The two-block development project that promises to transform a section of Shaw is inching toward completion. Roadside Development’s CityMarket at O, which replaces the former O Street Market and the run-down Giant supermarket on 9th Street NW, will include a new Giant, a 182-room Cambria Suites hotel, and senior and market-rate housing. And after some false starts, the end is finally in sight.
On July 8, leasing began for the apartments. On Aug. 21, Roadside and city officials will dedicate the 90-unit senior building, which is reserved for residents 55 years and up making under 60 percent of area median income. (The name of the senior building is still under wraps, though I’m told it’ll be named after a D.C. notable I’ve probably never heard of.) On Nov. 1, the Giant is set to open. And on Nov. 4, the first apartments will be ready for move-in.
The development’s marketers are painting CityMarket at O in superlative terms. “Move over, oxygen,” begins a promotional booklet. “There’s a new element in town.” Not only is CityMarket itself “as luxurious as it is comforting, as stylish as it is connected,” the booklet says, it will also “be the centerpiece in the rebirth of the entire district.”
Big talk. Can reality match? Let’s find out with a brief tour of CityMarket at O—-both as it is now and as it will be.
The Giant will be the company’s flagship store, with a sushi counter and coffee bar. Like the old Giant on the site, it will have a surface parking lot for customers that will take up much of the block between 8th and 9th streets. The Giant will occupy the former market space at 9th and O streets:
The roof of the 1881 market collapsed in a 2003 snowstorm. Roadside was able to use some of the original bricks in rebuilding the market:
… as well as some of the original slate on the rooftop steeple:
CityMarket will feature 407 market-rate apartments in two buildings, straddling a rebuilt 8th Street. Studios, ranging from 407 to 544 square feet, start at $1,800, while junior one-bedrooms (526 to 614) start at $2,005. Many of the junior one-bedrooms don’t have windows in the bedrooms, but rather frosted glass doors to allow in some of the natural light from the living rooms.
Two-bedroom apartments (850 to 1,407) start at $2,830, though corner units like this one likely cost a bit more:
There are two two-bedroom units that stand out, literally. Here are the so-called diving-board apartments that jut out from the side of the east building:
The two junior one-bedrooms above the diving-board units don’t have as much space on the inside, but they have generous balconies atop the units below:
And the eastward view from the balconies isn’t shabby:
The apartment rents might seem exorbitant for their size and location. But they’re partly explained by the buildings’ amenities. The east building’s roof will have a dog park and fire pits; the west roof will have an infinity pool, a demonstration kitchen, and, yes, more fire pits. Not yuppie enough for you? OK—-this rooftop space will be a dog-grooming station:
But dusty work-in-progress shots tell only a fraction of the story. So here, according to Roadside’s renderings, is what the place will soon look like:
Photos by Aaron Wiener. Renderings courtesy of CityMarket at O.