said Hoang. “Our hope is to come back next month with more concrete information to present.”
Commissioner questions teased out a little more information about what Jair Lynch is considering for the site, at least on a preliminary basis: rental apartments and ground floor retail. The firm’s residential projects include 100% affordable buildings as well as market rate apartments with inclusionary zoning. During the due-process phase of the sale, Hoang said Jair Lynch is studying what’s possible.
Assuming the deal closes, Hoang suggested it could be more than two years before the first shovel is in the ground.
UDC President Ronald Mason Jr., who will retire next year after eight years as the university’s leader, himself gave an update.
“Retail is starting to fill in” at 4250 Connecticut, Mason said, with MOM’s Organic Market scheduled to open next summer.
As for the rest of 4340: “We have a long list of folks waiting to take over the retail space there, specially the Acacia corner,” Mason said. Retail and restaurant concepts in talks with the UDC team have included Panera Bread, Bagels and Baguettes, Ledo’s Pizza, Sheila’s Bakery, The Little Gym, The Whale Tea, Busboys and Poets, East Moon Hibachi and Thompson Hospitality, UDC’s food service provider and the owner of restaurants including Milk & Honey and Matchbox.
“Some are more real than others, but there are a lot of conversations going on,” Mason said.
Mason also said a reprieve may be in the works for Feed the Family Pantry, the food and cleaning supplies pantry that’s been operating in donated space at the former Walgreens at 4225 Connecticut, and recently got an extension through October. UDC was planning to lease the property to another vendor, but has since decided to use the property as swing space due to renovations occurring on the campus, which increases the chances that the pantry can stay for “a much longer period of time.”
“It’s not quite solid,” Mason said, “but I think they’ll be in good shape for some time.”