East-of-the-river retail setback

November 5, 2012

Cha: “I think I let the people living east of the Anacostia down.” (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Good intentions and a $900,000 check from the city, it turns out, will only get you so far when it comes to east-of-the-river retail. The Yes! Organic Market on Pennsylvania Avenue SE just east of the Sousa Bridge will close later this year, Jonathan O’Connell reports in Capital Business. Owner Gary Cha said he just couldn’t make the numbers work at a location that city leaders once hailed as a great leap forward for upscale retail east of the Anacostia. Question is, was it because the market couldn’t support it, or because the location — virtually inaccessible to westbound traffic — was disastrous? Cha’s disappointed after having to close a store for the first time: “People who shop our store really like our store, and they really thank us, and they gave us energy to stay longer. But in the end there was just not enough of those people.”

In other news:

52,000 early voters in D.C. (Post)

Phil Mendelson reverses Kwame Brown’s $20,000 Wilson Building remodel (Examiner)

“Here’s an idea for motorists who complain about … the District’s traffic cameras: Obey the laws.” (Post editorial)

Tomorrow is a “referendum” on the D.C. Council, “a body that has faced a steady trickle of ethical problems in the past two years” (WaTimes)

The at-large D.C. Council challengers on the issues (Post)

David Grosso is “feeling very confident right now” (Examiner)

Clinton Yates is with A.J. Cooper and Michael Brown (The Root DC)

Boxing-gym owner Keely Thompson indicted for defrauding the city (Crime SceneWUSA-TV)

It’s almost time for the “rigged inside game” of having the D.C. Democratic State Committee choose an interim at-large council member (Hill Rag)

Arrest made in brutal Rhode Island Row attack (Crime SceneWRC-TVWUSA-TV)

Cars and trucks just can’t stay out of bike lanes (WRC-TV)

Virginia man pleads guilty to distributing from a Georgia Avenue carry-out (Crime SceneYoung & Hungry)

Vince Gray steals council’s thunder, reduces some speeding fines (PostWaTimesLoose LipsDCistGGW)

For the first time since 2002, D.C. wages are below the national average (WBJ)

Man killed after stabbing cop had beaten his grandfather inside his Brookland home (Post)

Why the budget autonomy referendum is legally kosher (Post op-ed)

Bruce Majors’ crusade against Eleanor Holmes Norton’s Jeff Thompson cash gets some notice (Examiner editorial)

The LGBT vote — very important, as always! (Blade)

Tomorrow is D.C.’s 13th presidential election (DCist)

Thursday council votes helped needy families (DCFPI)

Cops still won’t release 911 call from DC9 death (City Desk)

Why is Mary Cheh including green fuel and VMT tax requirements in her driverless-car bill? (Post op-ed)

Doug Jemal would like to build fewer parking spaces in his F Street development (WBJ)

Zoning Commission chair skeptical of bicycling to grocery stores (Housing Complex)

An office building next to the H Street NW Wal-Mart? (WBJ)

DCRA offers two-month amnesty to unlicensed businesses (WBJ)

Joe Sternlieb on his new BID job: “We’ll need to work harder to remind people that Georgetown is here.” (DCmud)

Fight Night goes on without Joe Robert (Washingtonian)

If you look like a gentrifier, act like a gentrifier, but don’t have much money, are you still a gentrifier? (The Root DC)

God bless the Slouch, who put D.C. voting rights on his bucket list (Post column)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis | November 2, 2012