Thursday, August 27, 2015

Newsbriefs from the Aug. 19 GRIA Meeting

- The Community School, an academic and mentoring high school, based in Remington at W. 30th Street and Huntingdon Avenue, is fundraising to be able to hire an additional teacher. The school has been helping Remington youth get their high school diploma for more than 30 years, and has given second chances to many promising students. Please visit if you would like to contribute.

- Seawall Development, which owns several properties around Remington including the major redevelopment at W. 28th Street and Remington Avenue, shared their concept for the former Anderson Auto Body shop at 29th and Remington. To be called "R House," the building would be converted into a food market akin to Lexington Market. Seawall partner John Constable described the project as a kid-friendly incubator for cool, innovative food concepts.

Food vendors would lease stalls to prepare and serve their food. Seating and back-of-the-house operations such as cold storage and dishes would be handled by R House staff. The market would have a bar, which would be owned and operated directly by Seawall. Hours of operation are still in progress, but would be something like 7am to midnight.

Constable said they plan to break ground this fall and aim to have R House up and running in late summer or early fall 2016

- In another Seawall development, the company has purchased the former Sterling's Seafood at 29th and Miles Avenue. The purchase includes the restaurant, the liquor license, and the rowhome immediately behind the restaurant. The restaurant will be sold to a "friend" of Seawall, who has committed to the purchase but is staying secret for the time being. The tenants of the rowhome will stay put at the same rent. The liquor license will not be transferred to the as-yet-secret restaurateur. Constable said Seawall does not currently know what it will do with the license.

- Police have a person of interest identified in the string of robberies that recently occurred in Remington, but as of the meeting, they had not yet made an arrest.

- Someone has been slashing tires on Howard Street and W. 27th Street. Police have a few leads but ask anyone with information to contact them as soon as possible.

- The comprehensive rezoning ordinance that GRIA sponsored to change the zoning of 14 historically and architecturally commercial properties will go before the City Council's Land Use Committee on September 16, at City Hall. This is a public hearing, and anyone wishing to be heard is encouraged to attend. You must bring photo ID to be allowed into the building.

City Councilman Carl Stokes, who's district includes all but one of the affected properties, expressed his strong support for the ordinance. Remington's other Councilperson, Mary Pat Clarke, declined to state her position on the ordinance, but said that it was the right approach to getting such corner commercial properties zoned so that businesses can use them. Clarke sits on the Land Use Committee.

In an informal show of hands, no residents said they were opposed to the ordinance, and only one person said they were on the fence. Support for the ordinance among meeting attendees was overwhelming.