Thursday, June 15, 2006

Teetering

At last night's ICCA meeting zoning attorney Duncan Blair updated the group on the Madison project, restating developer Capital Associates' commitment to bring grocer Harris-Teeter as well as retail and residential to the area immediately north of the Parker-Gray District. But frankly it sounds like nothing has changed significantly since the January 26 Braddock Road Metro Small Area Plan public meeting.

As we heard in January, the grocery store will now be at grade, while parking will be shifted underground. The size of the store has shrunk by 10,000 square feet to 45,000 square feet while the number of residential units has dropped from 300 to 260. The single structure proposed initially has now been divided into two buildings, with an internal street running between them.

Mr. Blair mentioned there would be less retail, which at 20,000 square feet was the same in the January 2006 plan as it was in the 2005 proposal. He also alluded to rising construction costs and the price of materials like concrete and steel. So it appears there is still tinkering going on with the residential/retail/grocery store mix.

Mr. Blair said he and Meade Rhoads of Capital Associates would be back later to pitch for ICCA support. Mr. Rhoads advised the Growler that the City is not responsible for the delay.

Which reminds the Growler: whatever happened to Patrick Traylor and the Braddock Lofts group who a year ago were so critical of Planning & Zoning and so ardent in support of this project? They've been remarkably quiet lately.