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Multi-Housing News: Cathedral Commons a ‘Giant’ Undertaking in Northwest D.C.

October 17, 2012

A wealth of conveniences just outside residents’ front doors is the promise of Cathedral Commons, now under construction in northwest Washington, D.C. Developed by Greenbelt, Md.-based real estate services firm The Bozzuto Group, and centered around a state-of-the-art Giant Food supermarket, the mixed-use community will feature 137 apartments, eight townhomes, 128,000 square feet of retail and more than 500 parking spaces.

The $130 million project is a joint venture involving the Bozzuto Development Company, Southside Investment Partners and Landover, Md.-based Giant Food, which has operated a store at this location for more than a half century.

“Giant has been a part of the community for some time, and they’ve been working on redeveloping the site for the better part of the past decade,” Jeff Kayce, vice president of Bozzuto Development Company, tells MHN. “They’ve been working very closely with the community and District of Columbia officials that entire time. It was finally time that this project bringing a world-class Giant and housing made sense for Giant, us and the community. It’s actually been a very collaborative process among all the stakeholders.”

Along the way, though, a number of challenges have arisen. The primary hurdle has been arriving at an architectural style for the development that is appropriate and complementary for the location in which it is set, Kayce says. Other obstacles include minor environmental issues, the need for very significant foundations to support a development of this scope, and the inclusion of the substantial parking required to serve both the residents and retail customers.

“We’re also pursuing at minimum LEED Silver status, which correlates with the sustainable approach we’re taking at all sites,” Kayce adds.

In addition to a mix of apartment sizes and styles, Cathedral Commons will offer high-end amenities such as a boutique hotel-style lobby, lounge areas, fitness center, library and rooftop deck with inspiring views of the National Cathedral.
Bordering the Cathedral Heights and Cleveland Park neighborhoods, the four-acre development site is between Macomb Street and Idaho Avenue, along Wisconsin Ave. The new store at the heart of Cathedral Commons will be 56,000-square-foot in size and will feature full-service floral, bakery, meat, seafood and deli departments and an expanded offering of fresh produce, natural, organic and gluten-free products, as well as international items.

What will Cathedral Commons mean to the neighborhood?

“There will be true world-class rental housing opportunities, and it will bring a new urban prototype Giant, which will be among the best supermarkets in the nation,” Kayce says. “That will be complemented by significant parking accommodations, as well as 70,000 square-feet of additional neighborhood-serving retail uses that will activate the streetscape.”

First occupancies are slated for fall 2014.