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Southwest waterfront welcomes Safeway, Starbucks

It's been a long time coming, but a new Safeway store with a Starbucks cafe opened on the Southwest waterfront Thursday.

D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) and council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) joined executives of the grocery chain in a ceremonial ribbon cutting about 4:30 p.m. About 75 people waited to pour into the store and walk its wood floors, shop its shining aisles and sample fresh sushi.

The new Safeway is a far cry from the trampled 1960s-era store that served area residents through last week, where lines stretched from the checkout aisle even during off-peak hours.

Sitting at the Waterside/Southeast University Metro station, the gleaming Safeway and Starbucks are a sight residents haven't seen. A block away, project homes still stand as a reminder of the area's poverty and the failed federal urban renewal plan of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Few sit-down restaurants are in driving distance.

But with hundreds of new condominiums, revamped apartments and a state-of-the art renovation of Arena Stage only months from completion, the area no longer looks like an ugly duckling on the waterfront.

City planners hoped to add to the shine by developing along the Anacostia. But the nightclubs they were supposed to raze are standing and thriving, and as yet there is no sign that a change is coming in that space.

-- Darryl D. Fears

By Washington Post Editors  |  April 15, 2010; 5:24 PM ET
 | Tags: southwest redevelopment, southwest waterfront safeway, waterfront redevelopment  
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Thanks for the post about the new Safeway store. As a long time resident of SW this development is very exciting!

Posted by: WashingtonDCRose | April 15, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Actually this new Safeway is the third one located here. The one that is to be demolished was built in the 70's not the 60's. We were quite excited when that one opened. It, too, had an in-store bakery, but that ceased to operate fairly quickly. Then the Safeway catered to the whims of the EPA workers rather than the residents of the neighborhood. This time, I'll wait to see who they embrace: us or the new DC govt. workers moving into the twin tower.

Posted by: onthewaterfront | April 16, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Those nightclubs aren't on the Anacostia, they are on the Channel. And there is only one nightclub left. The rest are restaurants. Also, I am sick and tired of "sit-down restaurants" being the sole arbiter of a neighborhoods viability. SW is a great neighborhood that is getting better by the day. They have a sit-down restaurant in Hillcrest now. Should we all just move there? And there are plenty of sit-down restaurants in SW. It's a mile walk. Not bad.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | April 16, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

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