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Those gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of a 6,000 square-foot mixed-use building at 1501 9th Street could literally smell the future: Trays of noodles and egg rolls made by Mandalay restaurant, the Silver Spring eatery that will open a second location on the corner when construction finishes next summer.

It’s a significant thing for Shaw, which hasn’t seen a groundbreaking since before the financial crash. For years, the site was a used car lot, until INLE Development bought the building in November 2008. “Going to the closing on the purchase of the lot, I had very strong reservations,” noted president Hashim Hassam. But funding came together with $2.1 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the developer sold the property to the owners of the new restaurant in February (the chef and family members will live on the upper floors). Tom Kamm architects did the design.

It’ll pair well with the giant Giant grocery store headed to O Street Market, which breaks ground on September 2, and all the new people headed for its residential units.

Goofy groundbreaking shot after the jump.

Shaw Main Streets President Alex Padro, Councilmembers Kwame Brown and Jack Evans, and others do the shovel thing. (Lydia DePillis)