Serendipity3, the New York-based restaurant that purchased the old Nathan’s building, is scheduled to open in a few weeks. But, September’s Old Georgetown Board meeting may have thrown a wrench into those plans.
While the Advisory Neighborhood Commission initially voted 6-0 to support the concept of the bullnose awnings planned for Serendipity3, the commissioners also recommended that the OGB “take a look at” the building’s design plans.
When the OGB convened later that week, they struck down the concept design, stating that the awnings are “not appropriate to this historic building.”
Britt Swan, owner of Serendipity3, expected to open the restaurant within weeks. Now, he must re-file a design concept for approval by the OGB.
Who would guess that the Old Georgetown Board would slow down a company’s entrance into the neighborhood? That’s neverhappenedbefore.
Good news for all those iPhone, iPad, and iPod owners at Georgetown—we’re going to have an Apple Store of our own soon.
Georgetown Metropolitanreported yesterday that the Apple Store on the 1200 block of Wisconsin Ave. will likely open in the third week of June. The construction of the store should wrap up in the next week, according to an earlier post by GM.
“[P]eople hired to work the store will be receiving training for the first two weeks of June,” wrote GM. “There’s no guarantee that the store will open up the third week of June, but it sure looks like that’s the plan.”
It’s been a long journey for the Apple Store, which received approval to build from the Old Georgetown Board more than a year ago after rejecting the four previously proposed designs.
Well, it wasn’t the late January or early February date they had hoped for. But the 2010 Campus Plan steering committee has announced the last community meeting it will hold regarding the 2010 Campus Plan before it files the plan with the Old Georgetown Board and D.C. Zoning Commission for approval.
On Monday, April 26, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Georgetown Visitation, members of the Georgetown administration will present their final draft of the plan with information residents asked for in previous meetings. Those meetings collected community feedback and questions on three specific elements of the plan in November—Transportation, the 1789 Block, and Housing, Enrollment, and Off-Campus Life.
Material on the final draft of the plan will become available here as the meeting date approaches, but so far, the final draft is not available yet. In anticipation of the final draft, let’s recap: what are the major flashpoints for Georgetown neighbors going to be when it does become available, and what did they ask to know about the plan?
Increased graduate enrollment — Currently, Georgetown is seeking to increase its graduate student enrollment by about 3,200 students, most of whom will be in the School of Continuing Studies. While the University is not going to increase undergraduate enrollment, neighbors are still furious. They want to know how many graduate students they can expect to move into the area.
New undergraduate housing — Right now, there is no new undergraduate housing proposed in this plan. This is particularly irksome to neighborhood residents who remember that in a May 2009 presentation, the architecture firm working said the University could add 800 beds within Georgetown’s gates. (Although adding that many beds would have required Georgetown to build on nearly every open space left on campus, including the Harbin patio). Expect this to incense neighbors again, unless Georgetown has changed its plans.
The cozy date night favorite of yesteryear Ristorante Piccolo, which a two-alarm fire virtually destroyed last fall, is set to reopen in 2010 according to We Love DC.
“[A]ccording to a recently displayed banner on the restaurant’s door, the eatery is scheduled to reopen in early 2010. No word yet on final opening date, or on what changes have/will take place to the menu, staff, or decor,” blogger Rebecca writes.
“Before the fire, the upscale Italian restaurant, which was established in 1986, featured a second-floor balcony overlooking the C & O Canal, hardwood floors, three fireplaces, and a strolling violinist to lend a romantic atmosphere to the dining experience,” the Voice‘s Alisha Crovetto wrote.
In the intervening months, the restaurateurs who own Piccolo had a rough time getting some of their plans for renovation approved by various local government groups.
At a January Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting, ANC Commissioners gave the owner and her mother a hard time about a streetside outdoor dining area. The Old Georgetown Board also recently rejected designs for the streetside balcony the restaurant sported before.
Hooray! After sending Apple back to the drawing board four, yes four times, rejected plans for a Wisconsin Avenue Apple store in hand, the Old Georgetown Board has finally approved their designs! And it sounds like the news storefront, which this fifth set of plans presented sans the huge front window they had initially planned for, and with more brick, really turns the OGB on:
“This is beautifully executed,” Stephen J. Vanze, chairman of the Old Georgetown Board, told Karl Backus, Apple’s architect. “We’re very pleased.”
