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What you said about what we said last week
Douglas Development Corporation has pitched its plans for the old Hecht Company Warehouse on New York Avenue as being potentially transformative for Ivy City, the Northeast neighborhood that some residents complain is treated like a “dumping ground” by the District government. But one commenter on last week’s Housing Complex column wondered where else D.C. could find abundant industrial land for municipal uses. “Where are the ‘other sites’ for things like buses and the city’s heavy equipment?” wrote PWJ. “It’s easy to oppose industrial facilities and uses in neighborhoods, but it’s proven nearly impossible to identify solutions and alternatives. Will all of D.C.’s industrial land be outsourced to P.G. County?”
Others were skeptical of Douglas’ plans to anchor the Hecht’s development with a big-box store. “More retail space, but where are the retailers?” tweeted @HStreetDC_. “Will we be stuck with nothing but chains?”
Reader Peaches worked through some anxiety over how Douglas would preserve the warehouse’s imposing Art Deco façade: “I have worried about the old Hecht’s warehouse for a while. It is a tenacious, stylish behemoth. But then, I worried about the Yale Steam Laundry on New York Avenue for a while, too. Though it would have made a swell nightclub, its incarnation as a residence seems to be doing just fine. I hope Hecht’s becomes another city phoenix, rising up from the old parking lots and ancient concrete.”
Others had little faith in Douglas founder Doug Jemal. “Great point in the article about Douglas having a reputation for ‘sitting’ on properties,” wrote Typical DC BS. “It’s only been over a decade since he started assembling the properties across from the convention center and is FINALLY starting to build. Don’t hold your breath on this one.”
Among the development’s supporters? Not @drgitlin, who tweeted, ”damn. I’ve daydreamed about turning it into my postapocalyptic fortress.”
Chain of Tools
Last week’s Young & Hungry column about D.C.’s emerging perch as a test market for national chains inspired lots of chest-thumping among our readers (“Sometimes it’s kind of cool to live in the imperial city,” tweeted @SonnyBunch) as well as various shades of chain envy. “All I want is for Maoz to come back,” tweeted a sad-faced @jbouie. In the comments, Tony piled on. “Seems like a great opportunity for an international chain like Wagamama to open a restaurant here, in a high traffic area like Penn Quarter!” he wrote. “Oh wait…”
Jenny Rogers’ story about the two colonies of bees that NPR has installed on the roof of its new, LEED Gold–certified North Capitol Street headquarters inspired at least one public-radio correspondent to pun. “This is giving me hives,” NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro tweeted, NPRishly. “So to speak.”
Department of Corrections
A map of new restaurants in last week’s Feed section contained several production errors. It labeled two restaurants as No. 17. The lower one should have read 19, corresponding with Ted’s Bulletin on 14th Street NW. It also labeled Riggs Street as R Street, showed Corcoran Street continuing past 13th Street, showed Rhode Island Avenue running through Logan Circle, and left off several streets.