Housing Complex

When a “Groundbreaking” Isn’t

Not much happening. (Image via DCMetrocentric)

Exactly three months ago today, the CityMarket at O mixed-use project kicked off with a big groundbreaking ceremony–long speeches, lots of shovels, big tent, the whole bit. Finally, the long-dormant corner would get new life.

Today, though, it doesn't appear that much is actually happening at the site. No digging or demolition or other telltale signs that construction is actually underway, at least.

They're not behind schedule, says Roadside Development's Susan Linsky. Rather, it's just that sometimes groundbreakings happen well in advance of all the pieces completely falling into place. In this case, they still needed permits from Metro. Plus, part of the project funding is coming from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, but all the paperwork wasn't quite  done yet. Linsky explained in an e-mail:

While not highly visible construction, we have been working on soil borings and test pits to obtain WMATA approval for construction on the site and refine the foundation plans. The next steps will be to stabilize the walls of the market building. We are trying to organize the work so as to minimize the time that the Giant store will be closed.

As you may know, we will be receiving HUD 220 financing for the construction of CityMarket. This is a lengthy process that requires in-depth information on the project, including a complete set of construction documents for the site. We have been working with our design and engineering team and advancing our project plans to be able to provide this CD set to HUD as quickly as possible. However, on a complex, urban project such as O Street this process will take several more months. We anticipate that we will close on our HUD financing in late June (although this is a HUD process and we have no control of the closing date). We cannot start excavation until the HUD loan is closed.

Sometimes, construction does start right after groundbreaking, like at the Convention Center Hotel: After the number of years that project sat around waiting for the various parties to come to an agreement, it would be surprising if they weren't ready to go. At O Street Market, you have a groundbreaking in September, and construction nine months later. Nice timing for an election, though!

  • RT

    What a lie this whole project has been. By the developers, by the politicians... all of them

  • Wassup

    Hopefully appropriate bannering is moving forward,as they say "Banner it and they will come"!

  • Rick Mangus

    How long has it been since that snow storm collapsed this place, sounds like some people didn't get their shake-down money!

  • Rick Mangus

    @ RT

    What are you talking about? Work is underway you just can't see it. Slow news day, Lydia?

  • Rick Mangus

    'Lydia', I did not write comment #4, someone at your paper is placing false comments on CP, it has happen before. When I respond to someone's comments I never use @. You might want to pass on to Michael Shaffer that unless he wants a whole lot of legal problems then he needs to investigate this and get rid of the person who is doing this!

  • Rick Mangus

    'Lydia', I'm very seriouss about what I said, so please pass it on!

  • Rick Mangus

    Correction, SERIOUS

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