Living with Giant/Cathedral Commons Construction – Update #4

October 15, 2013

The good news is that mass excavation is complete, so the battalions of dump trucks are history. Work on the North Block, delayed by water problems, is now getting close to grade (ground level). The ground floor slab on the South (Giant) Block is almost complete; masonry work at the garage levels and structural steel (the frame of the Giant and other retail) is underway. A permit for the Idaho Avenue townhouses has been issued by DCRA, and work is expected to begin in January.

The less-good news is that there have been a number of factors delaying the utility work on Idaho, with the current phase now expected to run approximately through Thanksgiving. And when that is over, the other half of Idaho (from Newark to Wisconsin) will be closed. And then the much more disruptive utility work on Wisconsin will begin and will last several months.

Several concerns have been raised by neighbors and are being addressed by Bozzuto Contracting. These include the swinging of the cranes when they are not in use, the disintegration of the sandbags holding down temporary signs, workers parking and construction trucks driving on neighborhood streets. Still under discussion with trained arborists is whether the 50+ trees to be planted along the perimeter of the property should be relatively mature (about 8″ caliper) or smaller, more adaptable, faster growing, and more readily transplanted (4″ or 6″ caliper). Other pending topics have to do with the time and location of stops of the shuttle bus between the Cathedral Commons site and the Van Ness Giant, and air horns on the cranes.

The community is, of course, keenly interested in what retail shops and restaurants will be in Cathedral Commons. Bozzuto has been unwilling to release information until formal leases are signed. So all we know for sure is that, in addition to the Giant, the South Block will include Raku (a Japanese restaurant) next door to Cactus Cantina and the Barcelona Wine Bar next door to Raku. The second floor of the South Block will probably include one or more fitness studios. The North Block will include a drug store (probably CVS), Starbucks, and the SunTrust bank, as well as an unidentified restaurant in the space facing Newark Street. Watch this space for future updates.

Click here for an interesting time-lapse video of the demolition and construction.

The next meeting of the Construction Management Agreement Liaison Committee will probably be on November 6, 2013, at the Second District Police Station, at 6:30 pm. The public is welcome.

Click here to view the CPCA’s full Giant/Cathedral Commons Construction page, including previous updates.