Twenty-six year-old Rudolph McCray has been watching houses and stores disappear one by one since the urban renewal program begain in the Shaw neighborhood in Northwest Washington.
He is convinced that his father's store, the M and M Grocery at 910 P St., NW, won't survive more than six months.So McCray, who works in the store, is trying to make some plans for his future.
"My father has been in business there for 14 years. He is getting near retirement age.
I'd like to stay in business in this area," McCray said.
Monday night, when Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2C held a town meeting on plans to develop a major shopping complex in the Shaw area, McCray was there asking questions about how he could have his own business there.
The town meeting was held just before the city's Department of Housing and Community Development met to give final approval for plans to renovate the O Street Market and to build a new Giant Food store with pharmacy, and a bank between Seventh, Ninth, O and P Streets NW.
Once approval is given, developer James Adkins said he can begin renovation and construction by Oct. 15. The project could be completed in nine months.
The developer and representatives from Giant Foods were at the town meeting to answer questions from people who could be affected by the project.
McCray wanted to know if he would be able to rent or buy space in the market when it is completed. And he specifically wanted to know how much it would cost him to have a stall in the market.
Adkins said the prices hadn't been worked out yet, but promised him an answer within two weeks.
"The price of the stall is going to have to be considered very carefully," said Charles Richardson, chairman of ANC 2C. "The rent the merchants pay on the stalls will affect the prices the people for their food."
Richardson said that other people in the Shaw neighborhood had raised the question about duplication of shopping facilities available in the Giant store and the market.
Both facilities, for example will have meat and produce, beer and wine sections, delicatessens, poultry stalls and bakeries, among other things.
Richardson said there is room for both and enough people to support both the Market and the Giant.
"We have seen how that works already. There is a Safeway store across the street from Eastern Market, and both of them servive," Richardson said.
Other people had questions about parking facilities and the safety at the newly restored market. Adkins assured them that "parking will be available when the Market is opened."
Paul Forbes, assistant to the president effort would be made to provide jobs for Shaw residents when the store is opened.
He also said, "This will not be a second-class store. It will identical to every other store wehave."