Georgetown Day School is undergoing a massive expansion, buying a nearby Safeway supermarket and car dealership, the Washington Post reports.
The elite private school is currently divided geographically. Its elementary and middle schools are on MacArthur Boulevard NW just west of Georgetown, while its upper school is in Tenleytown. The acquisition of the Tenleytown Safeway, at 4203 Davenport St. NW, and the nearby Martens Volvo/Volkswagen car dealership will allow the school to consolidate its campuses in Tenleytown.
Safeway was contemplating a mixed-use redevelopment of its Tenleytown store before receiving an offer from GDS that simplified its decision, according to the Post. The deals are expected to close today. The supermarket and dealership will remain open for at least 10 months.
The school’s acquisition leaves it with two challenges. One is turning the purchased sites into new school facilities; the other is disposing of the old school facilities. Tenleytown neighbors will lose their Safeway, although they have other nearby shopping alternatives, including a Whole Foods on Wisconsin Avenue.
In a statement, GDS says it has yet to make any specific decisions on how it will go about the development, other than its goal of uniting the school’s two campuses, currently four miles apart.
“We are committed to beginning a thoughtful and deliberate conversation with our community in and around the school to best inform development plans in the future,” GDS Head of School Russell Shaw said in a statement. “Any final plans will be consistent with the beauty and character of the Tenleytown neighborhood while keeping an eye on creating open, green spaces and increasing safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.”
GDS spokeswoman Alison Grasheim says the school doesn’t “have exact plans for what’s going to happen” with its elementary and middle school spaces on MacArthur Boulevard, but it won’t be keeping them. The options are to sell or lease them, she says.
This post has been updated.
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