Some neighbors have been wondering what ANC 3F’s Van Ness Vision Committee (VNVC) has been up to.
The answer is: A lot. The VNVC and UDC’s JAZZAlive have teamed to host an outdoor UDC Jazztet performance this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in front of Acacia Bistro. Next Tuesday, November 18th, architect Travis Price will reveal a new design and purpose for the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Windom Place. This will take place at ANC 3F’s November meeting at Forest Hills of DC (formerly The Methodist Home) at the corner of Ellicott and Connecticut.
The committee also promotes the area to restaurants and retailers at every opportunity. Here is an example:
Last week, ANC Commissioner Sally Gresham, who is an active member of the Van Ness Vision Committee, saw an item in the Washington Business Journal about Wegmans’ on- and off-again efforts to open a smaller “urban format” store in Tysons Corner at the McLean Metro station. The negotiations, it seems are off again. Her eyes must have lit up at the possibilities for Van Ness. Gresham alerted fellow ANC Commissioner and Vision Committee chair Mary Beth Ray, who quickly composed a pitch to Jo Natale of Wegmans:
[box]”We’re hoping that Tysons Corner’s loss is Van Ness’s gain! As an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and Chair of the Van Ness Vision Committee in Northwest Washington DC, I’d like to personally invite you to visit our commercial corridor along busy Connecticut Avenue.”[/box]
Ray lists three possible locations. The first one is the Van Ness Giant, “a lackluster store that has missed the boat when it comes to fulfilling customer demand.” The second is Fannie Mae’s building at 4250 Connecticut, which is for sale. And the third is the former Intelsat headquarters. Its new owners are looking for tenants.
Ray lists all the reasons area residents would “love” to have a Wegmans, which has generally preferred big-box locations in outer suburbia, but is now designing smaller stores for the urban landscape. Those reasons include Wegmans’ reputation as an employee-friendly company and its healthful, ready-made meals.
And she spells out the benefits to Wegmans:
[box]“Our neighborhood demographics will work for you:
- high incomes (median income $91,622)
- advanced degree educations
- Van Ness Metro steps from the stores (Red Line is DC’s busiest)
- daily traffic count 37,300
- people who support healthful food choices and locally-sourced food where possible.”
She closes the letter by evoking a Van Ness that is ready seize its potential.
[box]“Van Ness is on the verge of exciting changes. In addition to the Metro, we have excellent walkability and parking. We have an abundance of offices, apartments and multi-million dollar homes. We are at the heart of the international community, with over 30 embassies including China, Israel and Austria. We have engaged world-renowned architect Travis Price to design a new Van Ness hub to draw in retail and cultural opportunities. We are an engaged, active community, working hard to make our neighborhood more beautiful and more vibrant, and we welcome your interest and your presence.”[/box]
Stay tuned for the reply.