At least that’s over with! Apple still has to get the O.K. from the U.S Commission of Fine Arts, the OGB’s overlords, but according to the Post, it’s unlikely they’ll flip the decision.
Apple still hasn’t determined their construction schedule for the store, which will sit where French Connection used to at 1229 Wisconsin, but by gosh—at least we’re getting it!
Lately, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E meeting have all had their share of fireworks, and last night’s meeting was no exception. They didn’t get to verbally stone any representatives from WASA, but they did unleash fury like Hell hath none on the owner of Philly Pizza. The Commissioners also applauded the arrival of The North Face store, while poo-pooing their big red signs, and prepared Georgetown for the 11-month loss of its Safeway.
Philly P’s: The highlight of tonight’s ANC meeting was the Commissioners’ unanimous chastisement of Philadelphia Pizza’s new 1211 Potomac location. The night started out poorly with Commissioners interrogating the engineer of the new ventilation system for Philly P’s and only got worse as they attacked Philly P’s ratio of sit down patrons to unruly students. (According the the Commissioners, Philly P’s needed a permit if over 50% of their customers used take out after ordering their food.)
Matt, the owner of Philly P’s, told the Commissioners that only 5% or less of his customers left the store before finishing their food (OK, Matt). An intense question-and-answer session followed in which the commissioners essentially accused Matt of dishonesty. It was unclear, however, if the owner of Philly P’s completely understood what the Commissioners were asking
ANC Chairman Ron Lewis ultimately issued a veiled threat against Philly P’s, bothered by their late hours, the high number of take out customers, and the odor that bothers the neighbors.
“If you are truly interested in being a good neighbor, you will fix these things,” Lewis said. “If not, we will have a long and complicated relationship.”
Shiver. The ANC passed a resolution condemning Philly P’s.
The North Face: As we noted last week, Georgetown is getting its own North Face store.
The commissioners seemed pleased the store was coming to Georgetown. However, ANC Commissioners were not enthusiastic about the bright red sign that usually comes with these stores. Commissioners Starrels and Skelesy were especially critical of the “excessively” red nature of the sign.
But don’t let a headline fool you. The sign was the only contested aspect of the new store. According to the North Face rep, the store is set to open in three months—provided the Old Georgetown Board gives it the go-ahead this Thursday. Godspeed, TNF.
Tonight, Georgetown’s Advisory Neighborhood Comission 2E approved the design the owners of 1229 Wisconsin Ave submitted for an Apple store—again.
Yes, this is the fifth time the would-be Apple store has had to appear before the ANC. They will now go on to present to the Old Georgetown Board, that un-bastion of democracy which rejected Apple’s proposed designs a fourth time last month, prompting speculation that Georgetown would lose its little apple.
The ANC unanimously ratified an amendment by Commissioner Charles Eason stating they “reacted favorably to the design … [and they] have no objections to the design.”
Very few (and rather inconsequential) changes were made the proposal that was presented last month. The Commissioners appeared sick of talking about the Apple store and recommended that the OGB accept Apple’s proposal this time around.
So it’s back to the Old Georgetown drawing Board! (And you thought our apple puns were bad). We’ll have the entire ANC roundup for you tomorrow morning!
Photo taken from Flickr user Darren Hester under a Creative Commons license.
Eager to have had their designs for the new Apple Store approved by the ANC, the owners of the (we hope) future site of Georgetown Apple Store skipped off the the Old Georgetown Board to get its approval, too—only to be rejected a fourth, yes, fourth time.
That’s right kids, Georgetown, which God willing will someday be home to D.C.’s first Apple store, may never get an Apple store in your time here. Georgetown Metropolitan has the scoop on just how egregious OGB’s rejection is, democratically speaking:
The Old Georgetown Board consists of three architects appointed by the U.S. Fine Arts Commission. Currently the OGB consists of the following individuals: David Cox, Anne Lewis, and Stephen Vanze.
And guess what? Only one of them actually lives in “Old Georgetown”. Cox lives in Kent (although his architecture firm is located in Georgetown) and Vanze lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland (although he also has a firm located in Georgetown). Anne Lewis (wife of ANC Commissioner Ron Lewis) lives just within the border of “Old Georgetown” at 34th and Reservoir.