Chevy Chase Gazette articles

Giant to close during construction

Excerpts from the article by Myra Mensh Patner
Staff Writer ---------- Apr. 4, 2001

Giant Food in Chevy Chase Shopping Center will close to make way for redevelopment of the land, despite a promise from the developers to keep it open. In its place, Chevy Chase Land Company, which owns the shopping center and is redeveloping the land, has offered to supply a free shuttle bus to take Friendship Heights residents to another grocery story or open a temporary mini-mart at Friendship Heights Metro. The mini-mart would have no fresh produce or meat, but land company officials are willing to deliver such food items directly to village residents.

Chevy Chase Land Company plans to tear apart its asphalt parking lot and 1950s-era shopping strip at Wisconsin and Western avenues to make room for a 90-foot-tall office building, two commercial buildings fronting Wisconsin Avenue, a grocery store, a drug store, and parking for more than 1,000 cars. The plan will put an additional 300,000 square feet of space on the eight-acre site at Wisconsin and Western avenues, where Clyde's Restaurant, CVS/pharmacy, Giant Food and other stores stand. A larger grocery store and a drug store will replace Giant when the site is redeveloped. Dalrymple would not say if the new store would be Giant Food.

During the creation of the 1998 Friendship Heights Sector Plan, the Village of Friendship Heights agreed to support the land company's request for dense development in exchange for a promise that a grocery store would remain open. The village supplies free daily shuttle buses to Giant Food so that its many elderly residents can easily buy groceries. The land company is willing to spend money and effort to honor its promise to keep groceries easily available, Dalrymple said. The land company would hire a bus company to run shuttles back and forth to a grocery store for two three-hour periods each day, he said. . . . The other option would be a mini-mart at the Metro building, plus a free or subsidized delivery service.

Dalrymple said construction would likely begin in 2002, despite the fact that development plans are still in litigation. Two, four-acre parcels make up the project, and both have gone through different approval processes, both of which are being contested.

The Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights will argue against parts of the development plan at the Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis Thursday. The citizens committee has also appealed a recent County Council approval for commercial zoning for the second half of the property, said Bob Cope, a committee board member. Dalrymple dismissed both efforts, saying they were aimed only at delaying construction.

Willoughby Gulch will be renamed

Excerpts from the article by Myra Mensh Patner
Staff Writer ---------- Apr. 4, 2001

Willoughby Gulch is to be Willoughby Gulch no more.

The Friendship Heights Village Council on Monday will select a new name for the rectangular open space that JBG Co. is rebuilding as a public park with sculptures, benches, trees, shrubs and flowers. . . as part of its Chase Tower project.

An iron sphere that weighs 5,000 pounds and is based on ancient ways of reading the universe has already been installed on the land as part of a public art project. . . . But the Village of Friendship Heights council wants to give it a formal name and is asking the public for ideas.

And the winner is . . . (according to the April 11 Gazette) . . . Willoughby Park.

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